Like all flower gardeners it seems I add new flowers every summer to the growing garden beds. Some are purchased and some that are grown from seed.
I love all flowers but some do not meet up to my standards after I plant them. They do not become my favorites because the color is not what I expected which is not always my fault due to photo enhancements on line or in catalogs. Another reason is that they just do not flourish well in our hard clay soil here in this part of Ohio.
I like to look back at this time of the year before spring and seed sowing to sort out the flowers that really took me by surprise with their growth or their fragrance and color.
Here are some of those favorite new flowers from last summer.
Masterwort Astrania “Abbey Road”
Scott from “Rhone Street Gardens” had some in his garden that I saw them in one of his postings and when I saw how beautiful they looked I knew I would have to try a couple for my garden.
This Abbey Road astrania goes high on my list of favorites. I just loved how it thrived in my soil the first year, and those colors! The pinks with silver high lights are always changing with the light and the textures in the petals are magnificent. Now I want to add some of the deeper shades of burgundy or reds to other areas of the gardens. So thank you Scott!
Lobelia “Monet Moment”
This Monet Moment pink lobelia plant just took off after it was planted and grew by leaps and bounds. In fact it grew so well that I was able to divide it and now there will be two lovely plants to look forward to this summer. I loved the pink tones of the blooms on the flower spikes which opens starting from the bottom of the spikes and moving upward just like a Foxglove bloom.
Monarda “Raspberry Wine”
I am on the fence when it comes to Bee balm. I like to grow it for the pollinators but some have the tendency to mildew in my humid summer garden. I planted a Raspberry Wine monarda in the bed to go along with the Monet Moment lobelia and I think they were both trying to out do one another in growth. Raspberry Wine was not only just a pollinator magnet but this monarda did not show any signs of mildew through one of our wettest summers.
The deep burgundy color was made even more pronounced by the burgundy leaves at the base of the bloom. I was also able to divided it after its first year of growth. I imagine I will have to watch this one from taking over the bed but the Woodland bed has plenty of room for it to spread.
“Wirral Pride” Chrysanthemum
I love daisies in the garden and white blooms so I was glad that Wirral Pride was added to the garden. It became a favorite last summer not only for its lovely frilly blooms but because it stood up straight in the garden despite the rains and after cutting off the faded blooms it graced me with more blooms.
Echinacea “Raspberry Truffle”
There are many Echinacea's in my garden but the new “Raspberry Truffle” not only grew well but the color is just beyond explaining or catching with the camera. I call it a deep coral with a dark center on its pom pom shaped blooms. This one was number one on my list of new favorites from last summer.
Then of course there are the new roses that were added to the Rose Garden. Burgundy Iceberg just blooms all summer like its namesake the white Iceberg roses. With the deep burgundy shades on the top of the petals and the lighter undersides it was full of beautiful blooms throughout the summer into late fall. It wanted to kept right on blooming with our mild weather. Through some good advice from Jan at “Muddy Boot Dreams” I trimmed off the blooms and buds so the rose bush could get some energy stored up for before winter.
This rose was just one of my favorite roses last summer.
The real winner in the rose division of favorites was…..
This rose was constantly in bloom and with its beautiful apricot to peach and with its Tea Rose shaped blooms it was a bright spot in the Rose Garden.
When a couple of the rose bushes were getting mildew or black spot from the wet summer Bill Warriner was untouchable. If you like its colors I would recommend this rose to anyone as an addition to their garden.
“Weigela Florida Variegata”
The final favorite was the Variegated Weigela shrub with its lovely bell shaped pale pink blooms in late spring. I loved the addition of this shrub in the garden with its variegated leaves which made it a beautiful addition to the corner bed even when it was not in bloom.
Throughout a summer of extreme weather conditions last year these were the plants that did not welt or slack when even some of my old favorites just did not perform well.
Garden wise it was 2011 was not a great year in the garden.
There were also the duds that really disappointed me such as “Pow Wow Wild Berry” Echinacea which looked faded and ratty even with its first blooms and……
the “Bonica” rose which was just not the color it was advertised as in catalogs. It turned out to be more peach than the translucent pink which is just not what I wanted for the section of the Rose garden I planned it to grow. I was not the only gardener that was disappointed by this rose’s color. It will have to be moved this spring and another rose put in its place.
Did you have any new plants that became your favorites or your greatest duds of the year?