Your Favorite Plant of 2011

christinmk z5b eastern WADecember 22, 2011

Hard to believe we will be ringing in the new year not too long from now! Kind of felt like we got ripped off this year here as far as the weather went. Our June was the coldest on record and pretty damp- not exactly the best spring for sure! Here's hoping 2012 will be better.

I've done these 'Favorite Plant of the Year' type threads for the past couple of years (here is the one for last year: Your Favorite Plant of 2010) and have thoroughly enjoyed reading the responses!

So what was your favorite plant for 2011? You can pick a perennial, annual, vine, shrub, tree, anything really. Doesn't have to be a new introduction of 2011 or even a plant you bought in 2011. Just something that impressed you this year.

The annual I was really smitten with this year is an 'old fashioned favorite', although I had never heard of it before until someone down the street gave a start of it to me. I had seen it before in my favorite garden book, but they didn't include the name. So what was it? Impatiens glandulifera I loved the exotic flowers and the tall, upright habit of the plant. Plus the 'spring action' seed dispersal was pretty nifty too ;-)

I'm a bit torn about saying what my favorite perennials were this year, because I only just GOT them this year. Last year my favorite was a first year plant and it up and died this year because it wasn't vigorous/hardy. I know I should probably wait to see if these (all first year plants) come back okay next year before declaring them "favorites", but I can't help it!

I just LOVED the 'Route 66' Coreopsis. Think it was my favorite plant of the year. Got it in late spring/summer and the thing wasn't without a flower until frost. The coloration on it was great- a pale-ish yellow with burgundy eye that "bled" into the yellow. Doesn't it pair nicely with the Carex buchananii there?!

I only got it a couple months before frost zapped everything, but in those few weeks I really came to like my Hakonechloa 'Fubuki' and so must give it an honorable mention. Look at that stellar pink coloration it got when the temps dropped!!

And just because it was so darn cute...3rd place goes to Soldanella alpina. Pendulous fringed blue(ish) flowers above unusual round leaves.

What was the 'Dud of the Year' for you? Had quite a few this year myself...

Geranium 'Summer Skies' was the absolute worst. There were buds on it this year (bought it super cheap on clearance the fall before) and I kept waiting and waiting to see them open. Finally I got fed up with it taking so long and went in to take a closer inspection. It turns out the thing WAS blooming, but the flowers were no bigger than half an inch around and were a disgusting dingy whitish color that was turning a delightful brown around the edges. I figured it might have been in a little too much sun, so proceeded to move it to a shadier location (even though I knew it would likely flop more there). THEN the thing started to rust and get a wee bit of mildew! Yuck!

I'm sorry to say it, but the Corydalis 'Berry Exciting' that was my favorite last year proved to be a big failure this year. Should be renamed 'Berry Disappointing' if you ask me. It came back this spring, but was the sorriest sprout I have ever seen. It was nowhere as large as it had been last year. By summer it was dead, dead, dead.

Another let down was the Rheum palmatum var. tangutium I got this spring. As summer neared it started dropping its leaves one by one. Not sure if it is dead now or only dormant...

That about does it for me. How about you guys? What was your Favorite Plant of 2011? Any major plant disappointments?


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I will post my favourites later(I'm not on my own computer), but I would like to comment on your Geranium. Funny how different experiences we can have. It is actually the only one of new Geranium pratense cultivars which I've kept, throwing several others on the compost pile. Mildew and Geranium pratense belong together, the only difference is when and how much.It was standing up quite nicely until the blooming was over, and unlike other cultivars, it actually had vigour and grew.Mine was very light pinkish light blue.Micropropagated plants can differ in flower colour.

I consider all the black and red-leaved cultivars of G.pratense to be pure garbage. None of them had will to live in my garden and they were NEVER free from mildew, even in the start of the season.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 5:52AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-wieslaw, LOL! Have to agree about your comment on the pratense Geraniums and mildew. I've even joked that my G. pratense 'Splish Splash' probably even has mildew while dormant! My dark leafed ones mildew badly too, although only after bloom (which is why I don't throw them out- at least they are nice for a few months!)

