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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aka_margo(z5a WI)

I love monkey flowers so I bought a ton in spring and they looked awesome....until it got hot, even in the shade they eventually just died out.

I also love coneflowers, but have to say I am kinda disappointed in the sunset/sundown ones. They tend to get eaten real easy by bugs, and they just aren't as pretty as I thought they would be. I do LOVE the razzamatazz and vintage wine coneflowers!! I also think the sunrise and hope are nice too.

I planted blue flax and red flax, and would definately stick to the red next year...it flowers much better. Also purchased a Mexican Flame Vine, it was supposed to be a fast grower however I'll be lucky to see flowers by snow. I also have the profusion zinnia...white, pink, and orange and LOVE 'em. Planted tons of four o'clocks and love the color, but by the time they bloom here (which is way after 4 o'clock) it's too dark to see them.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 1:18PM
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Shined: Petunias, bouncing back after underwatering, overwatering, and hailstorm, still going strong. Marigolds, although just starting to flower, I know they will last quite a while.

Sucked: Most of what I winter sowed(except for petunias); nasturtiums- slow growing, then devoured by flea beetles; calendula- never survived hailstorm; morning glory- slow start, devoured by grasshoppers; cosmos- still waiting for it to bloom; bachelor buttons- started spindly, pooped out in the heat, etc, etc.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 1:41PM
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sandlady(z4 WI)

Shined: Lavender, winter sown poppies (just kept coming all summer) sedum all varieties. Weeds.

Sucked: Everything in vegetable garden! In 20 + years of gardening I've never experienced such conditions. A never ending onslaught of bugs. I usually fill my chest freezer and then give veggies away. This year I'm happy to get veggies for a meal. The only thing I've managed to stock in freezer so far are bush beans, and only a small portion of what I usually do. Insects annihilated most plants, (have a new puppy and was reluctant to spray chemicals) heat and draught took most of what the insects left.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 10:20AM
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tufameister(z4 WI)

Shined: Blue Butterfly Delphiniums, all lilies (asiatic, trumpet, orienpet, daylilies), Mondarda. I mostly have perennials and I noticed that everything in my gardens seemed really tall this year.

Sucked: Carol Mackie Daphne took a beating this summer, some of the tall phlox (too hot and dry, too lazy to keep watered), and I was disappointed with the double wave petunias I got. In the past I always got the single ones and I think they bloom much better.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 8:51AM
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putzer(z4 WI)

Shined: Datura 'Evening Fragrance' - showstopper in the evening, Nicotiana 'Heaven Scent' - will never be without this! WSed from seed trade. My Cosmos are over five feet tall and beautiful. Shastas were great as well, although they had a shorter bloom time this year. Knockout Roses are having a great year. Amsonia and Sundrops were beautiful as well!

Sucked: Rugosa roses were wonderful in spring; however, they are hideous now. Dahlias are so-so, but that's because I divided them last year and am thinking I was a little overzealous. Phlox and Monarda were beautiful for a short time until powdery mildew took over. Weigela was way too big and overpowered everything.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 12:49AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

So far this thread is mostly about flowers; let me chime in with vegetables.

Almost everything got in late this year, because of late May / early June rains. That being said...

Sucked: Squash & gourds, many of which were killed early by swarms of cucumber beetles & squash bugs. Cucumbers, watermelons, and the squash that survived were only saved through daily inspection & spraying with soapy water (it kills squash bugs). Rabbits were in great numbers this year, and severely damaged my young soybeans, until I thinned the herd.

Semi-sucked: Eggplant & pole beans, which were _very_ slow to start this year, but are now producing well.

Shined: Okra (!!) and cowpeas, which thrived on all the heat. West India Gherkins producing huge numbers of small, very tasty "cukes". An Asian green, "water spinach" that is a cut-and-come-again... and just keeps coming.

I grow mostly heirlooms, and some were real standouts:
Tomato "Elfin" - zillions of grape-type tomatoes, very early.
Pole bean "Champagne" - one of only 2 pole beans (the other follows) to set pods in the heat; 9" long romano-type, very tasty, in large numbers.
Pole bean "Czechoslovakian" - purple romano-type, pods in large numbers, even grown in pots!!
Soybean "St. Ita" - the first this year for edamame, harvested yesterday.
Cowpea "MN 157" - very early, 8" pods are purple-black when ripe, true bush habit.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 6:52PM
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My garden kind of sucks. Tomatoes look awful but I do have lot's of them getting ripe. Giant pumkins-all gone but one to those awful bores. 4 zuks-gone to those bores-I actually have nightmares about the worms. Cucumbers-barely produced enough for me to eat. Early petite heirloom beans were wonderful but only produced for a few meals. Pole beans-very bad but they are flowering again. Peppers are kind of producing. Garlic was GREAT!!!!!Lettuce and arugula was good except those aphids like the arugula. Herbs were OK but my basil looks not so great. During the summer, we usually never go out to eat because we have so much fresh stuff to eat. Needless to say, we've eaten out more.

My hollyhocks were wonderful this summer until storms knocked them over. Many of my hostas look good. My climbing rose bushes look sucky-I wish I had never planted them since now I really know that I don't want to grow roses

    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 5:30PM
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led_zep_rules(5 WI)

Shined: Onions: They did very well all over the place, I have enough for all winter I think. Tomatoes: started several from seed, some very interesting varieties in many colors and shapes, and got 4 Early Girls plants, and indeed have had ripe tomatoes at the end of July, we have been eating many tomato salads. Arugula: did well and was very tasty, never grew it before. Batchelor buttons: were so plump when they came up I didn't recognize them. Cucumber: Several varieties, but just one plant (National Pickling) gave me lots of fruits to go with my tomatoes, although it looks awful, half yellow, something is eating it or ? Marigolds: Are looking fabulous, some huge plants, mine are bi/tri-color and pretty nice although in general I don't actually like marigolds much. Morning glories: Lovely crop this year, and for a change have an enormous Granpa Ott color (bluish-purple with fuchsia stripes) growing by itself, so I can collect just that color separately. Sunflowers: just happy to be growing them again, got a good variety in the seed swap.

Mediocre: Gladiolas: Always lovely, but they are such a pain to plant and unplant I am not that thrilled with them. Dahlias, planted them for the first time, spend most of my time waiting for them to bloom, have one nice bloom so far. Garlic: I guess mine would get bigger if I pulled the seed heads off, but they look so cool I leave them on!

Sucked: Lettuce: much of my seed didn't germinate, all that came up was green stuff. The flax and purple coneflower seeds I bought on ebay and sowed last fall have done nothing much, although I have a few spindly flax plants with no flowers. Cannas: Don't know why I plant them, this is my second year and I still don't know what color flowers they should have since they never bloom! Beets: always eaten by something. Kohlrabi: my fault, they are in the shade of the enormous batchelor buttons.

I am going to tell my in-laws to stop giving me plants to plant and unplant every year (the cannas and dahlias came from them, I get the glads at Menards free or cheap.)

Probably more to report but I am up too late like always.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 1:50AM
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