One plant that has really WOW'd you this year...

mcr1968August 13, 2010

Wanna share pictures of the one plant that has WOW'd you this year?

Here's mine:

Doesn't look like much does it? I'm not sure what the name of this one is, but this is what I've seen along my driveway for the past 5 years. Didn't get very big at all. (This was a picture from today). This past spring I dug it up, (well, I thought I dug it all up, but as you can see from the above picture, it's back), I divided it, and I relocated it to the back of the house.

Here is what they look like now. They have more than tripled in size:

Getting ready to bloom:

And here's the grand finale':

We've lived here for 5 years and this hosta has never bloomed. This was definitely a WOW moment for me!

So, what's yours?

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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

This Echinacea 'Hot Papaya', a new purchase this year it's a beauty.

I cut the flowers off to beef up the plant hopefully it will winter well.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 2:02PM
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the new hot papaya was great! i hope it will winter over better than the coconut lime coneflower. and i just enjoyed the butterfly bushes they over did themselves and the reward was ALL the butterflys and hummingbirds to boot!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 5:25PM
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Annette, that hot papaya is beautiful! mamasllamas: do you have a pic. of the coconut lime coneflower? I'd love to see it...

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 6:01PM
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I was wow'd by the large number of fruit that a WARREN pear produced this year. It went from one or two pears in past years to about half a bushel.

There are racoons that climb it every night and help themselves. That wow'd me also.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 7:12PM
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I would have to say Geranium 'Rozanne'. I bought 3 plants this spring and they have been blooming since May and show no signs of slowing down. They are now about 3' wide and haven't gone all spindly or open in the center...great, great plants.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 8:40PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I think I am wowed that I still have living plants after a summer of half the usual amount of rain. [g] We've only had 10 inches of rain since April and that is just about desert conditions. I don't even want to think about the water bills. But despite the challenging conditions, Julia Child rose that was started bare root in a large pot in the spring, has been carefree, wasn't bothered by the heat and kept putting out blooms all season. I have kept it watered, but lots of other plants that were watered have responded poorly to the constant heat, so I did notice that this one didn't.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 12:17PM
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New plants:

Agastache 'Cotton Candy' started blooming in April. Planted as tiny trial plugs from Terra Nova in September 09. It hasn't stopped blooming and I've tried different pinching and deadheading techniques on the four plants and no matter what, It just blooms and the foliage looks great. Stands up to our triple-digit summer heat and humidity.

Old plants:

My Agastache 'Salmon & Pink' is also fabulous again this year, though it is midsummer when it really shines and lasts until frost.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 2:32PM
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My bleeding hearts of wowed me...I planted them this spring and they are still green and growing. Bizarre, but beautiful!!!!

Also, my phlox...I transplanted them for more room and they turned into monsters.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 5:36PM
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My Mountain Laurel bloomed this year with a gazillion pale pink flowers. I couldn't believe my eyes it was so pretty. This photo was taken before it was all in bloom but you can see where it was headed. Gorgeous.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 6:55PM
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mcr1968, it looks like your hosta is the species H. plantaginea or one of its progeny, like Royal Standard. It is the only hosta with a magnificent blossom scent. You must smell it close up and you will swoon. This hosta can take much more sun than most.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 8:27PM
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and sunshine is what makes it bloom.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 8:29PM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

My elderberry bush was gorgeous and the scent was divine. Never knew it could be so ornamental. Now it's making berries. What a perfect large shrub!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 8:59PM
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My limelight hydrangea which I had just planted this spring, and has been in a big heat wave with steady 100/80 temps and very little rain, it looks great!
Also perennial hibiscus (h. moscheutos?), red, with leaves that are pointy and look like marijuana. Anyway, I have moved them several times over the years. This year they just took off and grew big and are blooming great. Also with very little water and in this intense heat.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 10:57PM
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buddyrose: That Mountain Laurel is beautiful! Do you have any more pics of your patio area? We are still in the "planning stages" for our patio and your picture looks similar to what I've been trying to explain to my hubby.

pat: Thanks for identifying my hosta. I was so excited when it bloomed that I didn't even think to smell it to see if it had a scent. I think there's another bloom getting ready to open so I will definitely check it out today. Right now, it's in a location that gets maybe 2 hours (or less) of filtered afternoon sun. Maybe I should move one of them and see if it does even better in the sun?

louisianagal: I've heard alot of people say good things about their limelight hydrangeas. Maybe I should check into getting one.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 5:20AM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Mcr, that is a great hosta. I love when it comes into bloom and the scent wafts around. Plus it blooms later than the other hostas which is nice.

Buddyrose, your mountain laurel is spectacular. It's one of my favorite shrubs because the buds and blooms lasts for quite a long time. Have you heard about their blooming cycle? I read on the shrub forum that mountain laurel tend to bloom heavily every other year. I have noticed this with mine.

