what shined and what sucked this year?

lee53011(5)August 18, 2006

I would say that I was most dissapointed in my datura purple this year. It was my first time growing it and it is very large and impressive, but the flowers look kind of muddy. And it wilts in a heartbeat. Also some of the canna bulbs I planted didn't come up so left a big hole. Also my caladiums I planted under a limbed up pine are first sprouting now!

Of the vines I planted, the purple hyacinth bean would be the best. The black eyed susan vine and the cardinal vine are just too wispy for what I intended.

On the good side I found some new favorites. Melampodium is awesome! Continuous flowers, withstands blazing sun with no water and never wilts. Also zinnia profusion orange is a constant blooming, self cleaning, easy to grow plant. And purple majesty millet paired with the yellow melampodium just couldn't be beat. Also working great would be agastache, butterfly bush, nicotiana, calendula, and white datura. All these were grown from seed very easily.

So what did you think did great or sucked? Looking for new ideas for next year. With the thousands of different plants out there I'm sure someone else has found some new favorites for me to try!


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My Hibiscus were fantastic this year! I don't know the formal name for the differant colors. The only name I can give them is "glorious"! I was upset to see that the Moon Flower seeds I planted never peeked through. I love Moon Flowers and would have loved to had them wafting through the air.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 10:22AM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

Clematis Triternata 'Rubromarginata' was my favorite plant this year. (it should be, as this was the third attempt I have made at getting one established).

My Tomatoes have been disappointing, between the stingy fruit set and the squirrels I've barely had any at all.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 2:29PM
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well my nikko blue hydrangia bloomed (finally) this year--
it was a stick 5 years ago that a friend told me would root and grow in no time. It was pink-- obviously it isn't in the right place.

my honeycomb buddelia is going great guns as are all my new roses.

torch lilies came back which was a surprise-- i din't expect them to winter over.

diappointed in the yellow and orange coneflowers that i bought. the yellow is very washed out. the orange only had to blooms (the cat sleeping on top of it might be the problem)

the hardy hibiscus that i see around town this year really
makes me want to join the crowd. they have been outstanding in bloom.

for the second year in a row i've been disappointed by my wave petunias-- they just don't grow (for that matter i don't do well with regular petunias as well). I planted
deep purple petunias, with dusty miller and white lobilia,
and lycorus squamias. Thought that in mid/late august
it would be a waving sight of purple & white, backed by grey under the trumpets of pink.
no such luck.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 4:04PM
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My tomatoes sucked this year. This is my first attemp at container tomatoes and by the time I figured it all out the season is almost over, but it's finally producing.

My peppers were small but there were many.

My purple coneflowers that I planted in the spring are flowering now, but my shasta daisy's that I planted the same time are not even attempting to flower. They are in full sun and the soil is ammended.Mabey next year I'll see crazy daisy's.

This is my first year as a gardener so I am working on expanding my perenial collection. I ordered many many seeds. YIPPEEE!


    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 9:36PM
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Gave up on grass in my front yard last year and bermed the center, which is my sunniest spot (still part shade). Planted coneflower, phlox and monarda behind the berm to "peek out", shrub roses on the sunny spots and a mix of shade lovers at the front--wow! for a first year garden it was spectacular.

After toting 500# of filler, soil and compost (not to mention the large rocks) in one day last summer to make the berm, I guess I must have decided that I was done gardening for the year--and my back yard looks it.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 7:16PM
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the wave purple petunia in full sun in planters did great, the same plants in the ground were awful-so it must be the worm castings and constant watering. But the 'blue" wave petunia where it has a soaker hose did awful, but it has a bit more shade. the merigolds in newly ammended soil did wonderful without watering, but the other 30' row of them are awful--need to improve that soil this fall.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 7:57AM
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merrygardens(z5 MI)

This is my first growing season here in Western Michigan, and I've grown some new plants (for me). I'm thrilled with my corn and tomatoes (pretty much gave up on them in Z8 west coast!) Melampodium is a revelation for me, too; thanks for the suggestion of pairing with millet--I'll remember that for next year! Learned lots this year that will help me with my second season. I learned that expensive deer fencing does indeed keep deer out, but not whatever chewed up peas, beans, many other things.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 9:01AM
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Another good plant to pair with Purple millet is lime green nicotiana. The contrast is quite striking.

Just click on the picture to enlarge.

