long blooming flowers

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I was talking with a few people about flowers that bloom spring ,summer fall.There does not seem to be many for most of us from central to northern climates. When my Coreopsis has now been knocked out of bloom, drought and heat being extreme the cause of that mostly.I am rather missing one more that has bloomed consistantly over the past few years.Gaillardia Grandiflora and a Chrysanthemum that blooms long and some out of season being mostly my others.
Any ideas or discussion ? What are some of your favorites?

Hobart, IN

You could try cutting back your Coreposis and it might rebloom once the weather gets cooler. One of my old faves is Chrysanthemum parthenium 'Aureum' although I think the genus name has been changed since I first acquired the seeds years ago. It does reseed, blooms in partial shade and really brightens things up with it's chartreuse foliage. It blooms almost as long as Coreopsis (I have 'Moonbeam').

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I love platycodon grandiflorus. I grow it in three colors but the blue is really strong. It breaks dormancy later but blooms and blooms if you deadhead it, and it doesn't need staking.

Feverfew tetra strain. A perennial that blooms almost constantly if you deadhead it. It tends to spread but you can just pull it out, and it doesn't have a deep root system. It's an incredibly sparkiling and refreshing plant.

Salvia nemerosa Rose Queen. If deadheaded, it too blooms repeatedly. And it is a lovely, graceful plant that fits in with others. It never flops.

Does this help?

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Hobart, IN

Yikes! I must be doing something wrong with my balloon flowers since they usually need to be staked. They are exposed to winds out of the west and it seems once they've been blown over, they never quite seem to get upright again. I do love the blue but also love the white with it's pale violet veining. I think my Chrysanthemum is now Tanacetum. I do like the all-white flowers on yours, Donna.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I love the pink with the pink veining, which is perlemutter. I got the seeds from JL Hudson. And the white is lovely too, also with his seeds. I love to grow multiple colors of the same plant

I've never had to stake the blue - or any of them. But my blues are in a somewhat sheltered location. South, with the house behind it.

White really pops in a summer garden - especially at night. I love it.

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Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Chrysanthemum parthenium 'Aureum' is a feverfew. Mobot says: "'Aureum', commonly called golden feverfew or golden feather, is a mounded, clump-forming, dwarf cultivar which typically grows only 8-12" tall and features small daisy-like flowers and chartreuse aromatic foliage." See https://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/plant.asp?code=Z960. I love feverfew.... Is Feverfew tetra strain also short? My feverfew is quite tall and always flops as it gets to be late in the season (though I don't really mind).

Hobart, IN

Donna - you've got nice clumps of the Platycodon. I don't seem to have any of the pink ones though. Hmmmm...
I think I got my feverfew seeds about 15 years ago from an online gardening friend. The seeds to seem to last a couple of years in storage and every few years I collect some fresh ones.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Tetra strain does not flop for me. IMaybe because it's double. It's over a foot tall - maybe 14 inches. Mine doesn't even flop when it turns up in shade. It has a real knack for placing itself beautifully. It turned up around the feet of Tess of the D'urbervilles and I was blown away.

I remember that Select Seeds sold single feverfew, double, Tetra Strain and Aureum. I found single feverfew kind of ordinary, and I am definately a somewhat over the top type. Love buying seeds from them. You get stuff no one grows anymore.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

My feverfews come back every year. I was startled by it. I used to pull out the plants. They bloom like mad till fall. I keep cutting them back. And when they get carried away I just pull out the excess by the roots - they have a small footprint, so they don't dislodge other plants - nicotiana alata can do that.

Try leaving your feverfew plants. I started with two or three plants and now can have 20 if I don't pull them out. I even transplanted some in clumps to my new yard. I was shocked to find that they are perennial in zone 5a - who wouldda thunk it?

Nicotiana, verbena bonariensis, salvia farinacea, feverfew. I find that they come back every tear, and bring friends, every year. Some from seeds, some from plants. Last winter was so mild I great four kinds of farinacea - Victoria white, stratus, gruppenblau and reference in the ground and plants and all of them returned - as plants!

