High 53 F
Low 28.8 F
On November 23rd Jodi over at Bloomingwriter posted on her top garden performers leading with the envied, coveted and impossible to grow, at least here, Himalayan Blue Poppy! Her first shot of that poppy is mouthwatering! Since she did post on her best of '07 I thought it would be a good time to re-cap my favorites of this past season. I can't lead with a blue poppy however and in looking at my photos, the top performers are the tried and true with nothing exotic in the mix. They are still beautiful though and since they are so easy to grow perhaps some fledgling gardener will find some success with one of them so, here goes.
Starting with the early bloomers, Dicentra spectabilis or common bleeding heart grows to great proportions in my garden and even reseeds freely. They don't really die back either and their foliage is quite interesting. I have both the white and the pink and also the Dicentra eximia or fringed bleeding heart which blooms all summer and is a wonderful shade plant.
Peonies! Peonies grow well here and although I did have powdery mildew on the foliage, the flowers were well past and it made the plant look rather 'ghostly'. Here is a picture with a perennial geranium which is a great combination. Speaking of geraniums, they are on this list as easy growers. I love 'Johnson's blue', 'Rozanne' and macrorrhizum and all do quite well, coming back vigorously every year as perennials are supposed to do but often don't! The one above is Geranium pratense 'Midnight Reiter'.
Hostas also do well in my garden as long as I can keep the deer away from them. Every once in a while I miss with the spray! The Sum and Substance leaves are huge and the colors on the other cultivars are serenely beautiful. Hostas do grow well in dry shade and they are pretty hard to kill! I have seen vole damage in a friends' garden. Voles like to eat the roots but I haven't had the problem in my garden...yet!
I can go on but one last perennial I don't like to be without is delphinium. I love delphiniums for their variety of blues and their great height. They are not long lived in the garden as they prefer a cooler summer than mine but they are worth re-planting every year or two. I will start seeds next year. I used to start the seeds in July and put the plants in a holding bed for the winter. Often they would bloom very late in September that first year. They don't mind coolness but really cold temperatures force them into dormancy. So, what is coveted in your garden?