The 'Summer Skies' had pretty nice looking foliage when it was in full sun, but I suspect that the full sun (because full sun in my climate usually means it is on the dry side) was what was making the flowers bleach n' brown and maybe stunted. I moved the plant for a 3rd time in summer/fall, so we will see how it does in its new home and if it improves. If it doesn't I will just stick it out in the strip of alley garden with Splish Splash, lol.

Can't wait to see what your favs are for this year ;-)

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 2:12PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

My favorite this year was annual Zinnia - "Uproar Rose" and "Purple Prince". They were joyous, they made me happy every time I looked at them. :0)

Second place goes to annual Pentas - slow start but once they got going they grew in lush, busy plants, and the butterflies went crazy over them!

Uproar Rose:

Purple Prince behind some "Chocolate" Joe Pye:

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 4:10PM
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Hands down, the plant that most impressed me this year was this one:

Carex morrowii/Japanese sedge 'Ice Dance'

I bought the original plant about 5 years ago and planted it at the mid-point of a shade bed with assorted hosta, astilbe, lungwort, bleeding heart, hellebore & brunnera. Two years ago I dug it up and divided it because I wanted to plant more of it in another bed. I noticed that it quickly grew back and actually increased in size after being divided. With that in mind, this year I dug it out and ruthlessly divided it in 9--count 'em, nine--pieces. I gave two to my daughter and potted up the rest while I decided what to do with them. In September I got the idea to replace the big rocks that had been edging the bed in the photo with the divisions and to plant lady's mantle between them for foliage contrast. The lady's mantle are still small but each sedge division quickly grew to full size and (I see in the photo) made babies.

No photo but the best new perennial this year has to be Persicaria virginiana 'Painters Palette.' The most stunning variegated foliage--green & white with each leaf marked by a burgundy chevron--and just an absolute workhorse in the part sun/part shade garden on the north side of the house. Just Google it and say you don't agree! I winter sowed seeds and planted out groups of three plants in four separate beds so I could see where it grew best.

Biggest disappointment this year was tall garden phlox--shovel-pruned every last one except 'Laura' and 'Blue Paradise.' BP is growing in full sun and doing okay. 'Laura' is an established clump currently growing in part sun that gets powdery mildew in June every year. I'll move it to a full sun spot, give it another year to snap out of it and then decide whether to shovel-prune it. The reason I hesitate to destroy it is because it has the most heavenly fragrance. The bees & butterflies (naturally) love it and don't appear bothered one darn bit by the PM.

I just today winter sowed geranium 'Splish Splash' seeds from a trade and fingers crossed they behave better here than they did for Christin & wieslaw59.

Christin - that coreopsis is fabulous but I'll wait to see if it's hardy and comes back for you next year. I love 'Moonbeam' but it disappears here after a year or so & just isn't a very robust grower. I bought 'Sienna Sunset' last year and it didn't come back this year either. They're too expensive to keep buying and, as bad luck would have it, can't be grown from seed. Hakonechloa has been on my Wants list for years but they're pricey and the nurseries sell out of them fast.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 5:47PM
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Our weather was so foul most of the year*, none of my annuals stood out as being in any way spectacular although I didn't need to water the New Guinea impatiens or annual lobelia even once which is definitely a first. Calibrachoa/million bells & ageratum? Meh. Ditto pansies. For whatever reason, I didn't buy a spike plant this year and am glad I kept the $ in my wallet.

* Tornado in June, earthquake in July, hurricane in September and devastating (10 days without power) snowstorm in October. They may not be the traditional Four Horses of the Apocalypse but they sure made life a misery.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 6:25PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-mxk3, HUGE zinnias there! And look at your gorgeous enviable!

-Eileen, here is hoping 2012 is less disastrous for you weather wise!!! I know what you mean about 'Ice Dance' Carex. That is one plant that can take a lot of abuse! I also am a big fan of the variegation on 'Painter's Palette' Persicaria. What kind of location do you have yours in? It didn't do well in the first two places I tried it in (dryish areas in shade/part shade under a shrub then tree). And here I thought everyone said it was good for those situations! Lol. I moved it this fall to a "milder" spot and think it should do better.

