What are you GLAD you planted?

sugar_magnolia(z6 Hamilton, NJ)October 24, 2005

Well, since the "what do you wish you'd never planted" post seemed so popular, I thought I try and see what people really liked that they planted in their garden and why.

I really enjoy the Spanish lavender that I planted this Spring. The fragrance was wonderful and I could smell it blowing in the air. Although Home Depot sold the plants as perrenials, I am told by folks on the forum that it will not survive the winter here in zone 6. How sad. So next year I will try the hardier French lavender.

I also love the caladiums I planted. My doggie died this summer :-( and we planted "Angels Wings" and "Heart of Jesus" near his grave. They are beautiful. Again, Home Depot sold the plants as perrenials, I am told by folks on the forum that it will not survive the winter here in zone 6. This makes me really sad. I'll try to cover them with mulch in hopes of them surviving.

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Loretta NJ Z6

Don't caladiums have tubers? You can probably let the frost kill the tops and then dig them up and store them like dahlias. Its worth a try.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 10:58PM
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pepperhead212(6b / S Jersey)

Besides the usual things I plant every year I have found a few 'keepers' this year, something I can't say every year One is fuzzy/wax melon, an oriental squash, the "small" variety of which I grew has gotten up to 18 lbs, produced over 12 on just two plants (with many more out there, of different sizes), got no diseased or squash vine borer, is storing well, and cooks well in anything I have cooked it in, staying firm and absorbing flavors incredibly well. Another good squash, Seminole Pumpkin, has produced well also, tastes great, and is also resistant to all squash diseases and bugs. Lastly, Chinese red noodle bean - a long bean, maroon in color, growing to over 20" on average, doesn't need picking frequently, as some beans do, produced early, and kept producing until late in the season, unlike other long beans, which turn hollow and tough after a brief time. The only new tomato of the season worth mentioning was a black cherry, really more of an egg tomato, which had a fantastic flavor, produced early and large amounts, but fell to a blight, which killed all plants, while no other variety was affected. May try again, maybe in a pot, away from other plants.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 12:27AM
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Mina Lobata. I've tried for years to grow it from seed, but it either died or didn't start blooming until the day before the first frost! In June, I purchased a small plant at a local nursery. It thrived in full, hot sun with daily watering, and minimal fertilizing. It started blooming in July, and to this day, it's still in bloom. My 'regular' hummers didn't spend much time visiting it, but the few migrators LOVED it. As many pictures as I've taken, they simply can't do the plant itself justice.

Sugar Magnolia: Home Depot tends to sell alot of plants marked as "Perennials" that AREN'T perennial in our zone. I've complained about this many times, but I've been scolded here on GW for not knowing my plants well enough to know what will survive and what won't. For the most part, I can tell, but once in a while, I take for granted that they're marked properly. And, that I should carry a gardening book with me (uh-I don't think so), considering one might not be available in HD (which it isn't). But, I've had this problem in the past with a local nursery as well. The logic is that the seller gets the plants from somewhere down south, where it's hardy. But, I'm not excusing HD; their tags say they're hardy in Zone 6, when, after researching, it turns out they're not. Of course I couldn't find my receipts (which I purposely kept) to return the 7 out of 9 that DIDN'T return :(

I've vowed to never purchase plants from HD again. I'd rather go locally, even though it seems a few nurseries seem to be staffing with less than knowledgable people lately.

Whew; sorry for rambling!!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 3:51PM
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njtea(NJ Z6)

Giant blue lobelia - moved a wild-growing plant over to the garden - it is so beautiful in the late summer.

Northern sea oats - I can't get enough of the seed heads - for some reason I find them fascinating.

Any agastache from High Country Gardens that will grow in Zone 6 - what a beautiful variety of colors they have!

Oh, for annuals, dragon wing begonias - what a super fantastic plant! I did nothing for it this summer other than water once or twice and it's still producing wonderful blossoms. Today I took a cutting to root for inside during the winter.

