My wife had a good look through on google at the various varieties and she said one or two look a perfect match.Your blue bee plant looks like a hyssop, or rather an Agastache (not the same as herb hyssop although the flowers are very similar). Garden centres are keen to sell them, mostly Agastache foeniculum hybrids ("anise hyssop" or "giant hyssop"). They vary a lot in blue-ness and length of flower spike. They're all very popular with bees.
I heard it was a tradition in the 70's to have a pampas in the front garden in the middle of the lawn, if you were a 'swinging' couple. Is there something your not telling us?
Whenever I think I've got it.... I guess with most or all aspects of beekeeping there is no single correct answer, it's what works for you, with your bees, in your microclimate, in combination with your other management techniques etc etc. Anyone else want to chip in in support of OMF/ solid floors?Observation over the last three years has indicated that colonies Wintering on solid floors use less stores and get off to an earlier start the following year.
First noticed in club apiary (short of a couple of omfs)
I Wintered with trays in, similar result !.
At least one other subscriber on here runs most of his colonies on solid floors
Probably wasps as already noted but if you have lots of ivy around they may be Ivy Mining Bees as mentioned elsewhere on this forum a few days ago. Here's a web site with a few photos Colletes hederae (Ivy Bee)