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Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

DonnaMack -- your Tetra strain sounds lovely -- I've been hunting the internet and it is no longer available (at least, I haven't been able to find it), so hold on to what you have!

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I don't think I could get rid of it if I tried - and I still have my original seed. There were two sources: Select Seeds and Johnny's Selected Seeds, neither of which offers it this year.

Those wonderful heirloom plants go out of style. I have a bunch of out of commerce plants - Lilium Silver Sunburst (I got it from Old House Gardens, and he is no longer offering it, because he can't find a grower.) It's incredibly prolific. I started with 3, have at least ten, have given away about 15 and have seven of eight of them growing at my house that's under contract), Amethyst Temple, Emerald Temple, saponaria Bouncing Bett in white (which I got from Glenn Varner at Flower Scent Garden the year before he went out of business). What do these have in common? They are incredibly prolific. But they went out of style, simply because people introduced something not necessarily better, but "new".

I started life as an heirloom gardener. They lasted because they were great, but orienpets took out most trumpets.

How could Amethyst Temple be out of commerce? Look at this beauty!

Or Emerald Temple?

Amazing to me!

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Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Those are stunning. The problem is we all go to garden centers and read gardening columns -- but we don't see the old faithful plants there. Garden centers want to show plants that are attention-grabbing and entice the consumer's pocketbook. The more subtle plants that bloom and bloom but may not hog the spot-light -- they get overlooked and fade out of fashion. Which is especially a pity because they are usually tougher than the newer cultivars. Another oldie in that category (that is, plants that are fading into history) is Begonia Grandis.

Hobart, IN

Loving those lilies. You're lucky to have some definite "hard to find" plants. Mine HTFP is Browallia speciosa. Tried B. americana from JLH but it's not the same so I collect seeds every year and start a whole flat of them.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

One of my favorite compositions - a mix of old and new.

Saponaria bouncing bett (the original pink), with a great scent.

Cynoglossum (the blue stuff). Plant it once and it''s with you forever because the seeds are sticky - but it's stunning! Quite old, and also comes in pink..

Nicotiana alata (scented as we all know).

Campanula bernice. And Red Alert. The only new plant is Red Alert, and it actually has a mild scent.

This with a very old miscanthus you can't get anymore - silberfeil.

Old plants have textures and colors to that make them easy to mix. I love cool colors of varying intensity. The red keeps it from being dull. It's my gardening style. I really enjoy it.


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Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Cindy: I know you aren't hunting for Browallia speciosa any more, but I found it here in case anyone else is looking: http://www.swallowtailgardenseeds.com/annuals/browallia.html.

Donna: That's really lovely. You must have sun, which I envy -- my garden is partly shady (other than a very very dry hilly area in the front).

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Hanging onto the old stuff - or seeking it out in the first place, is fun. I would not have thought that the touted heirlooms of ten years ago would be gone. Glenn Varner's Flower Scent Gardens was wonderful. Illness in the family forced him to close up shop. From him, The year before he went out of business I got 4 Bouncing Bett in white - a ridiculously gorgeous and scented plant. I also got white heliotrope. The pink I got from mistake from Bluestone. I asked for Salvia Rose Queen. It was two years before I realized that it was the wrong plant.

Here it is in white - stunning!

This message was edited Jul 26, 2012 4:25 AM

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Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Is that the heliotrope or the bouncing bett?

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

It's the bouncing Bett. It truly looks different in white - it's more refined and less aggressive. I love white plants. People don't think of it as a color but it really makes a staement.You have to control it by taking a shovel around it from time to time, but it is exquisite. I'm struggling to transplant it to my new house.

