A meadow garden literally buzzes with life, thanks to a host of insects that visit classic meadow bloomers like bee balm (Monarda). Plant native bee balm or cultivated varieties—both work well in a meadow and deliver strong season-long color. As the name suggests, bee balm beckons bees (and hummingbirds) by the dozens. Bee balm is a perennial hardy in Zones 3-9, depending on type.
Bee balm (Monarda didyma) is a buffet of color and activity in the garden, beckoning all kinds of pollinators, including hummingbirds, butterflies and bumblebees. This bloomer kicks off the flower show in midsummer, ultimately sending up multiple flowers from a single stem. It makes a great addition to a bouquet, lasting a week or more in a vase. Bee balm comes in a host of colors, including pink, lavender, purple and red shades. Choose varieties that have good powdery mildew resistance. Look for varieties from short to this average size ‘Raspberry Wine’ bee balm, which grows 36 to 48 inches tall by 18 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 4-8.