Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Favorite 12

I walked around my garden, and pondered this question: which plants would I choose if I were to start from scratch and plan a new garden?  I truly believe that you can create a beautiful garden with only a few plants that do very well in your planting zone and area.

Sometimes we want something unusual in our gardens, but for someone planting a new garden, I would choose some trees, some evergreens, some deciduous shrubs, and some groundcovers, and repeat them throughout the garden.   These are my favorite 12:

Winchester Cathedral rose


Roses
You knew that one, didn't you? :)  Of course roses!  There are so many different types of roses, there is sure to be one that fits your garden.


Boxwood
It goes so well with so many other plants, or it can be a feature all on its own.  It can be left to grow naturally, trimmed, or shaped into a topiary.  It's versatile and evergreen.  I can't imagine my garden without it.


Hollies
I have to admit I just like the name ;), but I also love the holly berries that come in winter.  It makes a great tall hedge, and its sharp leaves are a good deterrent to trespassers, if that is a concern.



Pavonia


Pavonia
This shrub was picked up by me on a whim, but I've grown to love it.  Pavonia is such a reliable plant, blooming throughout our hot summers.  And that's not an easy thing to do!


Camellia 
Who doesn't love a plant that flowers in winter?


Iris
Many gardeners have an iris obsession, and I am beginning to understand it.  The more irises I have in my garden, the more I want!


Other bulbs (lilies, crocus, etc.)
Bulbs are another reliable addition to the garden.  I think they're like sprinkles on cupcakes - they add a little fun, excitement, and color.


Crab apple
Some don't like these trees, and I understand their faults, but when they bloom in spring, all is forgiven.  I can't imagine not seeing those beautiful spring blooms.



Crape Myrtle blooms


Crape Myrtle 
Most trees bloom in spring, but crape myrtles bloom in summer.  How nice to have another tree blooming just when you think the show's over.  Different types, different colors, different heights - there is a crape myrtle for every Southern garden.


Lambs ear
I've always loved this plant in the garden.  I love its smell, I love its looks, I love its soft, fuzzy leaves.  Supposedly lambs ear is a good plant for a children's garden, but I think it's just a good plant, period.


Catmint
What a gorgeous combination planting this makes with all different types of plants, but especially roses.  I fell in love with the combination of catmint and roses and had to buy more last year.  I will probably end up purchasing even more this year!



Even dried, the hydrangea is a sentimental favorite


Hydrangea
A sentimental favorite, I can not imagine planting a new garden and leaving these beauties out of it.


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But we all know that our favorite plants are not the same thing as our favorite flowers!  Of course, some are.  Just in case you were wondering, here are my 12 favorite flowers:

Cinco de Mayo rose


Roses - listed above

Camellias - listed above

Hydrangea - listed above

Bulbs were listed above, but I would specifically name as favorites the Crocus and the Lily.

Scabiosa


Scabiosa 
My scabiosa is still blooming!  It bloomed through most of January last year, too.  It attracts bees, plus it's a pretty purple that makes a beautiful companion plant to almost anything in the garden.


Blanketflower
The bees love, love, love these flowers!  They fight over the blooms.  These, too, are still blooming in my garden!


Gardenia
This plant attracts people.  I once was walking across the parking lot of a garden center and could smell a sweet, soft, lovely fragrance from across the lot.  I ran over to the plants, wanting to know which plant's fragrance was wafting through the air.  It was the gardenia.  Even perfumes try to copy its fragrance.


Asters


Asters
Just when the summer garden is dying down, asters spring up.  What a lovely way to end summer's glory.


Echinacea
A wonderful plant to attract butterflies!  I could not take a picture of my white 'Fragrant Angel' echinaceas without a butterfly in the picture, too.


Salvia
Spikes of purple make a great companion planting to just about any plant in the garden.

Water Lily


Water Lily
The most perfect plant in form has to be the water lily.  It could be described as seductive.  The moment I saw it, I was seduced by its beauty, and am thrilled each time it sends up one of its flawless blooms.

Diana of Elephant's Eye challenged us to name our 12 favorite plants.  She intended for us to name one each month, but my coffee was very strong this morning, so I decided to name my 12 all at once!