I love growing the same plant in multiple colors and spreading it around the garden. You don't get repetition - you get an echo. I'm struggling to craete the kind of texture I had in my old yard. Part of the issue was moving a ton of things to pots and having to get them into the ground. I'm going to be digging things up at the end of the season. But it's lovely to garden a completely different way, although it is amazing how many full sun plants do as well, and sometimes better, in shade. I love the sense of discovering things all over again. It's exciting.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

The Bouncing Bett is beautiful -- I didn't realize how full it was.

Our yard is shady, and we have tried to stretch the envelope as to what we plant. I find a lot of "sun" plants do ok in the shade, but never prosper. In the beginning I was satisfied by that, but I do get jealous looking at full sun gardens and seeing what a plant that has limped along for me is "supposed" to look like! Of course, if my soil were better, and if I watered more regularly and fertilized more regularly, well, that might make a difference too! But life does get in the way....

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I transferred the white bouncing bett to shade and it is progressing very slowly. It is also very hard to transplant. It is probably the one plant I transferred to shade that is moving quite slowly. But so many of my plants are actually doing much better in shade. Oakleaf hydrangeas for one. Epimedium for another. Curiously, I do have japanese paintedferns that really did prefer the sun (go figure).

I'm also lucky. I moved to the home of an organic gardener who ground up leaves for years and used them as mulch. Despite tree roots, the soil, which is so balanced that a hydrangea comes into bloom in a mix of pink, blue and violet, as opposed to solid pink in my yard. Who moves into a house with soil like that? No more ironite.

This message was edited Jul 26, 2012 4:27 AM

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Hi everyone:
I have reblooms on nepeta Summer Dream.I cut it back after first spring bloom
I also find with pale pink Balloon flower ,it looks white from a distance. I am so glad I planted sone 2 years ago.

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Hobart, IN

happy - thanks for posting that link for the seeds! As for planting sun lovers in some shade, I have purchased quite a few part-sun plants hoping they would survive in some shade but I never knew how well they could do with more sun until we took out two oaks last year.
Donna - that Bouncing Bett is really nice. And how lucky to have such great soil to work with. You use Ironite on chipmunks? Tell me more. And I was as surprised as you to find that Japanese painted fern can take quite a bit of sun as well as neglect.
ge - you always have great color combinations!

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Cindy: You asked my question about ironite and chipmunks!

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

OOps! I meant milorganite, not Ironite.

Ah, Cindy and Happ, life is about to get easier.

Chipmunks HATE Milorganite. I discovered this years ago when they kept digging in my pots. The third or fourth time you find the roots lovingly exposed in your pots, or in the ground, you know it's time for ACTION!

I found that sprinkling just a bit in my pots stopped them cold. It is a low nitrogen fertilizer, so it's good for the plants. It is also made from EPA approved Milwaukee sewage. Don't stick your nose in a bag and inhale!

Chipmunks, with a sense of smell much stronger than ours, hate it.

When I don't quite know what I'm fighting, I put in min daffs for the rabbits, freshly ground pepper for the squirrels, and milorganite for the chipmunks. Only the pepper has to be repeated every few days. It's the world's cheapest pest control. It works better than sprays.

I order 20 more W.P. Milners from Brent and Becky's bulbs to add a few more to the garden. It is a tiny Division 1 trumpet, so the foliage melts away quickly. No more voles, no more rabbits. This after losing about 50 lilies to voles and at least 100 tulip bulbs to the very overweight rabbits I used to see in the spring.

This message was edited Jul 26, 2012 4:28 AM

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Really? REALLY? We have gazillion chipmunks, and more squirrels. (No rabbits, though.) The chipmunks seem to dig tunnels in the ground -- is that possible?

I don't like the smell of Milorganite, but I could put it on whenever we are going out of town... How long does a dose last? How much do you put on each pot?

So I should get cheap black pepper from Costco? (How "freshly" ground does it have to be? Do you sit out there with a pepper grinder)?

Do slugs dislike it? They could be a benefit!

