Longest blooming perennial this year?

Lauren_StL(z5/6 Mo)August 24, 2006

Granted, this has been a horrid year weather wise for the midwest. We've had no rain and consistently 100+ temps for weeks one end. However, as I've watched my garden look sadder and sadder, I've been surprised at one of my perennials. Veronica "icicle" has literally - no exageration - bloomed from the beginning of May until now. It is still blooming. I've deadheaded it once this entire summer and it still keeps going and going - little energizer bunny. What one plant in your garden has been the longest bloomer for you this year? I'd love to have more of these marathon bloomers in my garden. Give me some ideas...

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Geranium Rozanne - it just never stops. I like the way it rambles along, covering other plants that stopped flowering months back and just generally spreading cheer. I understand that there's a new, compact version coming along but don't think I'd be intersted.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 2:56AM
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pastvast(z5 NW Ohio)

Gaillardia has been going non-stop since early summer with regular deadheading.

Black eyed susans have also been going non-stop with benign neglect.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 10:02AM
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blackswamp_girl(6a NEOhio)

"May Night" salvia. I was prepared for this one to have been overhyped, but it's STILL blooming (it's in maybe week 12 or 13) with only semi-regular deadheading from me. And this is my first year with it!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 10:23AM
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kwoods(Cold z7 Long Is)

"Veronica "icicle" has literally - no exageration - bloomed from the beginning of May until now."

Same experience with this plant. Second year w/ it and I will be buying more, perhaps many more, next spring.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 10:39AM
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Gaillardia has been also non-stop here for me, but my Verbena Bonariensis has been blooming since early April and still going strong. I am definitely doing more of these next year - Carrie

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 10:53AM
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Kalimeris pifinnata wins hands down with a close second to Salvia 'May Knight'. Lantana 'Miss Huff' comes into bloom about late June and can be counted on to remain in bloom for the rest of the season (first frost usually occurs sometime in Oct). Even though not a perennial, Rosa 'Flower Carpet'gets an honorable mention.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 11:12AM
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Salvia 'Caradonna' still blooming non-stop since mid-May with ocasional deadheading.
Helenium 'Mardi Gras' started in early July and no end in sight so far. It's well watered though.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 11:26AM
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Nepeta 'Subsessillis' and Nepeta 'Walkers Low' have been non stop bloomers since late May. The N.'Walkers Low I deadheaded once. The N.'Subessillis' I did not deadhead, although it probably would have benefitted it to do so. Everytime I went out to deadhead it, there were so many bees and hummingbirds enjoying the few flowers on it that I couldn't do it. There are still a few blooms on it and the seed heads are very much enjoyed by the Goldfinches.

Two other very long bloomers are new to me this year. They were both blooming when planted in late May. Geranium 'Jolly Bee' and Dianthus 'Fire Witch'. I have them together along with another very long bloomer Coreopsis 'Moonbeam'. The 3 of them together is a really nice look for the middle to front of the border since the color is nonstop all summer.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 1:04PM
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eigdeh(z6 NJ)

My longest bloom is something that was supposed to only bloom in the spring! That is my, PHLOX subulata Apple Blossom : CREEPING PHLOX. I still have a few random blooms on the thing! My Salvia and Veronica have been non stop too! I thought they took a break mid summer.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 2:45PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Same story as last year...

Corydalis lutea
Nepeta Walker's Low

Echinacea White Swan has lasted for ages this year and so has Phlox Blue Paradise.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 3:00PM
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My clematis tangutica started blooming in June and is still going. I think it's the William MacKenzie variety. Just amazing.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 5:22PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

My Clematis 'Betty Corning' and Geranium 'Rozanne'. Both are awesome. Sedum 'Autumn Joy' is also truly a joy. Getting so big this year because the tree on the parkway got cut down.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 5:31PM
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shapiro(5a Ontario)

Here, definitely the rudbeckias, those giant multi-coloured ones - some of the flowers nearly as big as a saucer!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 6:27PM
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Scabiosa columbaria (Pincushion Flower) and May Night Salvia have been going for months. I've deadheaded Scabiosa inconsistently and cut back May Night once and they just keep blooming. Oh, and Gaillardia--blooming and blooming, even through a move to a new spot.

Right now Agastache 'Ava' is gorgeous (not that it's been blooming a long time--about a month now--but she is beautiful).

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 7:30PM
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Phlox 'Jr. Dance' must be 6-8 weeks now and its still in bloom. its the first year so who knows. Compact, mildew free...deep coral pink... love it!

