Occasionally, I forget that everybody has something to sell. Garden magazines, while pretty to look at, tend to exaggerate. They stick in potted plants to fill out an empty spot before the picture is taken. What you see is a photo enhanced version.
Same with the individual plant write-ups. For example, so much lauding went on over Stella D’Oro Lilies – how they light up a bed and bloom all summer into fall and up to frost. Guess what? They don’t. Not in my garden although they looked lovely in early summer. I don’t like the way the foliage turns brown no matter how much water I give them. Hell, you have to be pruning off the dead stuff every day in order for them to look half decent. Sure, after the spring flush of blossoms, you get the odd one here and there during the warm months and now that it’s cooler, we get more but so what? Well, I’m not a lily fan, in any case.
Same goes for Giant White Fleeceflower. It really should be planted at the back of the yard since they are big and look awesome when they bloom, which is mid summer but they don’t bloom non-stop. Hell, it even won Best Large Perennial of 1998 or thereabouts. I have three of them. Well, as long as they get enough water, the leaves don’t shrivel and die but they need lots of water, I’ve found.
I also have another Fleeceflower called Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Firetail’ that I’ve never seen written up. It has red bottle-brush-like spikes and is turning into one of my favorites. It also gets nice and bushy. Another plant I like is Tiger Eye Sumac. Hopefully it will reach seven feet or so. I love the foliage and it is so lush looking. In fact, I really like sumac and I transplanted one from the back of the property into the heart-shaped bed. I hope it takes so that next year it will have grown tall and add fall interest to that bed.
Also, a plant they didn’t lie about too much is Bloomerang, the reblooming lilac. It does rebloom and is doing so as we speak. It is supposed to keep its blossoms till frost, so we’ll see if that’s true.
It looks like the Speckled Willows are a success, although I don’t want to talk too soon. Oh, there are others so I shouldn’t be so negative. All I’m saying is, everybody is trying to sell something and you have to try it yourself to see what works in your garden. Amen.