Raspberry Fields Forever

The most noticeable blooms in the front garden at this moment are those of ‘Raspberry Wine’ Bee Balm (Monarda didyma). It’s really dominating the Sidewalk Border.


At 4 feet tall, it makes a sort of low hedge if you let it. Like Bee Balms generally, it likes sun and moist soil. ‘Raspberry Wine’ spreads assertively but not rapaciously. The rich raspberry-red flowers will not allow you to ignore them, however.

DSC_0638The closely related Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), with smaller lavender-colored flowers, is in the same border. It seems, however, that it is losing ground to ‘Raspberry Wine’ in the endless botanical struggle for territory.

Fortunately, there is a very large patch of Wild Bergamot in the Driveway Border, where it is able to hold its own against all competitors. They get a little more shade over there and are not yet blooming.

DSC_0655Here’s a view from the sidewalk.

DSC_0631Stepping up a little closer. I’m quite pleased with how the front door looks to be framed by colorful plants on three sides. Now if I could only get the Clematis to grow across the wall above the door.

DSC_0690Speaking of which, in case you’re wondering, the Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ is still meeting all my daily requirements for looking at purple stuff.

That’s all for now.

29 Comments on “Raspberry Fields Forever”

  1. Love that colour – can you elaborate on what you mean when you say that it spreads aggressively but not rapaciously? Would I be fighting to keep it in check each year or is it just a matter of pulling up any that self-seed?

  2. Everything looks beautiful. I love purple and there’s a whole wee bed of purple, but wondering and hoping as Iris gets big and blooms what color it is-I forgot when I moved it from another place…hoping to break up the purple. It’s too much, need to throw in an orange!

  3. Hello Jason, the Clematis Jackmanii is absolutely stunning and I love how it flowers on both sides. We have a much younger, less spectacular specimen that is hanging its flowers over the rose arch. If it eventually grows to be even a fraction like yours, I’ll be happy!

  4. “Looking at purple stuff”–that is an important part of gardening, isn’t it? I’ve been contemplating planting some Monarda here, but I’m not sure I have enough sun for it. Maybe I’ll start it in a pot and see how it does in my dappled shade/part shade conditions. And now we have a little more sun, so maybe that will allow it to work. I do love Monarda fistulosa and Monarda punctata, and so do the pollinators!

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