Growing Milkweed

I found a foolproof way to grow milkweed starts from seed.  Last year I had a 100% yield


Oregon Native Milkweed – John Day, Oregon

on 3 different kinds of milkweed. (Seedlings are pictured on the second page of newsletter)

Click to download newsletter with instructions: Starting_Milkweed_RockbirdGardens

For anyone interested, I’ll be giving a presentation at the offices of the Pollinator Project in Phoenix, Oregon, on March 10th. “Planning and Growing a Butterfly Garden” 

Best regards,
Robin McKenzie
Rockbird Gardens


Horticulture Report:Rock Rose

Plant Name: Helianthemum   heliamthemum
Common name: Rock Rose
Plant type: Evergreen, or Semi-evergreen, Shrubby Perennial
Height:   6-12 inches
Spread: 1-3 feet

Bloom Time: May – June
Flower Color: Various – White, Yellow, Red, Pink, Scarlet, Orange.
Exposure: Full Sun
Soil Requirements: Well Drained Rocky to Sandy Soil.

Water Needs: Low
Attributes:  Good in Alpine & Rock Gardens, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Evergreen Good accent plant with texture & form, Gray Foliage & Dark Green Foliage.
Uses: Attracts Butterflies,  Rock gardens, Container, Ground Cover, Xeriscape Gardens.
USDA Zone: 5-8  (check cultivar)

Horticulture Report: Mountain Fleece

Plant Name: Persicaria amplexicaulis


Persicaria amplexicaulis

Common Name:  Mountain Fleece
Plant type: Herbaceous perennial
Height: 3-4 feet
Spread: 3-4 feet
Bloom Time: June to October
Flower Color: Crimson red
Exposure: Full sun, Part shade (hot regions)
Soil Requirements: Humus
Water Needs: Medium to wet
Attributes: Showy “bottlebrush” flower, Attracts  Birds & Butterflies, Tolerate deer
Note:  Low Maintenance
Uses: Perennial border, Water Gardens
Native to: China, the Himalayas and Pakistan
USDA Hardiness Zone: 4 to 7


Enticing Pollinators

Below are a few plants that can entice pollinators to your garden. This plant list can go on and on, but remember your not just planting for honey bees, pollinators include other kinds of bees, birds, butterflies, moths, beetles, and even ants.

Your garden should have a succession of flowering plants to provide blooms throughout the entire growing season. There should be several different species blooming all the time, so to accomplish this goal plant a combination of annuals and perennials. And Finally,  your garden MUST BE pesticide free
Zinnias, Sunflowers, Marigolds, Calendula (pot marigold)
Red-flowering Current, Ceanothus thyrsiflorus (Blueblossom), Ocean Spray, Serviceberry, Rhododendrons, Kolkwitzia amabilis (Beauty Bush).
Catmints, Lavenders, Asters, Phlox, Bee Balm, Thyme, Borage, Oregano, Garlic Chives, Evening Primrose, Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed), Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, Goldenrod, Podophyllum (Mayapple)
Salvias (to name a few): Russian Sage, ‘Hot Lips’, ‘Desert Blaze’, Blue Sage, Raspberry Delight, ‘Lady in Red’, Pineapple Sage, Clary Sage, Salvia pachyphylla Note: Deer do not like salvias!