Like most gardeners I tried lots of new plants this spring and summer, most I was quite happy with. I thought I'd share some of my new favorite flowers from this past summer in this post. I highly recommend them all after seeing how well they did in my Zone 8 garden. Not fussy and not much required other than a bit of water now and then.
For annuals a few new favorites are:
Lantana 'Honey Blush'. I will be planting lots more Lantana next year. I'd read about them and wondered if they were as great as people said. I say, "Yes, they are great!"
Cleome 'Rose Queen'. To be honest I did plant them last year, but in a place where they had no sun or space, so my fault they didn't have a chance. This year they are in full sun with room to grow and they have gotten huge! Over 5 feet tall and branching in all different directions with these pretty flowers. They do have some prickles on the stems, but if they are in the middle of the border you'll never notice.
Zinnia 'Apricot Blush' was started from seed. I told the story earlier of the Littlest Gardener dumping the seeds into her water table, so I picked up the table and poured it into the nearest flower bed and this beauty sprouted. It's flowers get quite big, about 4" or 5" across when they are fully opened. 'Green Envy' was another great Zinnia, easy to start from seed and a very pretty color.
A few favorite perennials which I can only say how well they did this summer and will update in the spring to say if they survived winter. They were tough and easy and are all still blooming like crazy:
Diascia 'Coral Canyon'. It was a tiny plant when I bought it and has filled and looks great draping over the front of a full sun part of the garden.
Echinacea 'Tiki Torch' is a taller variety and looks great mixed in with other Echinaceas and Salvias. That orange flower really catches your eye without being too bright.
Variegated Erysimum or Wallflower. I planted this early spring and it hasn't stopped blooming since. It is in full sun at the front of the butterfly garden. The purple flowers change into a rusty color as they age.
A new favorite shrub:
Hydrangea 'Endless Summer' has been blooming for the last couple of months. It came with a couple of flowers on it, and since has produced at least 5 or 6 more on this small shrub. I have it planted near the Dogwood tree and it gets a good amount of shade. My sister that lives just up the road from here planted one last summer and it survived the winter fine and has bloomed all summer for her.
I haven't bought much in the way of garden gear or tools, although I'm thinking some type of knife would be helpful with the dividing of perennials I've started doing. But we did need something very important here:
The Littlest Gardener completely wore out her Hello Kitty rain boots. I really didn't know it was possible to wear them out in the driest summer in a very long time, but they did. She luckily was able to find a new pair of Hello Kitty rain boots to wear while helping in the garden.
I'd love to hear some of your new favorites from this summer.