Knautia Mars Midget continual since spring with deadheading.

Darn, I passed up Helenium 'Mardi Gras' last week when I was looking for more H. 'Indiansommer' to fill out my patch. But yesterday I saw a 'Coppelia' that I fell in love with. Usually my Helenium is on my longest blooming list, but the voles last year set her back a bit. :-(

Also, Geranium Rozanne, Coreopsis Creme Brule, Heliopsis Summersonne, S. May Night with a lull in between, Agastache Blue Fortunate about a month too, Rudbeckia

Yes gaillardia is very long blooming, but I still might pull mine if I need the spot. Its just such a floppy mess and not very showy. 'Burgundy' is on the short list for removal. 'Fanfare' I might give another year to show its stuff.

Not a perennial, but those carpet roses are amazing bloomers... just entering a lull now before the big September show...

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 8:41PM
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Coreopsis Moonbeam for me. I am going to have to check out a few of those mentioned above.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 9:24PM
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Erikka(Z5b Ont.)

Dicentra 'King Of Hearts'
Geranium 'Mavis Simpson'
Geranium 'Rozanne'
Geranium 'Lawrence Flatman'
Hemerocallis 'Happy Returns'
Polemonium 'Blue Master'

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 11:19PM
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For me the winner is Verbena Bonariensis, but I don't think it is hardy in your zone. Other loooooong bloomers are a pink Geranium Sanguineum, Coreopsis Baby Gold, Platycodon (but not constantly flowering and the leaves look ratty), Verbena Venosa, Gaillardas.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 1:07AM
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Here is another very long bloomer. Begins in early June and this is it today. I will admit that it gets pretty ratty looking over the winter. And seems to take a long time to perk up in spring, but by the end of May it is looking acceptable...then the show starts. It is a ground cover for full sun to part shade. Persicaria Affinis 'dimity' a long blooming favorite of mine.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 8:46AM
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leslie197(z5 MI)

Three of my longest bloomers - Echinacea Sundown, Clematis tangutica Sheriffi (Vtandrea mentioned a different clematis tangutica), & Oenothera Sunset Boulevard. Picture taken June 25 & all are still in bloom today. Sundown and Sunset Boulevard are new this year, so I don't know what they will do next year (assuming they survive my winter). The clematis is 6 or 7 years old and always blooms all summer mid-June to frost.

Another long blooming Clematis - Polish Spirit - started blooming in late June and still going strong. Other long blooming clematis I have include Betty Corning (Pitimpinai mentioned this one earlier), Madame Julia Correvan, and Clematis x durandii. Betty and Julia have several flushes of blooms with short breaks in between, Polish Spirit has good continuous bloom, & durandii has continuous light bloom.

My Geranium Rozanne & Endless Summer Hydrangea did their usual thing - long heavy bloom - and I have had an extra long season (for me) of the Rudbeckia - Black-eyed Susans (no fungal thing this year), but my May Nights appear to be worn out - got no 2nd flush of blooms this year - the 1st time ever that they just sat there and did not rebloom!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 9:57AM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

I have several of those already mentioned. Here's some more very long bloomers:

linum - blue flax - bloomed in spring with tree peonies and still blooming now!
dwarf fernleaf yarrow - achillea tomentosa
coreopsis - moonbeam and creme brulee have been going for months
delphinium magic fountains - blooms for a month in June, takes a break, reblooms for another month in August
salvia officinalis

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 8:19AM
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My longest blooming perennial has been Nepeta Walker's Low. It started in spring and is still going strong without being cut back. Even though it is not a perennial, I have a new rose this year called Baby Blanket which is always loaded with blooms. Leslie, that Echinacea Sundown is gorgeous.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 11:13AM
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jackied164(z6 MA)

knautia (keep dead heading)
rudbeckia "Cherokee Sunset"
campanula "Bells of Scottland"
digitalis lanata (it claims to be perennial but it is only its second year)
salvia "blue queen" (my may night is earlier but poops out)
shasta daisy (with much cutting back to lateral buds)
icelandic poppy (although I think it is now done)
helenium mardi gras
it is its first year but I have a sense that my boltania "nana" which has been blooming for about a month will last till the end. "snow bank" is only now getting ready to bloom.

