I often over-analyze things; however, in this case, I found that the blooms that are the most profuse in my garden generally rose to the top of my list, followed by flashy plants that put on a limited show. Then, once I ruled out plants that I'd previously listed as favorites this year, plants that are new and haven't yet proven their value, and plants that are only just starting their bloom cycle, I was able to settle on my top 10.
Agapanthus was an easy choice. It's blooming en masse this month.
|The plants and their flowers are often dismissed as common here because you see them everywhere but that's because they're tough, attractive in and out of bloom, and fairly drought resistant|
|These 2 large masses consisting of multiple clumps of Agapanthus are located in my front garden. There are similar masses in other areas of the front and back gardens.|
|All my Agapanthus came with the garden, although I've dug up, divided and moved some clumps over the course of our time here. This group sits under the mimosa tree in the back garden.|
Arthropodium cirratum (aka Renga Lily) is also blooming in spots throughout my garden.
|This is a plant I introduced in this garden. I purchased 3 plants by mail order from Annie's Annuals & Perennials our first year here and I've divided them several times already. I've spread them throughout the garden. They bloom best when given morning sun and afternoon shade.|
Another profuse bloomer is Crassula pubescens ssp radicans.
|This Crassula with its tiny yellow flowers is another one I've spread throughout my garden but the flowers show up best against the larger agaves in this area|
My choice of Cuphea 'Vermillionaire' surprised me a bit but, after doing little or nothing last year, it's come into its own this summer.
|It looks best when backlit. Between the Cuphea and the Grevillea 'Superb' (right) the hummingbirds are in heaven here.|
|I've used 'Arizona Sun' in a number of areas as it nicely echoes the reds, oranges and yellows in many of my beds|
|This clump is in the front garden. Even though this photo was taken at dusk, 'Arizona Sun' still shines.|
Gaura lindheimeri also has a long bloom period. In addition, its delicate bloom stalks blow in the wind, adding movement in the garden.
|Gaura is admittedly a rampant self-seeder but, if you're watchful, you can pull up the seedlings easily when they're small|
Perhaps you noticed the flowers of Hemerocallis 'Spanish Harlem' in the photo of the Gaura above. That photo was taken in the late afternoon after a day of intense sun and the flowers look more washed out that they appeared earlier in the day.
|'Spanish Harlem' was one of the first daylilies I introduced to this garden. It's flowered well this year despite our pitifully low winter rainfall. It also hasn't had the rust issues I've noticed in prior years.|
|No one can claim that this bloom looks washed out!|
Leucanthemum x superbum (aka Shasta Daisies) are common in gardens all across the country but I love the ruffled form that grows in my garden. A friend gifted me with 6 plants in 4-inch pots following my mother's death in 2013. They come back more strongly every year.
|If the plants came with a tag identifying the cultivar, I've no record of it. This mass of blooms is in my back garden.|
|And this is one of several in my front garden|
My next choice, Polygala, almost didn't make the cut for this list because it doesn't photograph well, or, more accurately, I never managed to capture it well. Still, I notice it every time I walk through both the front and back gardens so it deserves a place on the list.
|This is a smaller variety, Polygala fruticosa 'Petite Butterfly'. It's self-seeded a bit in my front garden.|
|This taller variety is Polygala myrtifolia 'Mariposa'. The flowers are identical to those of 'Petite Butterfly'. Only the plant's mature size seems to be different. These in the back garden get more sun and the foliage tends to yellow a bit.|
My last selection, Salvia clevelandii 'Winnifred Gilman', also didn't show up especially well in its photos but its flowers are a bright blue so I'll forgive it just about anything.
|This Salvia has been in the ground just 2 years and it's still well shy of its projected mature size|
That's my top 10 list of blooms. What's on yours? To see others, visit Chloris at The Blooming Garden.
All material © 2012-2018 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party