Our annual end-of-summer contest is here, come on down to the Dave's Garden County Fair!

Please give us your best first time perennials of 2012

(Zone 4b)

Now that it is December 2012 I am hoping it isn't too soon to start a thread that might be active to at least Christmas, getting us closer to spring 2013 regarding the best performing perennials which were new to your garden and so planted in 2012..

I will start:

SOLAR ECLIPSE heucherella;

I am not a big fan of heuchera and the like but the colours this SE were to me quite striking, quite unique


I have always liked the 'traditional' triloba but this bi-colour flowered plant was so cool. (I just wonder what the flower will be for the offspring).


This plant seems to correct the 'cons' of GOLDSTRUM. i.e. LG is quite compact and no blight or any other leaf issues as I had often got with Goldstrum. LG bloomed early and lasted very long.


I obtained the spindly specimen of a plant in early June and in the ground it went right away. It grew rapidly and by the end of June it had already begun to bloom and this continued into October. It's final size this season was a nicely proportioned 3' by 3'.

Okay now it is your turn!

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(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

For me, the biggest surprise was Platycodon Hakone Blue, started from seed in February. Labels got switched somehow, and I thought I was planting a low annual in with Veronica Goodness Grows. What a surprise when it started to bloom in late July, and kept going until frost.

Another new goodie was Achillea Ballerina. Here it was just planted, between alliums, white Saponaria and Salvia White Hills. It looks like baby's breath. The clumps expanded and filled in beautifully, and never stopped blooming.

Lots other newly transplanted and/ or divided plants from last fall or spring 2011
did well too, but of all the brand new things of 2012, these two stood out right away.


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(Zone 4b)

Thanks Pam for your post and pictures. I do have a clump of a 'Achillea Strawberry Seduction' in my garden that always impresses me with the duration of its bloom. But with your write up and corresponding photo I have now marked down 'Achillea Ballerina' as a plant to check out for my own garden next year as I would prefer my achillea be shorter.

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Here's one taken in the fall. I got them (3) from Bluestone, 4" pot, planted early-ish June. This clump was planted in a crack from 1-2" wide along the back of the slab.

This message was edited Dec 2, 2012 5:14 PM

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(Zone 4b)

That is your garden Pam?!?! That is breath taking...I am very envious. Well done.

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Thanks! As for all of us, a work in progress...

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

What a fun idea!

Best performers for me:

Pretty much all the heuchera, but in particular,

HEUCHERA LIMELIGHT - fantastic color that changes color throughout the season

HEUCHERA SOUTHERN COMFORT - makes a very pretty little mound

PURPLE OXALIS - very pretty pink flowers; still looking really good in December!

EUPHORBIA ASCOT RAINBOW - only planted about a month ago but I can tell it's going to be one of my favorites

CAREX ALL GOLD - currently my favorite grass

(Zone 4b)

Quote from ssgardener :
What a fun idea![/quote]

Thanks for contributing 'ssgardener'.

Quote from ssgardener :

PURPLE OXALIS - very pretty pink flowers; still looking really good in December!

A great looking plant but for me in my zone it would only work as an annual.

CAREX ALL GOLD - currently my favorite grass

I planted several clumps of Hakonechloa 'All Gold' this past summer and I think they will contribute much to some shady areas of my garden.

This message was edited Dec 4, 2012 6:34 AM

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Oh, I planted Hakonechloa aureola this year, too, but for now, I actually prefer Carex Evergold (I mis-labeled it in the other post). I might grow to like the Hakonechloa better, but it was just getting established this year and not contributing much to the garden yet. They're such slow growers!

I'll try to remember to take a pic of that carex. So pretty, and evergreen! Those pics online don't do it justice. ;)

Athens, PA


I have looked at 'Ballerina' a number of times. Is that something you put in as a plant or from seed?

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

I got the Ballerina this spring from Bluestone, 3 plants in 4" pots. It grew so well I'm looking forward to spreading it around some this spring.

Athens, PA


I would love to see photos of Ballerina next year.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I think mine was a plain old Blanket Flower , nice plant , bloomed all summer and fall , and it did not look bad either , Good solid flower! Besides I enjoyed it!!lol

Caldwell, NJ(Zone 6a)

New Zeeland Phlox, Coreopsis RT 66, B, ig yellow Daylily -name unknown,

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