Interesting your 'Sienna Sunset' didn't come back. I bought one in fall of last year and it made it thru the winter fine. Hopefully it and 'Route 66' come back next year. A neat tidbit of info- the 'Route 66' Coreopsis produces what looks to be viable seed. Will be fun seeing if they germinate and if so, what the flowers look like. I've heard 'Moonbeam' reseeds nicely for most folks- did't you get any?
Too bad Hakoneachloa are so much in your area. Maybe I could find a start of my gold one for you next year...

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 8:14PM
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Ditto that hope for our 2012 weather, CMK! I planted PPP in bright shade on the slope north of my garage, in half sun at the northwest corner of the house, in part sun on the northeast corner of the house and in half-day/morning sun on the east side of the house. I had lots to work with since I winter sowed it from seeds received in trade from another generous winter sower.

The soil here is amazing, I'm guessing thanks to my folks practicing organic gardening the past 40+ years. Everywhere I dig there are fat, healthy earthworms. The plants growing on the north side of the garage grew the largest of all, reaching about 18-22" in height. They all "bloomed" and I harvested seed that I'll winter sow and hope to plant out more of it in 2012.

With so much tree damage from the October snowstorm, it'll be interesting to see how they perform in full sun next growing season. Even trees that are still standing lost most of their upper branches so my mostly shady garden will get quite a bit more full sun in the years ahead.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 7:13AM
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squirejohn zone4 VT

I'd be cautious with Impatiens glandulifera. I was given some about 10 years ago and have been trying to get rid of it ever since. It was planted in a damp shaded area and I think it's classified as a "noxious weed" in several states.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 7:44AM
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Off the top of my head two favourite perennials that I planted for the first time this past year:

- persicaria "Golden Arrow". The deep red spikey flowers coupled with the bright green foliage was striking.

- Helianthus "Lemon Queen". I planted two of these plants in the fall 2010 but still they developed beautifully in this their first full summer in that they provided 'hundreds' of beautiful sunflowers on a five foot plant (with no staking required)

But now that I think of it for sure honourable mentions go to

- coreopsis "Cosmic Eye" (but I will not hold my breath thinking it will come back next spring). And finally

- my first year spiderwort "Sweet Kate"; it is a unique plant with its grass-like very light green foliage coupled with interesting blue flowers...very nice.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 10:41AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-squirejohn, thanks for the heads up about the impatiens. I don't really have any naturally (that isn't kept moist by my watering) damp areas in my yard and the rest dries out incredibly fast so maybe I won't have that problem. Thanks all the same for mentioning it though- good info to include if I ever decide to add the seed to my trade list.

-rouge, you are really making me regret not buying 'Golden Arrow' when I saw it at a local plant sale this fall!!
I also got a couple 'Cosmic Eye' Coreopsis on sale this fall. I don't know what it was, but the color combo on it did not appeal to me as much as 'Route 66' for some reason. Yes, it will be very interesting to see how it overwinters too!

    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 2:18PM
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The seeds of both Moonbeam and Sienna Sunset coreopsis are sterile from what I've read and I actually sowed the SS seeds and got zero germination. Given how amazing winter sowing is, if those seeds were viable they'd have sprouted. Same with Shasta daisy 'Banana Cream' seeds. My C. Zagreb is also a threadleaf variety but unlike Moonbeam, it's extremely hardy and robust here--I could divide my original plant in several dozen gallon pots and still have a huge clump of it where it's planted. Moonbeam has never lasted long enough to reseed even if the seeds were viable but I sure love the pale yellow color.

I'll be interested in hearing how your Route 66 does when spring rolls around. Good luck!!

    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 3:54PM
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CMK, to each his own but I find "Cosmic Eye" flowers unusual ie striking in colour and pattern. My first year "Cosmic Eye" (3 plants) bloomed so well,(ALL summer and into October) that even they don't survive the winter (most likely due to poor drainage) I will purchase them again and maybe other coreopsis as early as possible next May and just treat them as annuals.

(Btw, one extra redeeming feature of "Cosmic Eye" was it moderated height...maybe only 18" tall and no flop!)