Oak leaf hydrangea

Bottle brush buckeye

I could go on and on - most of the time I love everything I've planted - even if at sometimes I complain bitterly that this or that is too happy here and has reproduced too much, i.e., cardinal flower and joe-pye weed.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 5:59PM
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jerseygirl07603 z6NJ

I just planted some Baptisia. I've been hearing wonderful things about it and can't wait for the spring to see how it looks.
I'm in love with a broom that I've had for a few years. Lovely fragrance, delicate blossoms and not a bit invasive like many report.
Also very happy with some variegated Liriope edging the front garden. Other new things I like are Russian sage and Dutch iris.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 6:10PM
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bogturtle(SE NJ 7a)

There are many perennials I am glad I planted, but all of the shrubs I put in for Winter color make me happy at the dullest part of the year. And they are getting better and better. Nandinas,Zenobia,Corylopsis,Hamamelis are just some.
After a while, a garden becomes established, and the plants, sometimes pricey for a person with family to raise, finally become extensive, when only one was purchased. This is true now of the Japanese Painted Ferns, European Ginger and the Epimediums.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 8:00PM
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wardw(z6 NJ)

Yes, plants are expensive. When it comes to perennials it's best to admire friends plants. Many of my favorites came free from other peoples gardens. Given time, as mention above, some of those plants have spread. Besides, no landscape is complete without annuals. Among gingers and tiarella there is always room for impaciens. This year I tried the Fusion impacien called Glow - yellow with an orange center. It has been incredible, the best impacien I've even seen. They'll die down soon, and once again the hardy woodland perennials will have center stage.

I have been wanting corylopsis for quite sometime, bogturle. There's a hill at Longwood Gardens with dozens of well grown examples; especially fine was one named for the gardens.

Mostly this year has been dedicated to growing hummingbird plants, salvias mostly. Some of the outstanding ones were: Indigo Spires, coccinea Lady in Red and Coral Nymph, microphyla San Carlos Festival and Wild Watermelon, uliginosa, red greggii, guarantica Black & Blue and Argentina Skies, greggiiXmicrophyla Raspberry Delight and Raspberry Royal, Mexican Bush Sage, pineapple sage, and Purple Majesty, among others. The hummers were everywhere, so the plan worked from their point of view. And the nice thing about salvias is you can make as many as you want by cuttings.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 3:47PM
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Out of any perennial I've ever planted the one that I'm most happy about is hosta. Hostas have turned into an obsession and a collection for me. Have hundreds of different varieties and plan to add more and more, I simply can't stop. Many years ago I used to think they were boring and mundane, never realizing there were so many kinds, not just the "green one or the green and white one", lol.
The other plant I'm most glad about is coleus. I love the different fascinating colors and patterns. I grow lots of different named ones outdoors and take cuttings to grow inside over winter.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 9:58AM
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Perennial Cyclamen
Unusual ferns (too brain dead to remember names!)
Perennial Hibiscus
fall blooming crocuses
Rhodie Nathan B. Forrest (bright orange if I can keep the squirrels away)
Hostas - esp. Fair Maiden, Stain Glass, Fried Bananas, minis, etc... They look nice all season, and need little care.
Clumping bamboo

    Bookmark   November 4, 2005 at 8:44AM
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rhodie_chick(z7 NY)

vinca-deer don't eat it; poppies, dephinium,catmint, forget menot,batchelor's button, gerard azalea, herbs (deer hate them) tomatoes although the vermin ate them not us, morning glories-late summer they defie the buck that was eating the buds by frowing higher than he could reach.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 10:50AM
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Keria Japonica,Wegelia,Rose of Sharon,Butterfly bush,Crape mirtle, Magnolia Dwarf,Miscantus Sinensis ornamental Grass,Echinacea,Oswego tea,Carolina Allspice,Brugmansia,in that order

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 9:48PM
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