Gottagarden, which elderberry do you have? I have the native Sambucus canadensis and I've never noticed a smell to the flowers. My black lace has been weak and I think I got one flower this year and I didn't smell it. Do you have to stick your nose into the flowers for the smell or is it really strong like sweet autumn clematis where you can smell it from all over?

PM2, I'm with you. It's amazing anything has survived this crazy hot, dry summer in NE. I have been wanting to try Julia Child rose. Do you ever have problems with black spot on this one?

Louisianagal, I read that h. moscheutos blooms earlier than other hardy hibiscus and blooms into the fall. Does it really bloom for a few months?

I was wow'd this year by the caladium I planted this spring. Somehow I never expect much from the bulbs when I'm planting them (and I always have a hard time with up or down on these bulbs). This year they have just taken off and are huge and beautiful in a shady area.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 8:33AM
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Thyme, I didn't write anything about my h. moscheutos in my journal until this week. It has been blooming maybe 2 wks now. I will have to see how long it goes.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 10:50AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-mcr, I also agree about that "August Lily" hosta! Such an amazing scent. I have two plants, but only one is blooming. Can't imagine why the other one isn't, perhaps the late frost we had stunted it? Hummm...

There were quite a few things that 'Wow'd' me this year. Hard to pick just one.
But I really loved the Allium schubertii. The seedheads are so cool, and last forever it seems.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 12:36PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

No particular standouts so far, although I am becoming more intrigued by the hyacinth bean vine. It's a beauty and not even in bloom yet. Janie graciously shared seeds last year. I had really poor germination, but the one that made it is making up for the others.

Making a note to try some Agastache next year. Thanks Cameron!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 1:18PM
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xantippe(8 Portland OR)

I am strictly a perennial girl, but this year on a whim, I bought 6 tricolor geraniums to mix in with the perennials in pots by the front door. I am stunned at how tough (and pretty) the geraniums are. They are thriving in inferno conditions with little water. I think I'm in love!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 2:31PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

mcr, that is some large flower on your hosta. I've had Guacamole that also has a large flower that is very fragrant that I like. Such a nice bonus.

Annette, let us know how your echinacea does next season. I'm always interested to hear how of any new cultivars that are vigorous and hardy.

soxxx are the racoons leaving you any pears? [g] Wish I had a suggestion to keep them from eating them.

Cameron, I bought Agastache 'Orange Flare' and Agastache 'Ava' from High Country this summer and I'm impressed with both of them so far. Just have my fingers crossed that they will come back after the winter. If they do, I may be looking for that 'Cotton Candy' next year.

Nice patio, buddyrose! I love that rock edge!

gottagarden, I'm also wondering which Elderberry you have. I had both Sambucus 'Black Beauty' and 'Sutherland Gold', neither of which worked out for me.

We just bought a 'Pink Diamond' Hydrangea that is still in the pot on the patio waiting for a little cooler weather to get the area ready where it is going. It is performing great on the patio. Two weeks of bloom and the bees are still all over it. Limelight has a lot of admirers.

thyme2, No, I haven't had any sign of black spot on Julia Child this summer. I do use an overhead sprinkler in that area fairly regularly too. It has shiny fairly thick leaves. It also was not as interesting to the bugs this year as others in the garden were. My only complaint was that it wasn't as fragrant as I read that it was. I would say only mildly fragrant.

I tried Caladium for the first time this year too and it was a very pleasing addition to a shade container. I was surprised how well it's grown. I had a new variety that is very light colored called 'Miss Muffet'. I would get this one again.

christinmk, that is some Allium Flower head!

Geraniums do have that reputation for performing in the heat. We don't usually have this hot and dry a summer. It gets harder to figure out what you're going to have from one season to the next.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 5:26PM
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Most of my new plants are doing well but there are a few I'm extremely pleased with and I will buy/propagate more of them.

New perennials this year that are a WOW are 'Walker's Low' catmint which blooms continuously, and 'Limelight' hydrangea which despite a poor start in a too sunny location is now doing *very* well and showing itself to be a winner.