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 7:42AM
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This Petunia, 'Pretty Much Picasso' was a winning annual for me. The chartreuse edging with the magenta was outstanding.

For a perennial, it wold have to be the same as in several years past. I am always loving the spring, summer and fall show of Euphorbia 'polychroma'.

Another much appreciated perennial has also been with me for several years. This is a slowly expanding ground cover, Persicaria affinis "Dimity'

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 10:24AM
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One of my favourites is Smilacina racemosa var. amplexicaulis. It is taller than the nominative species(which in itself is an extremely good plant) and slightly earlier. I love their fragrance which is detectable at the distance of several meters while warm weather. It is one of the very few plants which is good looking for the entire season, from A to Z.

The second would be Helleborus orientalis Betty Ranicar, which I propagated from seed. All the seed plants but one proved double. It is very hardy, all plants survived the last winter, while some other seedlings died.

The disappointment this year would be something I bought as seeds named Vernonia arkansiana. All the seeds sprouted, but at the blooming time it turned out the flower heads were too small and too greyish to be effective. There was one seedling which was intense purple, but by the year 3 it was 2,5 meter tall flopping all over the place.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 10:37AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-gazania, I also tried PMP petunia this year. I liked it, though I feel the $5 I paid was a tad steep, lol. Your plant is very tidy and bushy. Did you trim/pinch it at all? Mine was MUCH more trailing in habit and looked a bit scruffy by later summer. Really like that gold sweet potato vine you paired with it. I put a greenish flowering Nicotiana in mine with a 'Gay's Delight' coleus that had green leaves with a nice purple-y veins that matched the petunia nicely. The first place I put my potted PMP was farther out in the garden- a mistake. At that range you can't see the interesting green edge (which is very similar in shade to the foliage) very well. Moved it up closer to the patio in later spring for better viewing!

-wieslaw, how awesome that you got double 'Mrs. Betty Ranicar' from seed!!! I've been wanting to try growing some doubles by seed, since plants can be slightly outrageous in price at the nursery. Did you get the seed from a commercial source?
Ps. I am compiling a list on info like that (how similar/true seeds will come to parent plant/cultivar) to share with other folks who enjoy starting things from seed. Mind if I add your findings about 'Mrs Betty Ranicar' to it??

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 2:16PM
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christin, yes I've bought it at Jellito Seeds. The seed was expensive too, 28 Euros for a packet, but it pays off. They promise 95% doubles and it was true in my case. They have also Double Ladies Mixed(mixed colours) at the same price. They have just sent me a catalogue , I'm tempted to buy it(I'm too easy to tempt), although I have no idea where I could possibly plant them. You can add my findings to your list.
I'm salivating at Lilium Martagon Painted Ladies(mixture of colours) and Anemonopsis macrophylla White Swan.

I'd like to add that none of my doubles produced seed by themselves, so maybe they need to be pollinated by hand?

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 4:16PM
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Penstemon 'Sweet Joanne' bloomed over and over. The leaves are still green the day after Christmas. It is the perfect plant to me. I want more!

'Easy Does It' Rose was once again my favorite. It blooms so much and gets more compliments than anything else. It looks great with Russian Sage and Nepeta 'Walker's Low.'

Echinacea 'Pow Wow Wild Berry' was loaded with blooms this year.

I also have to praise Yucca 'Color Guard.' The color is beautiful year-round. It has some pink in it right now. It's probably the best looking plant overall for the longest period of time that I've ever grown.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 1:30PM
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Howdy there folks.. I lurk here , but am a heavy poster over on the 'conversations' side of the forum, and as things are a little slow over there this winter I thought I'd jump in here. I've enjoyed the observations so far ..CMK, I've looked at that Hakone grass many times at various garden centers this year. I have the basic variegated version, and until I figure out a way to keep the d#*m snails off of it, I'm passing on any other cultivars.I sure admire that one.

Mxk3 , I am putting that Zinnia on my list ! Ididn't grow any this year and really regret it.

So here are some of my the way , I am in usda zone 9 Northern California , north of San Francisco and slightly inland. Summer drought and mild wet winters.

Pennisetum 'Bunny Tails'-loved this in every season , it's a nice height for my garden and the blooms are fetching in the low evening sun.