47 comments:

  1. HA! Your comment about strong coffee made me laugh. (just curious, which plants would you give up?) I don't know what I would save. Since I mostly have veggies in containers, I'd probably try to pick what was ripe and grab my hydrangea as well (also a sentimental favorite). What a fun post!

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    1. Ah - what plants would I give up? That sounds like a new future post!

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  2. Hi Holley, nice and interesting post. I am astonished that we both have a good deal of overlap in our favorite plants and flowers. Since most plants seem to grow well for me, too, that do well in your garden, except irises :-(, I feel inspired through your post to finally try out catmint and add some other varieties of salvia, to the 'Salvia Black & Blue' that I already have in my garden. I would love to get a white one for my White Bed. I also would like to plant some bulbs.
    Christina

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    1. I hope your new additions do as well for you as for me. I really do think you'll love catmint as much as I. It is just beautful under roses. I wonder why you can't grow irises - that's so sad! Happy planting on all your new plans!

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  3. Wow that is some list. There is nothing wrong with getting a 12 month job done in one posting. Leaves time to participate in all the other weekly and monthly posts.

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    1. And it also leaves the possibility open to name 12 more! hahaha

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  4. Looks like we both have a lot of the same favorites.I am just now adding more shrubs to my garden which I wish I had added a long time ago.That would be one thing I would change if I had to start over. Other than that more grasses but I love all of the plants I have added over the years so I would be in a panic starting over. LOL!

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    1. Yes, I would hate to start over again, too. Some beds I've pulled everything out and started all over from scratch, but I'm fairly happy with most now (well, except for the areas that aren't finished)!

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  5. I'm impressed that you could pick! Whenever I try to pick, I always think of something else, and then something else . . .

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    1. I know. I just closed my eyes at 12. You'll notice I had to name 12 plants and 12 flowers! That was my way of "cheating" and getting more in!

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  6. Wow, what can't be accomplished on a good, strong cup of coffee?? I'm with you on the catmint--even the fragrance as you're cutting it back in late winter is delightful.

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    1. haha - The world goes round on strong coffee! ;) I could imagine an entire bed of nothing but roses and catmint.

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  7. It would be very hard to name only twelve of my favorite plants and trees! You named some very nice ones! Have you ever received the Liebster Award? If not, stop by my blog and grab the button, for you are now a recipient of it. It is awarded to blogs with 200 followers or less. Blessings from Bama!

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    1. I have not received it before! Thank you!

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  8. I don't think I could narrow it down to just 12. I just did my NFG post today and it is an end of the year garden summery for the whole year. And what I found was I could not even pick favorites from each month to show. Decisions, decisions. I have favorites for certain conditions and many of your choices would make my list too. I see you too picked some that are favorites because they make it through your hot summers.

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    1. Making it through our hot summers is a must to get picked here. That's the harshest time of year for us. I suppose us gardeners love all flowers and plants, so naming our 'favorites' is not an easy thing to do!

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  9. Good choices! I would agree with you on most of them. Wish we could grow Gardenias here! Jealous!

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    1. I had a bed of gardenias under a tree once. It was gorgeous. Unfortunately, I decided to redo that bed, and have had a hard time finding the perfect spot for them ever since. But I still have them here and there. They are worth a little bit of trouble!

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  10. HI Holley, My childhood home had a big yard and my mother grew flowers --along with other bushes/shrubs/trees, etc... We had boxwoods in the yard and I loved them. We also had a crape myrtle tree, a crab apple tree --and a couple of dogwoods...

    My favorites are rhododendrons, azaleas, dogwoods, redbud, and my gorgeous Confederate Jasmin.

    My favorite flowers: Roses --by far, lilies, daylilies, irises, daffodils, tulips, crocus, hyacinths, etc. etc. etc.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    1. You are where the rhododendrons are magnificent! They won't grow down here - too hot for them I suppose. And I have trouble with azaleas and dogwoods, too - I think it has something to do with my particular soil, because everyone else around here grows them well. I knew your first favorite flower would be roses!

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  11. A gorgeous selection. I went a bit mad just before Christmas ordering seeds on-line and have picked up a couple you've mentioned: asters, echinacea and scabiosa. It will be interesting to see how they fare here.