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

A dose of milorganite lasts for weeks. You need only a pinch or two in a pot. You can broadcast it over large areas if you need to. .I just put on some gloves and toss.

Are you sure that your tunnelers are not voles? On the other hand, the dumb chipmunks used to dig holes and put sunflower seeds there. I would find them when they sprouted.

Get the cheapest whole pepper you can find. I picked up a pepper grinder at a thrift store for two bucks. I keep it in the garage. After I put in a plant or disturb the earth, I just give it a few turns over the plants. You should repeat this every week or so.

Yes, really! Took me years to figure it out, and I never read this stuff in articles. People would rather sell you sprays that put white gook on your plants. I used to use thiram for rabbits. The stuff is expensive, marks your plants, and makes you feel like a dummy when it wears off.

Hobart, IN

No rabbits here but I did use your ground black pepper to keep raccoons away and it seemed to work. But that was 6 weeks ago and now they're digging stuff up looking for grubs so I'll have to load up the pepper mill tomorrow morning and give the annuals a dose. Because those are shallow rooted, those are the ones that get dug up.
Chipmunks do borrow into the ground for dens (or whatever you call them) but most of what you see in warm weather is burying seeds or nuts. You won't see a lot of holes to their homes though. Very interesting about them being bothered by the Milorganite. Who knew???

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

I've always wondered if we had a big vole population, but I haven't seen enough root damage to be convinced -- and I see tons of chipmunks. We do have the occasional snake, and they dig holes (is "dig" the right word???).

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Ah, so it works for raccoons too. Six weeks is too long, I think. I use it once a month to make up for rain. And then any time I disturbed earth.

I had a neighbor who discovered the hard way that the chippies loved his furnace. It stopped working one winter, and when the repairman came and opened the furnace, a mountain of sunflower seed poured out. Lots of people were using it to feed birds. And I would sometimes find it sprouting in my front. Beds. Removal, and milorganite, put a stop to that.

I have a lot of fun figuring out benign ways to dislodge creatures. I had four large hanging baskets on my porch, and mourning doves would turn up in two of them in the morning, sitting on my plants, and give me the hairy eyeball. I REALLY wanted them to vacate before having offspring - they really stood their ground and gave me the impression they'd tear me a new one, as they say. So when they were absent, I took aluminum foil, bunched it into baseball size, and tossed it into the basket. Shiny - and scratchy. Bye! I wrote to a guy on gmail who was having the same problem with geese. They kept coming back to nest. I told him about it, and it worked.

I love working on pest control. I find it oddly entertaining.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I get the vole and chipmunk thing going on every once in while,so I am going to print or copy some these pages.

The only thing successful this season that I have done is my invasive wren for Japanese beetles thing.I don't hardly have any now and they were gaining in number for about a week, so year #2 that my control has succeeded. Only that's a bug story not an animal control.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Milky spore does wonders for Japanese beetles....

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I have no doubt that are some good controls, only getting one that works for you where your at is the purpose. I prefer the natural controls if I can have them, I don't want or have to spend on anything more than I just have to.The birds are already here and they do a good job after the first few days ,that the beetles arrive.I have not lost any more trees or flowers since using natural predators and the birds seem no worse for where.(that is as to studies that the birds can be affected,only I am not spraying anything) Even fungicides seem to affect me some from a distance.So I am staying with the natural anytime I can!!
I have really been enjoying the flower discussion,some interesting things going on here! My blanket flower, a hybrid yellow Daylilly and a dwarf hybrid Daylilly with a giant bloom are all that are blooming for me now.
Mostly common flowers so once again I have been enjoying the info about the unusual of some older common varieties of flowers.Not so common after all are some of them?.!!

