Today is all about favorites: perennials, annuals, shrubs, and trees. This is good to talk about now because the beginning of spring (doesn’t that sound wonderful? Never mind the driving rain going on outside…concentrate, concentrate…) is a good time to analyze what is and isn’t working in your garden and to find some great plants to add.
Make your plans now before it gets too busy and also to take advantage of any sales that you may find. It’s a much better deal if you get something you’ve been wanting.
I hope you will list your favorites in the comments or do a post and link up below, because I’d love to find some new great-performing plants to add to the garden this year.
I’m listing mine by season and am not listing a tree because I don’t have a favorite tree. Well, not one I can point to, anyway. I love pink flowering trees in the spring (really any and all varieties), and large shade trees in the summer, and would I be an Oregonian if I didn’t like the Douglas Firs that provide our year around greenery?
See? Can’t pick just one.
But my hands-down favorite winter blooming perennial is hellebore (also known as “Lenten rose” or “Christmas rose”). This picture was taken yesterday in my garden and this has been blooming for a month, slowly unfurling it’s sweet petals.
And yes, those are tiny weeds sprouting under the plant…time for some newspaper and mulch.
I also have this cream and pink/mauve colored hellebore that has been blooming about the same as the white one. Neither of these minded the snow and 20 degree temperatures we had a week and a half ago- they looked as good as they do now.
Oh- and notice that there are no weeds here? That’s because this side of the entry border got newspaper and mulch last summer and the other didn’t. The goal is once a year, but I always seem to run out of year before all the beds are done…
These are both planted on either side of the walk to the front door so I can feast on their blooms when very few other things are looking good (other than the crocus blooming now as well). Their leaves are a great backdrop in the spring and summer and they stay evergreen (sort of, I cut the last year’s leaves off when the new blooms start coming on) making them an all-around great plant.
It was hard to choose just one spring bloomer, I must admit. I love all the variety of spring. In the end I’m choosing hardy geranium…mostly because I could find a picture of it (where did all my pictures go?). But I really do love it- it fills in the garden nicely and many varieties bloom through summer as well (this one was still putting out blooms when I took this in October- whew!). I know “Rozanne” is one of the best, but I haven’t really found one I dislike…yet.
My favorite annual blooms in the summer- sunflowers just make me so happy. I can stick a handful haphazardly in a white jug and think it’s the most beautiful “arrangement” I’ve seen. How many things can you say that about?
The perennial/shrub I love in the summer has to be roses. No matter what people say, they do involve a lot of maintenance- if it’s not pruning, then it’s blackspot (every rose has blackspot in Oregon- every one that’s not sprayed with chemicals, that is…) or bugs eating holes in the leaves. After growing more than 30 roses on our small city lot, I swore I wouldn’t have more than four or five here…
I’m up to ten, but that’s it I tell you…no more!
Hmmm, that’s not quite a ringing endorsement, is it? Well, some things in life are worth some extra work and I’ve found roses is one of them. The smell, the colors, the way they fill a vase…little compares.
Love, love, love hydrangeas. In fact, when we moved here I thought of naming our house “Hydrangea House” like they do back East. But since we don’t live back east, everyone I mentioned it to thought it was the funniest thing they’d ever heard.
Not quite the reaction I was hoping for.
Seriously, though, not only do you get the huge blooms in all the glorious colors (and color changes!), but apparently, you also get some great photo opportunities with small, beautiful nieces. Bonus!
And lastly, my favorite evergreen shrub is boxwood. I have them everywhere and I want more, more, more. They just fill areas to perfection, never get nasty big, and take sun or shade or anything else I throw their way. I can prune them if I want, or let them grow naturally- and they provide the best cuttings for vase fillers, wreaths and Christmas greenery.
I wouldn’t have a garden without at least one of each of these plants. What are some plants you wouldn’t garden without?