|I think I see some new growth… Here’s hoping! Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2012|
My husband’s birthday was a couple weekends ago so we went away to visit our family and celebrate. I had recently brought in some of my potted herbs since the frost is becoming more intense each evening. Upon returning, I found that my bee balm, once flourishing and green, had been practically sucked dry by aphids! Ugh! I was very sad and tried to remove the pests but a majority of the plant has died. I always feel awful when this happens. Why didn’t I do a thorough examination of the plant before brining it in?
I grew my bee balm from seeds purchased from Alchemy Works. I had been wanting to grow some for a few years. My grandmother introduced me to the plant when I was very young so there’s a huge nostalgic draw. She has them in her garden and used the blossoms in her pressed flower works. They are a lovely bright red and look stunning in art. As the name hints, they’re a favorite of pollinators. I’m always striving to improve my garden and make it more hospitable to bees, butterflies, and humming birds. Finally, as a tea drinker, I was attracted to bee balm’s history in Colonial America. Following the tea taxes, Colonials took to brewing bee balm, nicknamed “Oswego Tea,” as a substitute. Apparently it is very similar tasting. I was hoping to try some soon but… Alas.
However, as you might be able to see in the photo I took, there is some small growth. I’m very hopeful the plant can bounce back. I need to create a good spray of garlic and cayenne peppers to combat the aphids… especially before the hubbub of the holiday season! I’ll have to see if I can fit that in between baking rolls and cooking cranberry sauce.