Hobart, IN

Donna - you're right about 6 weeks being too long. I had figured that once the plants had settled in that the critters wouldn't bother them because there wasn't any "freshly" turned earth. I was definitely wrong. Interesting about the foil and birds nesting in hanging baskets. I have some small bird - maybe a wren or finch - that continually builds unused nests in inconvenient places, even inside the bird feeder (what a deal - shelter, food, nest). When they spot my hanging baskets and try to build there, I stick bamboo skewers upright in the pot so there is no open space to place the nest.
juhur - you're lucky to have trained pest control. Wish my bird visitors would discover the culinary delights of Japanese beetles. Still collecting them in soapy water and pushing the 300 mark in my tiny space. Just discovered that they've invaded my climbing hydrangea in addition to the normal menu of porcelain berry vine.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Oh, Happ, I agree. Milky Spore is fantastic. I put it down at my under contract house about 4 years ago, and see almost no beetles. Then I persuaded the owner of this house to put it down two years ago. And my wonderful neighbor with tons of lawn adjacent to my property used it this spring.

I have seen perhaps 15 beetles. And I have raspberries, loganberries and roses. The few I see sit confusedly on lilies (no damage) or nibble my salvia tesquicola. I just trim the leaves.

Hobart, IN

I've put milky spore down for two years now, a couple of times a year but if neighbors are not inclined, it don't matter. It's very pathetic - I've learned their habits for different times of the day and where they'll be. They head in straight from the west and first target anything in the 6 ft range. Then they start nosing around for more alluring fare like the roses although they haven't bothered them as much as I would have thought. They've even gone for the coneflower blossoms since they're about 4 ft tall. I've read that they last about a month but I think I'm about there since I first noticed them on 6/19. Sorry - all I do is complain about them.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

300! I'd complain too. That's disgusting. I used to gasp when I walked into the yard and saw the nasty things.

But I'll never forget being in Maine perhaps 15 years ago and seeing their JB's. They were coating the four o'clocks so heavily I couldn't see the flowers. It was like something out of a horror movie - swarms and swarms of them in plant after plant.

Interestingly, in my yard four o'clocks killed them. I would plant a stand of the near a climbing rose and find their horrible dead bodies under the mirabilis.

Hobart, IN

Wow! Maybe I need to plant some four o'clocks next year. Wonder what it is about the plant that does them in? I think I have more this year in my side garden since it now has lots more sun although the JBs do tend to hide out a bit when it gets really hot mid-afternoon.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I've read that there's something in the 4 o'clocks that is poisonous to them--but for some reason they're attracted to them so planting them is one way to help keep them off your roses and other things. It's weird, usually in nature animals/bugs/etc know what's poisonous and avoid it but guess the JB's somehow never learned about the 4 o'clocks being poisonous.

It's sort of a double-edged sword though--JB's are able to sense the presence of other JB's through pheromones or something like that so anything that attracts them (like JB traps, etc) will tend to attract larger numbers into your yard than would have showed up otherwise, so I'd only use the 4 o'clock trick if you're in a situation where you're going to have a billion of them anyway and want to keep them off your more desirable plants.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Ecrane, what you say makes sense to me.

I do know that you should remove any JB damaged foliage. It attracts more of them. Have you ever noticed that you will find 4 JBs on a single plant - and none elsewhere? So I trim the foliage. It's mostly my raspberries, and the leaves only. Also, I understand that if you use the soapy water in a bowl method you should discard them. Apparently the dead little bodies attract others. When I found them under my four o'clocks, I would immediately remove them (after saying na na, na na na!)

This message was edited Jul 14, 2012 11:50 AM

Hobart, IN

I do know that during the dry spells in the garden, they come back to the same place most of the time. If I water or if it rains, the congregating places usually change. They don't bother my tomatoes or carrots or chard or kale which is a good thing. I think my porcelain berry vine which grows on an 8 ft sturdy trellis is the tallest thing in the sunniest place so it's going to be the target. The JBs love the little forming berries. I'm wondering if it makes any sense next year (assuming that the season is hopefully close to ending) to put a length of row cover (remay?) over the vine next year. It would have to stay on for about a month.
Will have to give some serious thought to four o'clocks next year and where to spot them.

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