My garden is filled with remnants from my iris phase. I started with bearded irises, a demanding mistress. To remain vigorous, they need divided too often. The bloom period was short and the blooms were almost too showy. I lost interest in these demanding floozies, when I planted their well-behaved, refined cousin with attractive foliage, the Siberian iris. I have very tall dark purple, Butter & Sugar (yellow and white) and Steve (light blue). I then added a mix of Japanese iris and finally wild iris (blue flags and yellow flags) around the pond. These iris still give me great pleasure, but I can no longer label them "My Favorite Plant."
Another phase was old roses. It started with transplanting Harison's Gold from an abandoned farmstead. You can tell from the picture of the yellow roses that it thrived in my garden. Then I ordered several old roses, charmed by their history: Empress Josephine, Apothecary and several others whose names I have lost. Moving on, I then planted about five types of David Austin roses, striving for the fragrance and form of the old roses but with repeat blooms. The last roses I planted were blushing Knock-Outs, not an old rose but still a nice addition to the garden.Empress JosephineBlushing Knock Out
When I first moved here, my favorite plants were wildflowers, thanks to my meadow and woods. These are still some of my favorite flowers. I'm amazed at the color combinations and the health of these plants.
Black-Eyed Susans and Asclepias tuberosaCommon Milkweed - look at the intricate detail and they are so fragrant
I'm just finishing a container phase. I enjoy designing these "mini-gardens" because it was easy to experiment with plant combinations and colors. And then you combine the containers for a larger display. Next year I will still have some containers, but with 3 acres to plant and the watering demands of containers, I think I will scale back.
Created for Master Gardener talk
Over the years, I've flirted with dianthus and still have three species and several cultivars in the garden. I'm still in love with Lady's Mantle. The foliage is so attractive and the chartreuse flowers fill in bouquets so nicely. Another favorite is columbine. And I could go on and on!
Dianthus "Essex Witch"
I'm in the middle of a sedum phase. Do you know how many sedums there are and how different they look? The blooms are unusual, usually red (from light pink to almost black) or yellow. The foliage is attractive from early spring to late fall, with a wide variation in color (light and dark green, red, dark purple) and form (trailers to upright). Planted together, they form a tapestry of color and shape. Perhaps I will get a picture of these next summer.
I'm just entering a tricyrtis or toad lily phase. I have three varieties and and longing for more as I peruse the garden catalogues.
So with this long post, I think I have sufficiently supported my thesis: I am too fickle to have a favorite plant. This reminds me of a Robert Louis Stevenson poem I learned in my youth, which I have found to be true these many years (and I added another year today...Happy Birthday Earth Girl).
The world is so full of a number of things,
I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings.