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BONNIE'S GARDEN--Some Favorite Flowers

Last week I talked about my favorite veggies (at least for now).  This week, I thought I’d talk about my favorite flowers.  Let me state, categorically, however that I have never met a flower I didn’t like.  There are some, however, that I LOVE.  So, in no particular order, here they are:

Angelonia (Angelonia augustifolia) is a terrific annual with flowers in blue, lavender, pink, or white.  It’s heat and drought-tolerant, not generally bothered by pests, and, even though it looks delicate, it’s tough as nails.  It generally comes in two types—the Serena series (plants 12 to 15” tall) and Angelface (plants 18 to 24” tall.)  I’ve had this in my sunny dry front flower bed, as well as in pots on the side of the house where it only gets a half day of sun.

Mexican Heather (cuphea hyssopifolia).  Mexican Heather is not a true heather, but has that soft delicate look.  It has lacy bright green foliage that grows in a tidy compact shape and is topped with hundreds of rosy-lavender flowers all summer.

There are two morning glory relatives that I just love.  Moonflower (ipomoea alba) blooms with large 5 to 6” diameter flowers at night.  It’s beautifully fragrant and is a great addition to a moonlight garden.  I usually mix it with Cardinal Climber (ipomoea sloteri) which has lacy leaves and bright red trumpet shaped flowers which are hummingbird magnets.  This gives me some color during the day, too.  You can also mix Moonflowers with regular morning glories, if you like.  Both of these are vigorous climbers so give them something to trellis up.

Dahlias are tubers generally available in the spring.  I’ve grown dahlias for years and love that not only do they bloom all summer (providing I keep them head-headed) but the deer, which have found my yard in the past couple of years, don’t eat them!  Yay!  Deer-resistant, drought tolerant and bloom all summer!  Since I seem to change my color scheme from year to year, I also love that they come in almost every color—from delicate pinks and lavenders to brilliant purples, reds, and yellows.

Bee Balm (Monarda).  Bee Balm is a mint family member so it’s vigorous and deer-resistant.  It blooms for a fairly long period of time in early summer.  The flowers are attractive to butterflies, honeybees, and hummingbirds. I have this in pots which I place around my vegetable garden to help attract pollinators to my squash and cucumber plants.

Wow.  I just realized that there are so many others, I can’t possibly list them all!  I mean, how can I choose between columbines which are dainty and pretty and dragon-wing begonias which are sturdy and tolerate the shade I’m stuck with in much of my yard?  How I can leave out my sweet little hardy orchids (Bletilla) which are even now beginning to bloom in my perennial bed?  Can I forget the Virginia Bluebells and Blue Spiderwort which are right now blooming side-by-side in the shade on the side of my house?  Or the daffodils which have now finished blooming but brightened up the front of my yard?  Or the beautiful little hardy cyclamen which bloom every fall in the dry shade on the slope behind my house?

I would challenge you to try at least one new flower every year.  You’ll find one (or two or twenty) that thrives in your yard and makes you smile when you see it.  What more can you ask?
Posted: 4/25/2016 by Bonnie Pega | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: bonnies, flowers, garden
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