I have others that take a break and then give a second bloom
geranium sanguineum

of course my roses also are in and out of bloom from late spring into fall.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 8:33PM
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We have had scorching heat over 100's with no rain and water restrictions and these continue to bloom prolifically.
>Portulaca Moss Rose reseeds so much it seems like a perennial for me
>Lantana (butterly magnet)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 10:39AM
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Hey, mine might be tangutica Sheriffi. I got it from a friend who started it from seed and gave it to me in a tiny pot 2 years ago. I planted it the same year and it took off like blazes. Kind of scares me. I've read that you're supposed to prune it to the ground in spring, but I never did. Mine bloomed all over the entire vine all summer.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 8:05AM
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ladychroe(z6 NJ)

Dianthus "Telstar Picotee"
Coreopsis "Heaven's Gate" ~The prettiest pink coreopsis IMO
Galliarda "Goblin" ~ I was going to give some of these to my aunt, but got held up and they sat in teeny pots for a month, blooming their heads off the entire time!
Veronica "Red Fox"

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 12:05PM
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waplummer(Z5 NY)

Corydalis ochreleca wins hands down. It will still be blooming two months from now!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 10:51PM
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gardenfanatic(MO zone5b)

May Night salvia, Arizona Sun gaillardia, and the Knockout roses.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 9:23PM
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Digitalis Camelot- a new variety has bloomed continuously in part shade since spring.
Also, Jolly Bee Geranium. I like it better than Rozanne, because it doesn't sprawl as much.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 10:16PM
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pam_whitbyon(6 Niagara)

Centaurea montanta (bachelors button). It started early summer when rabbits had taken it upon themselves to pinch the early buds back, and it's been flowering ever since.

Unfortunately this particular specimen is highly unattractive! The foliage is VERY plentiful, huge plain leaves, and the flowers somewhat insignificant, barely noticeable.

So while it's the longest bloomer for me this year, I'm really tempted to yank the whole thing out.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 10:42PM
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Lamium, Never needs deadheading, thankfully cause its on a hillside

Valarien, Non stop from May to August and smells nice too

Sedum Matrona, starts a little later but keeps going, nice folage too Sorry, its sideways

Achellia The Pearl. Gets a little floppy but is still blooming in Oct. No deadheading on this one either

Dianthus, Coneflower, Ladys mantle and Black eyed susies also bloom a long time for me.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2006 at 9:37AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Knock Out Roses are doing great. They are in their second year and keep pushing out fresh new foliage and buds. Really a performer.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2006 at 6:31PM
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Longest blooming for me is clematis 'Betty Corning'. She has been non-stop since mid-June. Hands down my favorite clematis.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2006 at 10:14PM
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jackied164(z6 MA)

Ok it is official my longest blooming are knautia and campanula bells of scotland. They are still blooming now early in December. The knautia is the real winner because it has been blooming straight through.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 8:37PM
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stevation(z5a Utah)

My best was Lavatera tauricensis. These things were amazing! Second year in the ground, and I thought they weren't perennial in zone 6.

They bloomed from mid June through September. They were even blooming well while producing seeds (I hardly ever make time for deadheading).

Thanks for this thread -- I'm going to make note of some of these and use them next year!

- Steve

    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 9:31PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

Heliopsis Summer Sun. It blooms from mid June till the first killing frost. Tunic Flower is another that blooms all summer long.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 9:51PM
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tjsangel(z5 OH)

I still have Salvia May Night blooming in heavy frost! It's 23 degrees outside. My Serbian bellflower is also blooming, and a shrub rose called Lady Elsie May. Everyone needs an ornamental grass for this time of year-my Miscanthus 'Adagio' has been blooming since August. The foliage also turns a gorgeous red/purple color.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 8:04AM
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david_5311(Z 5b/6a SE Mich)

Interesting to read this and see a few unfamiliar plants for me. Most of the old standbys (Rozanne, N. Walker's Low, etc....) have been mentioned. But there are a couple above that have been consistently good and not as well known, especially Corydalis ochroleuca as waplummer mentioned. That is such a great plant, great for good volunteers in good places, essentially blooms from April into December or when hard freezes hit. Much better than its almost equally long blooming friend C. lutea -- the color of ochroleuca is just easier to deal with, at least for my taste.

I also had great experience with V. 'Icicle' this year, first time back in my garden after getting crowded out from the old place years ago. I had forgotten how great a bloomer it was. Little guys for $1.99 ea grew and bloomed their heads off all summer.

Though not a perennial but rather a shrub, Daphne caucasica is a fabulous mixed border shrub to plant with perennials. It is still in bloom and has been since April. NEVER has a bad hair day, always looks great. And fragrant flowers too....