An annual that is impressive is the PW's "Pretty Much Picasso' petunia which is a unique color and great spreader. Definitely a repeat for me.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 5:37PM
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I just came back in from smelling the blooms on my hosta and OMG!! I love it! It kind of reminds me of honeysuckle or gardenia or a sweet perfume. Can't quite put my finger on it but I've smelled something similar somewhere. The neighbors are going to think I'm crazy, but I'm going back out to smell them again (for the 5th

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 7:42PM
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mcr, prairiemoon, Hosta Guacamole is one of h. plantaginea's progeny and has nearly the same scent, as does Royal Standard. You are lucky to have a plantaginea (which is an actual species) as they are hard to come by for most people. An oldie but goodie, as they say. Or as I say, not man-made.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 10:14PM
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I planted these bulbs, from Van Bourgondien, last fall and was amazed at how productive they were their first year.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lovely Girl Lily

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 4:34AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Pat and mcr, I think you are right that the plantaginea is hard to come by because I was looking for it at one point. I didn't realize Guacamole was related. I've tried to find seed on mine for three years but there have been none for some reason. mcr, I wonder if you will have seed from yours?

sprout, that is a very pretty lily! Is it fragrant?

luckygal, I have Walker's Low and mine hasn't bloomed more than a month. I cut it back expecting a rebloom but the rebloom was so minimal, it's almost all foliage. Did you cut yours back?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 5:50AM
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lily51(OH 5)

There were several plants that wowed me this year and no doubt due to all the moisture we have had.

The butterfly bush, which has been replaced several times and has never done too great, is a monster this year. It stands far above 5 foot fence with abundant blooms.

The purple opal, purple ruffles and spicy globe basil, which are in a diamond pattern, are the largest i've ever seen.

And a new plant this year was 'fireworks" globe amaranth. Outstanding. Makes a wonderful solid row of continual blooms.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 6:07AM
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Sprout: Your lovely girl lily is so pretty.

Prairiemoon: I'm not sure if it will have seeds or not. Out of the four plants I have, only two have bloomed. If they do produce seeds, I'd be more than happy to share them with anyone that wants them as long as someone tells me how/when to collect

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 11:09AM
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mcr, you will find out all you want to know about hosta seeds on the Hosta Forum here at Garden Web. There are some real experts there. You could even search "plantaginea" if you wanted to learn more about that. Or go to Hosta Library on the web and search also. One person on the Hosta Forum who has some great old plantagineas is "Ken Adrian" and he is also a breeder, I think. But do your searches also. Be careful, you might get hooked on that Forum. I did several years ago.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 11:36AM
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Serena Purple Angelonia
- is a beautiful, dainty snapdragon, 12-18 inch plant. It has bloomed non-stop through the summer drought and high temps. And it is just so pretty! I wish I had bought several more of them. Hope Linda has them next year.
I may try to root some stems to winter them over. I just love it and hate to loose it this winter!

Here it is behind Rosa, Mirandy.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 4:57AM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

What a great thread! I think i am really in love with the great blue lobelia i bought, it has grown so much and the inky blue blooms are so pretty. I hope it spreads! I also love my limelight, but i decided its the best hydrangea in my garden hands down. Such a pretty backdrop. And i bought some kinda purple agastche that i lost the tag for that has taken off as well. I really am happy with my garden this year!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 10:13AM
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I want to see more pictures in this thread!

This isn't anything great, but for me it really is because I'm a novice Rose grower. This is a step up from the Knock Outs.

Easy Does It Floribunda. It's growing like crazy, even in this heat.

First year, it's grown about two feet. The multi-colored peach is beautiful.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 10:48AM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Annie, someone on Gardenbuddies was talking about how well Angelonia had done for her this year. I've noticed quite a few plantings around town, so obviously it loves the heat and humidity. It's on my list for next year. I love the color you have!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 2:11PM
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CMK - that's a really big WOW. I have alliums but not schubertii. I think I will order one this year.

the WOW flower for me is the verbena bonariensis. I had tried for years to grow them and finally succeeded this year.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 7:15PM
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sprout_wi(z4 WI)

Prairiemoon - "Lovely Girl" Lily is VERY fragrant. It smells like spicy gumdrops!!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 10:33PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Lamb's Ear. I had never tried it before, and it makes a perfect filler here. It mellowed my clashing colors too. Love Lamb's Ear.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 12:59AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

sprout, I'm going to have to put that Lily on my list. Very pretty AND fragrant, great! Thanks

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 7:01AM
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Yay! I had three more blooms this morning, so I just had to share! Here's pics of 2 of them:

I am still being WOW'd by these hostas!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 10:14AM
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Just gorgeous hostas!
I've never seen such huge blooms on Hostas before.
They look remarkably like white doves. Beautiful!