From Garden Spring 2011

Clematis 'Arabella' . She blooms and blooms and then blooms some more . From Garden Spring 2011

Teucrium 'Purple Tails' . This is a great plant and the only place I 've ever seen it offered is Digging Dog out here on our north coast. Endures drought, heat and just keeps pumping out the blooms.Seen here with Cotinus and a no name species Fuchsia From Garden Summer 2011

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 10:02PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-wieslaw, how interesting. Someone was mentioning the same thing to me about double Primula, that they were in fact NOT sterile but just needed to be hand pollinated. Makes me wonder how many other double flowers I have always assumed were sterile are indeed capable of producing seed if only I were to pollinate them!

-echinaceamaniac, hope that 'Color Guard' does well for you. I've been longing to try one but haven't found the space. If I end up making that new bed out front next year I might put one there...

-Kathy, well I post more on this side and am more of a lurker on the Conversation side, peeping in there every now and again for the oh-so-inspirational garden pics ;-D Glad to have you posting here- that last picture with the Teucrium, fuchsia, and smoke bush is absolutely SUPERB! What a combo. I'm envious of how well your 'Purple Tails' is doing. I tried it a number of years ago (got it at a local plant sale) but didn't have any luck, the poor thing died out the second winter. I am guessing it either wasn't entirely hardy here or hates wet feet in winter, or maybe even both.
Too bad the snails are such a problem for you. I was reading a garden book the other day and the lady that wrote it (who also lives in CA) said that they had tried everything to get rid of those buggers, even paid neighborhood children find and get rid of the ones in their garden. But in the end the best solution was chickens! Apparently they love to eat snails- go figure!

Ps. Is that a Nicotiana langsdorffii in your pennisetum pic? Nice little grass. There is a new cultivar out called 'Burgundy Bunny' that I am determined to hunt down next year. It is supposed to have a great reddish tinge to the foliage and stay fairly compact.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 1:35PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

CMK, seedlings of Mrs. Betty Ranicar have a very high percentage of doubles open pollinated, no intervention. I think the first year I grew them from seed the breeder said they should produce something like 85% doubles, I'm sure it's at least that. And reliably, I've grown them several years from seed.

Sadly, you may want to rethink your fav annual - it's been a listed Class B noxious weed statewide for almost 15 years. My SIL brought a couple home from her mothers one Spring in the '80s (from King County, now prohibited there) and put them on an untended hillside on her acreage. The next year, that sunny unwatered slope looked like a field of corn, but all IGs...happily they are shallow rooted and amazingly easy to pull.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 3:25PM
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Yes CMK, N.langsdorfii it is. Love that plant !My back garden is a swamp all winter (except for this year !) and Purple Tails seemed to weather it ok.The basal foliage doesn't seem to die back all the way here; we have had many nights in the high 20's thus far. We do post a lot of pics over there on conversations, especially after our annual get-together.

E-mainiac, I love Color Guard, and I'm thinking of getting one and putting it in a pot this year .

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 10:47PM
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E-maniac, I was impressed by my first year "Pow Wows"...the only coneflower I had that even in its first year looked full and provided lots of simultaneous multiple blooms,

I purchased two Sweet Joannes based upon yours (and others) glowing recommendation earlier this fall. In fact I planted them in November....not sure if they will make it through the my fingers crossed.

My first thought when seeing your two thumbs up for that Yucca was too bad it wont 'work' in my hardiness zone but with some web surfing it appears that it is good to zone 4?!

I will definitely look for this plant this spring.

(Any pictures you can post of it from this past summer?)

    Bookmark   December 28, 2011 at 6:38AM
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franeli(z4 NH)

I grew 12 Echinacea 'pow wow berry' plants and loved both the colorful flowers and strong branching and healthy leaves. I hope they are winter hardy because I plan to move them to my driveway border for some eye popping color.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2011 at 7:52AM
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I agree franeli re your comments for "Pow Wow" ie lots of basal branching giving a dense, robust unlike many newer echinacea these days.

