26 August 2009

Hits and Misses

Every year I try a few new plants. Or, more usually, not a few, but an excessive orgy of new plants and around this time of year I start planning my fall planting season and deciding what to rip out, what to keep, and what to plant lots and lots more of.
Here are my hits and misses of the year:

Hit of the year: Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus)
These are spectacular! I grew them from seed (they have big seeds, quick germination and were super easy) started indoors when I did my tomatoes and they have looked stellar all season. The huge silvery jagged leaves seem to look great with everything, especially the dark foliage plants I love. Even my mother-in-law, who is generally skeptical of anything more unusual than roses, lilies, and snapdragons, loves it! We'll see if it overwinters. References I've seen call it hardy to zone 7, but a friend reports it being a fairly reliable perennial in zone 6. I'm hoping it makes it here in zone 5! Regardless, I'll be growing a lot more from seed next year.

Miss of the year: xPardancanda 'Sangria'
I love the idea of this plant -- it is a crazy hybrid between two different genera (Pardanopsis and Belamcanda) and images of the flowers show a drool-inducing sophisticated mix of purple and gold. Though the flowers really are the color you see in the picture, sadly they are tiny, last only a day, and hardly show up in the garden. I'm obsessive about checking out what is going on in the garden, walking through multiple times a day to see what's growing and it had been flowering for days before I even noticed. I might keep one around back in my nursery bed to see if it improves with age, but the rest are headed to the compost pile.

What were your hits and misses for the summer?

1 comment:

tina said...

Hmmm, good question. Hits maybe 'Miss Huff' lantana in the front garden and 'Jack Frost' brunnera. Misses, well, I really hate to go there but since you asked, lithora! I've tried it two times now and both times it perished-very quickly. Not enough sweetness in my soil I guess. I'd sure love to grow cardoon.