What new perennials impressed you?

(Zone 4b)

Although we are in the deep of winter I do glance back in my mind's eye, taking stock of what new plants (one season or maybe 2 seasons old) did well.

Of course one season in a garden is not enough be unequivocal on a perennial's performance but having said that I was most impressed with Helianthus "Sunshine Daydream".

From its description, full grown it will be too large for my garden but it did perfectly in its first season giving it a cut back earlier on...still lots of blooms but in a more compact plant. (The foliage always looks perfect ie no mold or mildew).

A few others that showed some promise in their first year were

- Astilbe "Amber Moon"
- Asteromea mongolica "Japanese aster"
- Nepeta "Purrsian Blue"

In its second season I really liked Cimicifuga/Acatea pachypoda "Misty Blue"...love those "doll eyes" on these plants.

Lets hear of your new successes!

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

In 2013 I picked up a couple of yellow Baptisias, 1 being Lemon Meringue, and another that I can't recall the name of at the moment (although it looks very similar). Both put on a lovely show in 2014. The foliage was attractive throughout the rest of the year too.

I also found a fantastic deal on ITOH Peony 'Bartzella'- $40.00 for a 3 gallon potted plant (normally $80-$100 as a dormant root from Peony vendors). The huge, lemon yellow blooms were gorgeous last spring! Clean foliage the rest of the year, that stayed on well into fall.

I had held out on trying any of the new colors flooding the market of Echinacea, to see feedback from other gardeners on their stability (if they revert). Found one marked down, a red one 'Hot Lava'. It bloomed continuously the first year and returned well last year and again bloomed non stop.

This year I tried a couple of Alstroemeria listed as hardy to zone 5, 'Mauve Majesty' and 'Tangerine Tango', from Brent and Becky's. The catalog said they require patience, and may take a season or two to settle in. That appears to be the case with TT, as it just slowly sprouted new green stems throughout the growing season, but no blooms. MM however, started producing blooms in June (planted in mid April), and was never without flowers again until hard frost. Amazing plant! The blooms are so long lasting- in the time it took for one flower head to open and fade, another stalk had time to arise from the ground and produce another wave of blooms. If it returns this spring, it will rise to the top of my list of favorite perennials.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

If you like alstroemerias, check out edelweiss perennials' offerings - they've got quite a selection. Alstroemerias don't do well for me - partly due to hardiness, but I think mainly my yard's sun deficiency. The one which has been pretty reliable for me is Sweet Laura (available from a number of vendors).

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Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

Wow! Thanks for the heads up, they have an amazing selection and reasonable prices!

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Impressive new or newish things :
Alstroemeria 'Yellow Friendship" very nice, tolerated neglect, bloomed repeatedly.
A. 'Tangerine Tango' neglected in dry shade, bloomed a bit, jury still out. I read in Annies Annuals this one survives dry shade. I love the flowers.
Knautia 'Thunder and Lightning' lovely light variegated foliage, nonstop blooms, no deadheading needed. A bit hard to color coordinate.
Aurinia (Alyssum) 'Dudley Neville' has lovely variegated leaves that are always pretty, then flowers in a soft apricotty yellow. Can't say enough good things about it.
Sedum 'Elsie's Gold' very sturdy, does not flop, slowwwwly expanding clump. That other variegated sedum did not do well like this one.
Hemerocallis fulva 'flore pleno' bloomed all summer in dry shade. Thanks pfg.
Epimedium x warleyensis has orange flowers, slowly spreading.
Helianthus 'Lemon Queen' covered in late summer blooms. Took a few years. First few years lots of spring slug damage, but now it is established it grows so fast in spring they can't really eat it to the ground like when it was small and new.

Jury still out:
Erysemum 'John Codrington' has the most interesting purple and yellow flowers. I hope it comes back.

Edelweiss Perennials is a very interesting shop. The owner/breeder comes to plant sales around here with all kinds of interesting stuff. I have bought fabulous plants from him mail-order, and for epimediums he has cheaper by the half-dozen deals. Also this time of year he has some bare-root specials if you are so inclined.

Gemini- I too love my Bartzella. I tried to dig out a little slice a few years ago, to trade with pfg for the daylilly. OMG the roots are so tough and there was no way to really separate them. I chopped out a bit that seemed very unlikely to survive, so I put the chunk in a gallon pot on the porch. Lo and behold it seemed to do fine, so I finally completed the trade. This spring hopefully pfg will report it blooming. If so I might dig up my clumps this year and use a Skilsaw to chop it up into tradeable divisions.

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(Zone 4b)

'mimi' we too love our "Lemon Queen". We have two clumps that started as small single stem plants about 4 years ago and now look like this (from this past fall).

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