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 12:03PM
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Nearly all were planted this past spring or summer and remain blooming today:

Coreopsis: Creme Brulee, Moonbeam, + another (can't recall its name)
Gaura (white)
Lavender: Hidcote & Munstead
Russian Sage
Salvia: Blue Queen & East Friesland
Sedum: Autumn Joy + another one whose name escapes me

I certainly wasn't expecting their blooms to last this long...perhaps its their southern exposure?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 3:09PM
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ornata(London UK (8/9?))

Penstemons are still flowering in my garden (not sure which varieties - some were "lost labels" and others grown from seed). Also that "weed" Corydalis that seeds itself in paving cracks, walls, etc. - Corydalis lutea - is still going strong. Plus a couple of Verbena bonariensis are in bloom. But that's pretty much it, apart from roses and fuchsias. Still, I have hellebores and lots of winter-flowering shrubs to look forward to.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2006 at 7:56AM
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I need to update my wish list!

I'm impressed with all the salvias I've grown so far except Pineapple sage which didn't bloom very long at all and it's an annual for me anyway.

Longest bloomer for me this year was salvia greggii 'Cherry Queen'. It's barely hardy in my zone but on it's third year so far, unprotected. It started blooming in mid April and continued without stopping until we had a frost/freeze in October. I have one other greggii, I think 'Lipstick' that started blooming quite a bit later than Cherry Queen.

Lauren - Did you get through that nasty ice/snow storm ok? I was complaining about losing power for 18 hours until I heard how bad it was in St. Louis.

Have you used Missouri Botanical Gardens' "Plants in Bloom" feature? It might help you narrow down all these suggestions especially since you're in Missouri. They have a very long list of plants and have recorded when each was in bloom so you can even see the gaps if they didn't bloom well in the heat.

Did you get through that nasty ice/snow storm ok? I was complaining about losing power for 18 hours until I heard how bad it was in St. Louis.

Here is a link that might be useful: Plants in Bloom - Missouri Botanical Gardens

    Bookmark   December 6, 2006 at 11:10AM
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my fave for this year is tradescantia 'sweet kate', the golden foliage w/ the non stop blue blooms from may to october blew everyone that saw them away. i planted mine in a spot that gets full sun until 5pm. ps. i water.

i second salvia 'east friesland' great plant that blooms forever.

also great, echinecea 'fragrant angel' huge fragrant blooms that last and it's the perfect cut flower

one more stokesia (stokes aster) 'blue danube' plant in full sun and watch the butterflys

    Bookmark   December 6, 2006 at 7:40PM
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Blackfoot Daisy - takes the Texas heat and keeps on ticking !!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2006 at 11:47PM
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Creoe myrtle (or more specifically, a hot pink dwarf Lagerstroemia grown from seed). It was continuously in flower for three months. The performance this year might reflect the survival of almost all of the wood thanks to a mild winter (the plant has behaved mostly as a die-back perennial in the past).

Ornamental grasses in general flower a long time for me, with the plumes remaining handsome even after going to seed. A 7 x 4 foot Miscanthus 'Cabaret' is still going strong.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2006 at 5:26PM
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peterls(N Yorks, UK)

Salvia microphylla 20 weeks in full flower (24 weeks in full and partial flower)
Argyranthemum pink 20(23)
Astrantia Buckland 19(20)
Cuphea ignea 19(19) - now indoors and still in flower
Cirsium rivulare 17(26)
Geranium Patricia 17(24
Geranium Rozanne 17(23)
Osteopermum 17(19)
Verbena bonariensis 16(17)

    Bookmark   December 9, 2006 at 6:53PM
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Just to add an update. This year the winner is not Verbena Bonariensis as I said above, BUT a red unknown Gaillardia. Still blooming since MAY!!!! Consider that this year (exceptionally, we're experiencing a very very hot Fall) we haven't frost yet.
Here's a picture of it. It was taken in November; in the meanwhile the other portrayed plants disappeared but that Gaillardia still looks more or less the same! :-)

    Bookmark   December 11, 2006 at 10:41AM
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Up here in the mild PNW we can usually stretch the bloom period quite a bit on both ends...it's not the cold that stops it but the wet springs and late falls that tend to batter the plants into submission.

That said, I usually get great results with my sedums...they are the first to re-appear in healthy clumps by the end of Jan, and I usually don't cut the seedheads until Jan when I see the new growth appearing. They look good in an architectural way all winter, and the birds love them.

Another great plant for me is the cardoon...I can usually get 11 months of something out of it. The only time it's down and dormant is September, when I cut the huge flowers off and bring them inside so they don't seed all over the place. I cut the 7 foot tall plant down to the ground with a hacksaw, then by October it's sprouting new leaves and by Nov it's about a foot tall again.