    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 10:11AM
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crinum lily and 4 oclocks. I know alot of folks don't like 4 oclocks but mine got to be 6 feet tall this year and the smell is heavenly.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 7:24PM
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Thanks Annie! The blooms are quite large and the fragrance is awesome! I hope I get to see these bloom for many more years to come. This is one plant I would highly recommend to everyone.

dsg: I also like 4 o'clocks. Do you have a picture of yours? I'd love to see them.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 11:08PM
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I just cut everything back some but I'll see what I can do in the area of pictures. August is the month when it starts to look like a jungle out side. I even had a problem with poison ivy. something I haden't had to battle in the 33 years we've been here. The four o clocks can be a little invasive, but I pull them up as the seeds sprout and don't have to big of a problem. some of the bulbs/roots are as big as my fist. they were pass along plants from the house I grew up in. In fact most of my favorite plants were pass alongs. Gardeners are such sharing people. Well it's getting late. Eyes are droopy. Have a great evening.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 11:33PM
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This really is a great thread. I am taking notes on those amazing 'Papaya' echinacea and the agastache. :) I have had great luck this year with angelonia the same way - tough not prone to disease and blooms forever plus one plant got snapped off in a storm and 2 weeks later it was full and fresh and performing again.

My neighbor gave me a hosta just like these pics that was from her mother's garden - she called them August Lilies andf they do give those gorgeous flowers and lovely fragrance.

My contribution are my cactus zinnias. I have posted on them before but this morning as I wandered around I snapped a couple more pics. What a show!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 8:40AM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Cindy, beautiful shots! Is that fog in the background? Is it cool there?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 11:52AM
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It is fog in the background but it is not cool. We did get just a little bit cooler and we thank gawd had well over an inch of rain, but I was just out there working and it very warm and muggy again. I figure we have about 3 more weeks and then it generally really does break for fall.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 1:33PM
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cziga(Zone 5 -Toronto)

I don't have photos yet, but I have to say that I am falling even further in love with the tall garden phlox. I never had any, but started collecting some varieties several years ago. This past month here has been wet, rainy, humid and overcast ... most plants are pouting from too much water and too little sun ... but the phlox is a garden star. All varieties are blooming, staying upright (even in the strong wind and thunderstorms, when other plants fall over), and look really beautiful. They are saving my garden right now!


So far, I have the varieties: "David", unknown pink, unknown purple, "Franz Schubert", "Nikki", "Laura", "Delilah", "Watermelon Punch", "Sherbert Cocktail". And I'm definitely going to be looking for more next Spring!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 5:40PM
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cindy: those cactus zinnias are gorgeous! As is the rest of your garden! Yet another flower to add to my list :) Thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 7:38PM
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I swore off annuals forever because I'm getting too old to plant and take care for them. Then you have to go and show those cactus zinnias. OMGosh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why, of why, do I keep coming back to this forum?!!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 8:40PM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

mcr1968... thanks your posting about the fragrant hosta, i was able to pick up a guacamole hosta, and wow is the scent fabulous!! I wonder if itll perfume the garden or if i need to crawl in the garden to smell it! lol

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 10:04AM
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A couple of years ago I planted three hellebores I ordered from Annie's Annuals from the series named for virtues -- 'Courage', 'Optimism', 'Integrity' and 'Sympathy'. Well ,the dogs just tore through that area over and over. I put a couple of stakes in the ground to encourage them to veer to the side. Eventually two of the plants slowly recovered.

This year they were simply gorgeous. The foliage is wonderful and the dried flower heads are still lingering on the plants. The tags were pulled out so I don't know which varieties survived. The only tag I found was 'Courage', but that is supposed to be dark red. None of the flowers were dark red, so I suspect that one didn't survive the onslaught. Best of all, the cursed evil gophers leave the strictly alone. And they can survive life under the redwoods. There aren't many plants I can say that about.

I know when I'm on to a good thing. I have just ordered four more hellebores, two low growing 'Pink Marble', and one each of the larger 'Silver Lace' and 'Metallic Blue Lady'. I have a couple more on my wish list, 'Red Lady' and 'Peppermint Ice'.

Plants that gophers don't eat: Hallelujah!


    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 9:32PM
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I have quite a few roses -- all pink, my favorite. I know some of you have said this hot year wasn't good for roses, but mine thrived. Most of mine are hearty, non-fussy varieties. And they have all had amazing second flushes, so much better than hte last years. The blooms were over more quickly, tho... can't have it all. In the beginning of May -- normal time for planting bare roots here in northern CT, I planted a Grus en Aachen I got from Wayside Gardens. It leafed quickly and then began pumping out flowers -- amazing. I always loved this rose because it supposedly does well in shadier circumstances than other kinds. I counted about 30 buds on a new shoot yesterday. Truly remarkable. When I am better at posting photos I will show some of these perfect blooms. I wanted to mention that this amazingly floriferous rose came from Wayside Gardens, a company that I see has been having financial difficulties. There are so many bad -- I mean Horrible -- reviews of Wayside lately on other complaint sites that I felt I should give some credit where credit is due. It saddens me terribly, as most of the plants in my gardens are from either Bluestone or Wayside. These have always been my go-to places. As it has become more difficult for independent nurseries to compete with the big box stores, I feel it is important to continue buying from all different sources. So I can only say I wish them well.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 10:01PM
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