My 2009 “Proven Winners”

verbena_peachIt seems that every year, we discover a plant that performs exceedingly well, no matter what the conditions may be, and this year, my #1 Proven Winner would definitely be this peach verbena, above.  Though we’ve had two weekends of tropical storm force winds and pelting rain, this wonderful little plant continues to bloom and set out new buds.  It required nothing more all summer than an occasional deadheading and douse of fertilizer.  I love the way the blooms open in a bright, lobster orange and gradually fade to a softer peach.  I’d use this lovely again, for certain.

verbena_rainThis “blue” (more purple than blue) verbena was also a sure performer.

celosiaAnother plant I’d definitely use again that was new to me in containers was this celosia.  Again, steady blooms that asked for little attention — and I do love those jewel-bright colours!   The celosia worked well in this tin container, but I believe would be stunning as a border plant in a larger bed.

Finally, the last of my summer favourites for this year are the outstanding Calibrachoa — another plant I’d never used in containers before.  They are star performers and are still happily blooming, in spite of what Mother Nature has thrown at them.  Pretty in pink…

cali_pinkand red…

cali_redand blue…

cali_blue

Are there plants I used that I didn’t like?  You betcha!  And some have already gone the way of the compost, as much as I loathe to destroy anything that’s growing well.

I adore impatiens, and on a balcony that is in half shade all day, they are well suited to my containers.  But this year, for whatever reason, I chose an extreme white and a pale, blush pink.  While they grew well — perhaps too well — I came to despise their gangly, washed-out blooms and so………off to the compost they went a couple of weeks ago!  (Off with their heads!) Another plant I wouldn’t use in containers again, though I very much like their foliage in a garden bed, is coleus.  The colour I planted was a traditional “Granny” pink and green and while very pretty, they just didn’t grow on me…no pun intended.

What were some of your “proven winners” this year?

While the playful chorus of birdsong seems to have been replaced by the rhythmic chirp of crickets, one can surely FEEL the difference in the days now.  Though I love the autumn, it’s such a melancholy time of year for me.  School starts this week here in Nova Scotia, and the laughter of kids at play will, like the sleepy drone of  lawn mowers, eventually fade into the distance.  Earth will begin to yawn in preparation for her long sleep.  But there is much work to be done before her rest, and I do look forward to those flame-coloured days ahead.

viburnumViburnum berries, red already!

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7 thoughts on “My 2009 “Proven Winners”

  1. I am so glad your verbena did well this summer. My red St. George will not be coming back to my garden. All of them mildewed and were a mess. I have never had this problem with verbena before this one.
    My purple Calibrachoa has been marvelous this summer and is still going where last year the red I had had been spent by the last of July. Your red one looks so pretty. I have never tried celosia, but I love the hot pink one.

  2. Love your peach verbena, Nancy! Talk about a winner! And I could see it with all your calibrachoas, and with chartreuse sweet potato vine, too! Thanks for sharing and inspiring!

  3. Just beautiful! They all look so healthy :)

    Happy Gardening,

    Tessa

    Given the lousy weather we had for much of the summer, yes, I think they’ve done very well. :)

  4. I think the peach verbena is fabulous! I haven’t seen that color version. And the Calibrachoas are incredibly hardy (being perennial in their native habitat, they actually come back in our milder climate, and thrive with total neglect).

    Enjoy the last bit of summer,
    Cheers,’
    Lisa

    The weather we’ve been having — and should continue to have for the next week — has been the very nicest we’ve had all summer. The air is clear and cool with just a hint of breeze and warm, steady sun. Perfect, in my books. :)

  5. Hi Nancy,
    I don’t know how it happened, but a couple of people got the wrong date for my surgery. It’s tomorrow. I wish it was over. thanks for your concern and prayers.
    Balisha

    Oh dear, and here I was hoping the surgery would be behind you by now. Ah well, one more day. I’ll be thinking of you and checking for updates. :)

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