I've got lot's of herbs interspersed all over the place, and they do very well here, staying evergreen most of the year. Even the more tender ones will keep their leaves longer into the fall/winter as long as they don't get too wet feet.

For blooms, my cape fuschias go pretty much for about 10 months of the year. My Bonica rose is the first to bloom in early March, and the last to stop in November, then it sets gorgeous bright red hips for Christmas. And it's completely no-care...I water it once or twice in the dead of summer, never prune it, never fertilize it, except for some compost, and it sits facing dead west getting blasted with full sun.

This year I had purple wallflower blooming non-stop from early spring until Thanksgiving. As long as I kept trimming the spent flower shoots, it kept going.

I was able to nurse a huge pineapple sage plant for 4 years...it never even showed a leaf until June, then in Oct when everything else quieted down, it took off, becoming a huge 4-5 foot tall/wide shrub. It would bloom in late Nov and all December, and the hummingbirds that stuck around loved it. It became my Christmas plant, with all the tiny red flowers. We then had a really bad wet winter last year, and that pretty much killed it off.

I've also had great luck with a type of geranium...can't remember what it was, I think it's from South Africa. Produces huge 3-4 foot wide clumps, loves the hot dry sun, I water it once a month in the summer, and it's still covered with beautiful purple flowers as I write this in December. I filled in a particularly nasty dry spot between us and our neighbors, next to an evergreen hedge that sucks up every drop of water in the ground...not even weeds grow there. But those 3 geranium plants love it. I just cut it back to 6" in Feb when I do the other roses, and it takes off after the haircut.

By combining plants, I'm able to have something blooming every month of the year here, even the dead of winter. In Jan, it's the osmanthum, by Feb/Mar the Korean spice dogwood kicks in, in Mar/Apr the Spring bouquet viburnum and the Bonica rose, and by April on the perennials start to bloom. We dug up the lawn, so it's all plants, and the neighbors in our fussy neighborhood love it...I'm weeding only once a week, while they're struggling with their lawns.

For me, it's been learning to edit, remove plants, simplify, stick with multiple plants of the same kind rather than a patchwork of sorts. And as I get older, I can see myself replacing the perennials with more evergreen shrubs.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 2:37PM
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Lauren_StL(z5/6 Mo)

As I've been looking over the new catalogs that have come in, I came back to see what some of the suggestions were for this thread. (And David, I agree with your assessment of Bluestone's prices and appreciated your thread on that.) Wow - lots of good plant suggestions from everyone. And some great pictures.

Christie, thanks for asking about the ice storm - although it's been a while. Yeah - it was a bad storm, so bad that my DH's work was on a "snow schedule." Thankfully, we didn't lose power, but half the city did - 500,000 people. We had friends and their five kids (all under 7)staying with us for 3 days while waiting for their power to come back on. That was a housefull.

Best wishes to everyone this holiday and I hope everyone else enjoys using the suggestions in this thread as much as I will.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 4:47PM
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Wooouh! Great suggestions everyone! Thanks...This is what I call gardeners feedback for sure!
May I add one more, which hasn't been mentioned so far, I think : Chrysanthemum 'Apricot', started blooming early July, and was still blooming when I left home a week ago...

"Bonne annee 2007" for each of you, and specially for David5311, whom I'm so pleased to read again here!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 1:56AM
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It's probably scabiosa ochroleuca for me, masses of pale yellow flowers on airy plants for months, summer into fall.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 1:02PM
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cosmo1(z4 MN)

Lady Elsa May Shrub Rose
Heliopsis Ballerina
volcano phlox
& the grand winner gallardia Arizona Sun "never saw so many flowers>
Mandevilla red climber [it's annual here, but bold & beautiful]
agastache Cana & agastache Rosita

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 3:21PM
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bindersbee(6a UT)

This is easy. Diascia 'Coral Canyon'. This particular cultivar is hardy down to around zone 5. Mine has lived through 4 winters now. It starts blooming in early June, wanes a little in mid-July (still blooms just less) then keeps on going up until really hard frosts or snow. Mine was still blooming into early December this year. Non-stop fabulous. I highly recommend it.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 12:34AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

My longest blooming plants would have to be Centranthus ruber, Scabiosa alpinus, and my Corydalis. Both my Centrantus and Corydalis, no joking, started blooming in late spring and kept blooming, in cycles, all the way up to frost. The Scabiosa bloomed from late spring until fall.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 7:22PM
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