June 25, 2013

Monarda 'Blue Stocking' Goes with the Gold

Monarda Blue Stocking close up by Defining Your Home Garden and Travel
Monarda 'Blue Stocking' blooms in late June in zone 7b.

With so many varieties of monarda (bee balm) available, it sometimes comes down to a color choice. I have three favorites in my garden and monarda 'Blue Stocking' is easy to incorporate into multiple color schemes. Growing in my garden since 2008, I've used this bee balm with purple coneflowers, agastache, baptisia and spirea. This summer, I've paired it with bright gold rudbeckia (susans) in the deer resistant meadow garden.

Monarda 'Blue Stocking'
zones 4-8
30" high
full-part sun
deer and rabbit resistant*

This combination is viewed uphill and downhill. I planted the rudbeckia uphill as it is slightly taller than the bee balm (and the bee balm was already in place). These rudbeckia were grown from seeds and allowed to self-sow, so I can't give you a specific named variety—choose your favorite. I thin out the susans, and given the ample rainfall this year, I pulled enough to fill a few more gardens.

Like all bee balm varieties, 'Blue Stocking' is easy to grow, spreads quickly, but is easy to pull if it goes too far too fast. Besides growing this in regular garden soil and mulch, I also grow 'Blue Stocking' in the gravel garden where it is quite happy.

Monarda Blue Stocking by Defining Your Home Garden and Travel
Downhill view of the combination. June 2013
Monarda Blue Stocking by Defining Your Home Garden and Travel
Uphill view of bee balm and susans. June 2013

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel

*Deer and rabbit resistance varies based upon the animal population and availability of food. 

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Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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