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    1. Oh, I hope they do great for you! I've ordered some new flower seeds, too. I've never tried flowers from seed before - I'm anxious to see how they do!

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  12. Great selection of plants. I need to sit down and think about what I would choose out of my own gardens. Since I am doing that anyway by changing over to so many shrubs, but I have way more than that.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. It's hard to narrow it down when there are so many plants to choose from!

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  13. Holley you have so many of my favorites here...my best 12 are coming monthly...I need more coffee :) First one is up today...

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    1. I look forward to seeing your favorites! And I'll be interested to know which of ours are the same!

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  14. What an interesting post, Holley! Maybe, I should think about my own favorite plants. I have a question about Lamb's ear: do your plants get kind of moldy? I have this problem with mine.

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    1. Hmmm.... moldy....no, I'd have to say no, not moldy. They look bad occasionally in the summer if it's too dry and in the winter - I just rake away the old stuff. Mine do get a lot of sun, so maybe that's why they're not moldy. I'll be on the lookout for it, though!

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  15. Wow! I am learning about so many flowers and especially their blooming period. I want to plant flowers in such a way so that some are in bloom throughout the year.

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    1. I hope you achieve that goal. Most of these photos were taken late summer, but I do still have quite a few things blooming still. It's wonderful to go outside any time of the year and see something colorful. Good luck.

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  16. Many of your favorites are my favorites. I am particularly looking forward to those irises in spring. I keep adding varieties to the garden. Great list!

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    1. I am so wanting an 'iris walk'. We'll see if I actually achieve it! For some reason, irises have just stolen my heart this year.

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  17. Your water lily look like lotus. Beautiful!

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    1. Oh, my gosh! You should be my proofreader - it is a lotus! I had just been reading about water lilies and had them on my mind. Sorry about the mistake! :O

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    2. It happens :) No worry Holly! I grew up with lotus and water lily around me, and my mom still have lots lots of both of this gorgeous plants. Have a wonderful weekend!
      Cheers,
      dewi

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  18. I agree with you about catmint, it is a lovely groundcover. My cat loves it too, although he never does that crazy drunk thing other cats do... he just sits there and gobbles it down for a while, then moves on. It's amazing I have any left! My other faves that you have listed are camellias, hydrangeas, roses and lambs ears.

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    1. I've not noticed my cats acting differently around it, or eating it, either. I hope they don't start!

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  19. I recently had to go through this when we purchased our home two years ago. Starting a garden from scratch there were certain plants that I immediately knew I had to have in my new garden. A lilac shrub was my first purchase, followed by lady's mantle, hydrangeas, rudbeckia, and hostas. There are some plants that are like old friends, you just can't do without them.

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    1. I agree that we look for the plants that are familiar to us, and want them in our own gardens. They soothe us with their presence.

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  20. I really must plant some scabiosa! Your crepe myrtle blooms are beautiful. Ah, to have water lilies. I like your favorites.

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    1. Yes, get some scabiosa! I had no idea when I got my first that they would continue to bloom so late in the year! I've been so impressed with their late blooms!

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  21. Thank you for sharing this. We are just starting to plan for flowers at the farm/property we just bought last summer. Being in Texas, I'm always looking for things that work well for others. By the way, I found your blog, through bluestem who visits my blog (isn't that how all the fun blogs are always found? LOL) and I love what you've done. Can't wait to keep reading and catch up. You will be an inspiration to us as we plan our plantings!

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    1. I'm so glad you found my blog. Depending on where you are in Texas, you either have clay soil or sandy soil, acidic or alkaline! I have acidic clay. I hope you find just the right plants for your new garden. How fun to start from scratch!

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  22. This must be tough to narrow down your garden to a favourite few. Hmmm.... I wonder if I should give it a try!
    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yes, and I think we gardeners find a new favorite every year! I'd love to hear about your favorites, too.

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  23. I envy your Crepe Myrtle. Doesn't like my Zone 5 winters in Indiana. But, I enjoy it when I head south of the Mason Dixon. Love the blog, so many beautiful pictures and a ton of great resources. I'll be back!

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    1. Yes, but you have lilacs! How wonderful to be able to grow those! Thank you for your kind comment.

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