I will be very disappointed if my three do not survive this their first winter.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2011 at 12:39PM
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1)Astrantia 'Roma'...even though I have a bunch of Astrantias, this one is just so pretty...those lovely, rich pink blooms just get me every time!

Agastache 'Blue Blazes' - I have quite a few Agastache, but this one may be my's huge (mine topped 5' this year) and blooms for months with the most wonderful, rich purple spikes. This was it's first year...can't wait to see what it does next year!

Persicaria 'Lance Corporal' - I have so many Persiarias, and most of them are grown mostly for their flowers, but this one, which I grow for the foliage, is just amazing. It's leaves are the richest, brightest green you can imagine. Pair that with the rich burgundy chevrons and you have a winner. As a bonus, leaves turn rich gold in fall and remain on the plant in winter, gradually turning a warm burnt sienna color.

Knautia macedonica - Another workhorse. I usually don't like red in the garden, but this plant pumps on tiny button-like flowers of a rich ruby red. Bright enough to make an impact, small enough to avoid being overwhelming. In the background is Geranium 'Rozanne', absolutely THE Geranium to grow for long-season bloom.

There were quite a few others I was really impressed with:
Agastache 'Ava'
Agastache 'Desert Sunrise'
Agastache 'Purple Haze'
Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster'
Salvia verticillata 'Purple Rain'
Eupatorium 'Little Joe'
Miscanthus 'Malepartus'
Panicum 'Blood Brothers'
Panicum 'Shenandoah'
Pennisetum 'Red Head'
Pennisetum spatheolatum
Persicaria 'Golden Arrow'
Persicaria 'Inverleith'
Sedum 'Matrona'

A few disappointments:
Rheum palmatum tangiticum - as an above poster said, looked great until summer hit, then would wilt every day, dropping leaf after leaf...finally gave it away to someone else, hoping it will be happier elsewhere :-(

Ligularia 'The Rocket' - Wilted every day...will try to move it to more shade (or give it away) next year.

Artemisia 'Powis Castle' - I'm just tired of it collapsing by fall to look like a sad octopus, may just get rid of it next year.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Blog

    Bookmark   December 30, 2011 at 2:03PM
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Wonderful pictures scotty and lots of good detail. You have convinced me to try an astrantia this spring and I always thought my persicaria Painters Palette had the best foliage but 'Lance Corporal' is outstanding as well.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2011 at 4:13PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-scotty, my compliments to both you and your camera- those are some wonderful pictures! Is that Agastache 'Blue Blazes' a foeniculum type hyssop? I've grown some of the "western agastaches" like cana, aurantica, rupestris, etc, and haven't had as much luck keeping them alive in our wet/cold winters like foeniculum.

Great looking Persicaria. I too seem to have developed a collection of Persicarias, although I didn't even notice it until I went over my notes recently, lol!
Thanks for sharing ;-)

    Bookmark   December 31, 2011 at 11:15PM
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aquawise(zone 4 Utah)

I would have to say MY IRIS!

Here is a link that might be useful: Iris Gallery

    Bookmark   January 1, 2012 at 7:15PM
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I will try Blue Blazes this year Scott, if I can find it. I bought 2 Knautias this year (inspired by Denise) and planted one in the back and one in front ..the one in the back was of interest to the snails.Not expected ! This year I'll be prepared.en garde !

Kathy in Napa (ks)

    Bookmark   January 2, 2012 at 10:36PM
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Rouge: I hope you do try the Astrantia...they are so lovely!

christinmk: Thanks! 'Blue Blazes' is actually a cross between a western-type Agastache (Agastache 'Desert Sunrise') and Agastache foeniculum. It is super-vigorous and floriferous. It also roots extremely easily from cuttings. I guess I'll find out this spring how well they overwinter here in Portland! If you're ever in our neck of the woods, stop by and I'll give you a cutting or two ;-)

Dodgerdudette: I got mine online through High Country Gardens (really the BEST source for Agastache!). I didn't have trouble with the snails and slugs in my Knautia this year...they seemed more interested in my poor Monarda...little beasties!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2012 at 1:48PM
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scottie, I am glad I am not the only one to have persecaria Golden Arrow in their garden. Even it its first year with me it did so well ie the colour combination of bright light green leaves coupled with very dark pink bottle brush flowers is striking.

