What were your best successes for 2012?

Use this forum to discuss hardy perennials and bulbs. Full shade plants should go in the shade gardening forum.

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What were your best successes for 2012?

Postby Chris_W » Dec 18, 2012 12:42 am

From our newsletter: http://www.perennialnursery.com/newsletter1212.html

Take a Moment to Reminisce

As perennial gardens go dormant around most of the country it is a great time for all of us to reminisce about what did well this past year. With digital cameras it makes it even easier to recall how the garden looked, so check out those pictures from last summer to see what grew well for you. Reminiscing about last summer can be a big help for planning changes or additions to improve the garden for next year. Don't dwell on the problems, though, but instead enjoy the successes and work to expand on those.

Looking back at our own gardens we are always appreciative of how well the Sedum perform throughout the summer. Sedum 'Maestro' (PP#20094) looked particularly nice in our gardens last year. It is a blue leaf sport of Sedum 'Matrona' with soft pink flowers in late summer/fall. Compared to a lot of other Sedum plants, this one is very sturdy and is always standing upright. Sedum prefer lean conditions and do not like supplemental water, so they are one of the easiest perennials for the sunny garden, and we even stretch it a bit and plant some at the drier edges of the shade garden too.

Another terrific plant this past year were the hardy mums. Although they flowered almost a month later than normal they never skipped a beat after that and kept going until frost. 2012 was actually our best crop ever, so if you are worried about future droughts, give mums a try. We grow the music series of mums (Dendranthema 'Bolero', 'Harmony', 'Overture' (more in production for fall, 2013), 'Rhumba', and 'Samba') and have had great results with them for years. Due to our successful crop of mums for 2012 we are now increasing production of other varieties of hardy mums for the future and are evaluating a few hybrids of our own.

Other standouts in our sunny gardens were Coreopsis and Echinacea. Though the heat did cause many of the coneflowers to wilt, a quick cooling spray of water on those hot days helped to perk them up quickly. When it is really hot during the summer we use water to cool a lot of our plants but avoid drenching the soil to prevent root damage and other issues on those really hot days.

In the shade garden we were very happy with new crops of Holly fern (Cyrtomium fortunei) and Hart's Tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium). Both are carefree, drought tolerant, hardy ferns, and they really thrived this past summer. If you have a drier, shady garden, consider giving one or both of these a try.

Looking back at production for 2012 we were thrilled with our lily crop. This year we added a 2000 sq ft shade house to help with production and the lily crop responded beautifully to the new growing space. Lily bulbs like to get started during cool conditions and if they are too hot before the roots are developed then the stems will often be stunted and the flowers may not form well, if at all. In the past we simply didn't have enough space to grow such a large crop, and having a shady location to start the bulbs for nursery sales was a big advantage, especially with such a hot summer. If you ever start lily bulbs during the summer or during hot weather it is a good idea to start them in pots in the shade and then plant them out after they are well rooted or plant them in the fall. Keep them fairly moist up until they flower and then let them dry out after they are done blooming.

Because lilies do so well in part shade we added many bulbs to our display gardens this fall, replacing some Astilbe that just didn't hold up in the dry, part shade areas of our hosta gardens. Instead we will now have drifts of lilies at the edges of the shade gardens where we won't need to worry about watering as much as we did with the astilbe and moved the astilbe down into the shady areas near our wetlands.

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So as you reminisce about your gardens from this past year, what were some of your successes? What did really well for you in the sun and shade gardens? What are you planning for next year or looking forward to most? We'd love to hear from you :D

Thank you for sharing!

Chris
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What were your best successes for 2012?

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Re: What were your best successes for 2012?

Postby ogrefcf » Dec 19, 2012 12:53 pm

I'll have to dig up some pictures. My iris did really well this year. My creeping Jenny did also, but that's what a noxious weed does :lol: . My Sweet Autumn Clematis also did well, but most put it in the same category as the Creeping jenny though I love them both. My Hostas did really well, specifically my Blue Angels and Sum and Substance. I know for most that's an obvious answer, but being new and getting some size and fullness on my giants was really exciting.
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Re: What were your best successes for 2012?

Postby kHT » Dec 20, 2012 10:32 am

The hosta and lilies that weren't damaged by the hail did outstanding this year!
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Re: What were your best successes for 2012?

Postby Tigger » Dec 20, 2012 5:09 pm

It was a pretty good year for hostas; everybody was fat and happy after last year's wetness.

'Euphorbia amygdaloides var. Robbiae' really took off this year, which could be a good thing or a sign of the apocalypse.

Some of the heucheras and heucherellas were year-round performers. We're looking forward to what 'Big Top Bronze' will do next year.

Epimedium 'Spine Tingler' and 'Amber Queen' continue to impress us.

Sun-loving plants, like daylilies, didn't do as well in the mid-summer drought. But with fall, the tartarian aster put on a great show.

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Re: What were your best successes for 2012?

Postby oldcoot » Jan 08, 2013 7:48 pm

As usal, OC's Liliums were his prettiest flowers to bloom, also his several hosta. Daylilies did not go well,as we had a ton of dain and hail early in June and July...........My tulips and daffoddills did well too - For pictures check back in the individual :beer: :beer: :beer: :beer: flower sections. Coot
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Re: What were your best successes for 2012?

Postby GrannyNanny » Feb 09, 2013 9:49 pm

Since I was changing from a shade gardening to a mostly sun gardener (new house, fewer trees), I had to pretty much begin from scratch with developing enough sun plants to surround my house on its sunny sides. To that end I grew perennials from seed under lights in the basement. Coreopsis "Early Sunrise" grew like gangbusters; nearly every seed I sowed came up and produced a plant. They are a great front of the border plant, with pom pom like flowers about the size of marigolds, and they bloom all summer without stopping. Also grew Echinacea "Irish Eyes", and they did fantastically too. I had harvested seeds from my Solidago "Fireworks" and grew a lot of those, which really did produce fireworks in my sun garden. Alas, they are also bee magnets, so that the ones by the steps to the deck were so loaded with bees that I couldn't go near them --to weed or cut back other flowers-- lest I get stung. Those are moving to the sunny edge of the woods,
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Re: What were your best successes for 2012?

Postby KellieD » Feb 16, 2013 5:03 pm

My success for 2012 was anything that actually made it into the ground!
Every day a new adventure!
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