The melampodium is all around the bed with the exception of the ends which have the lime green nicotiana. The purple millet is in the middle. I had received alot of seeds in trade, so tried many different varieties. Thsi was definitely an experimental year!!


    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 9:19PM
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Missy, Traverse City, Mi Z5

My roses were excellent the first flush this year, which was about two weeks early. They were average the 2nd bloom and are again doing wonderfully now in August. As usual, my Betty Boop rose has been blooming non-stop since early June.
My dahlias are also doing great this year. Last year they were terrible but this year they are making up for it. Actually, almost everything is doing great this year, which is no small feat considering the hot, dry weather. My water bill will probably knock my socks off.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 10:38PM
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karenforroses(z5 NorthernMI)

Like trustmissy, my roses were wonderful this spring. They're putting on a nice fall flush right now. A late spring freeze here in Northwest Michigan cut back on some of our apple, cherry and peach fruit production (although some of our trees have bigger fruit since there's less to mature.) In the vegetable garden, the peppers stayed very small but the tomatoes, peas, squash, beans, and radishes were really nice. The cool spring resulted in long bloom periods for my bulbs (tulips, etc.). The Kousa dogwood was really stunning this year, but the Star magnolia got hit by frost.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2006 at 12:49PM
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This was my first full year in my new garden and I had a great season with quite a few. The star must have been my 12-14 ft Castor bean with giant leaves and showy flower/seedpods on three levels. The heliotrope also did wonderfully with giant flowerheads that lasted until this last frost killed them. I have also experimented with some vines in pots including passiflora (reg blue vine) that I would love to save as its covered a trellis completely. (has anyone tried to overwinter one in a pot??)My perrenials were too young to really give a great show but I have high hopes for next year. My tomatoes actually did rather well, but I'm in Southern Ontario so maybe I got lucky..lol

As for my dissapointments, my clematis - all 5 big flowering types but I think the earwigs ate them. Must think of a nasty plot to over throw them next year :)

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 8:56PM
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carterobrien(5, Chicago)

"well my nikko blue hydrangia bloomed (finally) this year--
it was a stick 5 years ago that a friend told me would root and grow in no time. It was pink-- obviously it isn't in the right place."

If you hit it every month or two with a dose of Miracid (or whatever the acid-loving plant Miracle grow product is) you'll get the blue, we have the same issue with our Endless Summer hydrangia.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 4:29PM
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getting cancer this fall and its following operation sucks. Can't gather neighor's bags of leaves or finish cleaning up the yard. Just making a bigger list for more chores for spring. Before the operation, I did improve the soil in 2 major annual flower beds and have an extra yard of manure stockpiled to use next spring. the crabapples trees are loaded with fruit, they add nice color on drab cloudy days.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 9:28AM
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edspegel(z5 Mi)

my vegtable garden sucked but the heavenly blue was the best ever.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 8:18AM
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Tomatoes were incredible, especially one plant of a beefsteak variety called Homestead. All the tomatoes did well, but this one plant must have produced 50 pounds of tomatoes on its own. It completely engulfed its tomato cage, the foliage was dense, the main stem looked more like the trunk of a small tree, and the yield was amazing.

The beans did great - I grew turtle beans and yard-long beans, the latter of which grew on an arbor along with a single heavenly blue morning glory, which started setting buds quite late but then bloomed profusely and made a stunning display.

Zinnias, sunflowers, marigolds, gazanias, dahlias, glads, cannas, callas - everything in the main flower garden was spectacular. This was the second year of a garden at my sister and brother-in-law's new house. The soil is dense clay beneath a thin layer of topsoil. The flower garden looked pathetic last year, but I amended it with 800 lbs. of peat moss, cow manure, and topsoil and spent 5 hours tilling it. This year it was great.

We got more tomatillos (volunteers) than we knew what to do with. Squash and canteloupe did great.

Failures were a lavender, a fern, festuca, caladiums, and coleus that I planted in a shady spot next to the deck, which lies beneath a roof overhang. Insufficient water, lousy soil, etc. I've got to rethink what to do with that spot.

Lots of Spring bulbs died in the mushy ground due to the warm winter last year ... I imagine they rotted.

My sister picked the radishes too late and they were nasty, bitter, and woody. Bunnies ate the cauliflower plants. One peony croaked.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 10:58AM
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