Today my order arrived from Prairie Moon Nursery arrived. I went for their Tray package where you get 38 plants for $96. That's $2.50 about per plant and a fantastic deal! Selection is limited but they offer a lot of plants that I really like. Their pictures for the product really don't do it justice.
And such a great deal. I took advantage of their Earth Day special where entering the promo code EARTH resulted in free shipping. I'm sure that deal doesn't work anymore but I made out like a bandit.
I ordered 3 plants: New England Aster, Meadow Blazing Star, and Joe Pye Weed.
New England Aster, as this random video from YouTube demonstrates, is a magnet for bees and butterflies. They get 4' tall but the lower leaves to the plant can look a little dead. Best to plant something infront of them.
The Meadow Blazing Star, Liatris ligulistylis, as yet another random video from YouTube shows, is another excellent choice for pollinators. It blooms just before the New England Asters. As seen in both videos, Monarch butterflies love them. They get very tall and are almost narrow enough that they can be planted anywhere between other plants in the garden. (I don't believe the Liatris in the video is identified but it looks just like Meadow Blazing Star to me. You get the idea at least if it's not.)
And now comes my problem. I ordered Hallow Stem Joe Pye Weed, Eupatorium fistulosum. I have one of these, love it to death, and that's why I ordered more. The trouble is that's not what I was sent, at least they're not labeled as such. The bill shows that I did order Hallow Stem Joe Pye Weed, but next to it someone has hand written the word "Tag." The tags reads Eupatorium coelestinum, Mistflower to all the plants. So I don't know what I was sent.
What in the world does Tag mean? I've Emailed them about this. I'm happy either way with whatever Eupatorium they sent me. I'll more than happy to give Mistflower a try. The thing is though that Prairie Moon Nursery only offers Mistflower in seed form... so what am I doing with a flat of potted plants? If someone was going to take the time to wrote Tag on my bill they could have at least added a short note saying "Substitution, our bad," or "Sorry we were out of Hallow Stem Joe Pye labels. These ARE the plants you ordered."
But like I said I'm still happy with whatever. Monarchs still use them as YouTube once again shows up. But I need to know what they sent me before I can plant. This is a difference of a 2' tall front row boarder or a 5' - 7' tall back row. Kind of a big difference.
Most Eupatorium species are excellent nectar sources for bees and butterflies. I usually wait for our Joe Pye Weed to get done blooming before harvesting honey, it's that much of a bee magnet to me.
Here is one of my videos that I just uploaded to YouTube. It's not very exciting but look at how many bees there are compared to unopened flowers. There are almost always 20 bees at any given hour constantly collecting nectar from the plant. That doesn't sound like a lot but it adds up over the weeks.