How old are your Golden Arrow plants?

    Bookmark   January 4, 2012 at 3:49PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-Scott, not sure when or if I will make it to Portland in the near future, but if I ever do I will certainly take you up on that generous offer! ;-)
I have actually spent the afternoon looking over a bit of your blog and albums. Very nice indeed! I particularly liked the spring & spring/summer shots with the sumac and other golden foliage plants paired with the Golden Jubilee agastache and bluebells. Like that gold/blue combo idea a lot- might have to try that! Thanks

    Bookmark   January 4, 2012 at 6:16PM
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coolplantsguy(z6 Ontario)

Nice thread folks. Some excellent photo as well. Here's my two cents worth.

Impressive, relatively new additions to my garden:

Echinacea 'Hot Papaya'
Geum Totally Tangerine
Hosta 'Liberty' (if you're going to plant only one...)

Still knocking my socks off:

Dicentra 'Goldheart'
Heuchera 'Beaujolais'

I was interested in the comments re Coreopsis 'Route 66' as I've heard/seen from others that it can be a mildew-magnet.

Anyway, I'm still waiting for winter to start. ;)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 12:19PM
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coolplantsguy, I look forward to seeing my 'Hot Papaya' grow well this summer (I planted a couple of them in late August). I also planted Geum Totally Tangerine in July and it has grown very healthy all summer and into fall but strangely enough not one single flower....better be some this summer.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 12:50PM
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My two favorites this year were Brunnera macrophylla (unimproved species, terrific blue flowers, long show, easy care, spreading to form drifts in my front beds), and Rudbeckia triloba (extremely floriferous and long in bloom, small but vivid flowers, amenable to cutting back to produce a shorter plant that needs less staking).

The Knautia macedonica photo is a beauty.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 8:59PM
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coolplantsguy(z6 Ontario)

K. macedonica is definitely underused.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 10:16PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Although still in my pot ghetto waiting to be planted out this iris really impressed me, the flower really is this color.

World Premiere


    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 5:33PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-Mark, interesting that so many had mildew issues with 'Route 66' Coreopsis. Didn�t have even a slight bit on mine, although that could be because I planted it in the hotter/drier part of summer. The real test will probably come in mid to later spring here, when a lot of things get mildewy. Totally agree that Knautia is underused in the garden. That reminds me I wanted to find that interesting variegated 'Thunder & Lighting' Knautia this year...

-Annette, what a spectacularly saturated true blue that is. Love it (and I am not the hugest Iris fan, so that has to tell you something!) ;-)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 11:34PM
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My favorite was an annual called "snow princess" alyssum. Planted it in March and it still had some blooms as of 3 weeks ago. Had it in a pot and it made a huge wonderful sweetly scented white mound 4 feet across and 18 inches tall. And that was with cutting it back 3 times! My mom's caregiver didn't think to water it the 2 weeks we were away in August so it had almost completely dried up by the time we got home. Cut it back and it came right back. I love this plant....and I rarely like white flowers!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2012 at 7:49PM
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ala8south wrote:

My favorite was an annual called "snow princess" alyssum. Planted it in March and it still had some blooms as of 3 weeks ago.

I agree completely and I think I posted similarly in the annuals subforum. Ours had healthy flowers into November in our zone 5 location.

Do we know if this particular alyssum will self seed?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 5:42AM
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scottyboipdx wrote: Rouge: I hope you do try the Astrantia...they are so lovely!.

I will plant a couple of 'your' Roma Scott but as well I recently ordered a variety of astrantia that I hadn't see till now i.e. 'Princess Sturdza'

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 4:48PM
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Seeing the photos & comments above, I'm really, really glad I winter sowed Knautia macedonica and got excellent germination. The seedlings are potted up in quart pots to get some size to them while I decide where to plant them. Hope to add that pretty astrantia to my 2013 winter sowing seed list. Out of 197 milk jugs, fewer than two dozen haven't sprouted, mostly trees, shrubs and perennials that typically take a long time to germinate. I'm gonna be one busy gardener in a few weeks finding homes for all my sprouts.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 5:53PM
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