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"The earth laughs in flowers."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The nodding flower of the sand violet has five purple petals; the top two occasionally have hooked spurs at the tips – leading to its hooked nickname.

Wild bergamot is named after the Bergamot orange due to the similar fragrance emitted from its leaves, flowers and seed heads.

Sand violets (Viola adunca) are delicate little beauties

that grow close to the ground. They are also referred to as the heath dog violet, early blue, hooked violet and hooked- spur violet. It’s irregularly shaped purple-blue flowers bloom in the spring and have no scent. This little gem, native to the meadows and forests of Canada, is a perennial that is not picky when it comes to sun exposure. It grows in small clumps reaching 15 cm (6 inches) in height. Because these flowers are so low to the ground they are sadly often wiped out by higher vegetation. Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) or bee balm is a

common addition to many gardens. Showy pinkish-purple blossoms adorn this mid-sized plant which reaches 30-60 cm

Groups of hyssop are sturdy and can be used for the middle or back of flower borders.

(12-24 inches) in height, and tends to grow in lush clumps. Bee balm, a member of the mint family, loves the sun and can be found in the wild from British Columbia to Quebec. One reason it is favoured by gardeners is that it attracts humming- birds, butterflies and bees with its orange-like fragrance. Another member of the mint family, giant hyssop

(Agastache foeniculum) sports slender bluish-purple flower spikes with an anise-like smell atop dark-green, shiny leaves in mid-summer. Favoured by butterflies and bees, it grows 60-90 cm (24-36 inches) tall and is slow to spread; howev- er, it will self-seed. Giant hyssop is easy to grow and not especially picky – tolerating almost any type of soil and sun condition except full shade.

Summer 2015 • 23

Photo by Walter Siegmund.

By D. Gordon E. Robertson.

Photo by Wayne Ray.

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