feather (Amaranthus cruentus 'Hot Biscuits') --
strikingly large, with dried seeds attractive to small birds. Should
be staked to keep from flopping. Good in back of the border.
(Angelonia angustifolia 'Serena Lavender') -- bloomed
most of the summer without deadheading but was done blooming in
August. Good in containers as well as beds and borders. More compact
than older varieties.
Marguerite daisy (Argyranthemum) -- strong bloomer that
requires significant deadheading. Starts to "melt out" by
mid-August, especially when there's lots of rain. Good for beds,
borders and large containers.
daisy (Asteriscus maritimus 'Aurelia Gold' and 'Compact
Gold Coin') -- very low-growing, ground cover-type plants; dense
foliage crowds out weeds nicely. Very heat-and drought-tolerant. Did
not bloom as much as we would have liked, but worth trying again.
-- adds a tropical feel to the garden. Tolerates wet soil and is
often grown in ponds but also does well in hot, dry weather.
African foxglove (Ceratotheca triloba) -- large plant
with delicate-looking flowers; should be staked. Attractive to
pollinators. Very heat- and drought-tolerant. Good in beds and
(Cosmos bipinnatus 'Sonata Mix') -- flowers attractive to
butterflies and seedheads attractive to finches. Tended to "melt
out" in North Park by late summer because the soil is so rich; does
best in soils with low fertility. Use in beds and borders.
Pink' and 'Picadilly Orange' twinspur (Diascia) --
outstanding plants for edging, massing and containers. Took a break
from blooming during extreme heat in August but came back strong.
ear (Leonotis nepetifolia) -- strikingly large plant with
deep orange flowers. Resembles monarda -- really big monarda -- and
should be staked. Blooms very late in season. Use in the back of the
Blue' lobelia -- stood up to full sun exposure as well as heat
and drought. Although it was done by the end of August, it was quite
attractive in bloom. Use for edging, massing and containers.
flower (Melampodium paludosum 'Showstar') -- bloomed
nonstop with no deadheading. Tolerant of heat and drought as well as
wetter weather. Powdery mildew started in September.
nicotiana -- unique flowers are lime green outside and rosy red
inside, with blue pollen to really catch your eye. Covered with
flowers from the time we planted until mid-fall. Tobacco budworm
larvae made a real mess of them by late summer. Use in beds, borders
and large containers.
White' and 'Amethyst' African daisy (Osteospermum) --
clean and problem-free. Heat and drought tolerant. Attractive, but
did not bloom enough for us.
Symphony' African daisy -- bloomed better than the other two
varieties, but the plants seemed to struggle all season. They may
have been infected with a root rot disease prior to planting. Even
when healthy,requires a lot of deadheading to stay attractive.
Centennial' geranium (Pelargonium) -- compact, grown as
much for interesting foliage as its flowers. Good in beds and
bean (Ricinus communis 'Carmencita Bright Red') --
striking focal point. Suffered from leaf spot disease later in
season; did not get as large as they normally do.
firethorn (Solanum pyracanthum) -- unique for the bright
orange thorns that cover the stems and run down the midrib of every
leaf. Does not require much maintenance, luckily for us. No wildlife
salvia (Salvia coccinea 'Coral Nymph') -- long blooming,
attractive to butterflies, hummingbirds and pollinators. Heat- and
drought-tolerant. Requires some deadheading to keep it attractive.
Delicious' pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) -- deliciously
fragrant chartreuse foliage and clear red flowers; heat- and
drought-tolerant. Blooms so late that frost becomes an issue. Leaves
make a fruity addition to salads. Severe deer damage in South Park.
salvia (Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue') -- tolerates
heat and drought, long blooming. Attractive to butterflies,
hummingbirds and pollinators.
scarlet sage (Salvia splendens) -- Heat- and
drought-tolerant, long blooming. Attractive to butterflies,
hummingbirds and pollinators. Outstanding cultivar.
Mix' scarlet sage -- same characteristics as 'Flare' with a nice
mix of colors -- red, coral, white and purple.
scabiosa (Scabiosa atropurpurea 'Ace of Spades') --
bloomed all summer but required frequent deadheading to look its
best. Long-lasting cut flower. Attractive to butterflies and
pollinators. Severe deer damage in South Park.
bacopa (Sutera cordata) -- long-blooming, but plants
seemed to "melt out" in summer heat. Best in containers and hanging
baskets where these ground-hugging plants can be seen best.
flower (Tibouchina urvilleana) -- soft, furry foliage
tinged with huge reddish-purple flowers but did not bloom as much as
we'd like. No animal damage and no insect or disease problems.
Cocktail' nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) -- sumptuous,
soft shades of pinks and yellows -- too bad those lovely flowers are
hidden by the foliage.
zinnia (Zinnia elegans 'Envy' and 'Candy Cane') --
long-blooming, attractive to butterflies and pollinators. Powdery
mildew a problem later in the season. Good cut flower.
Some plants performed poorly, mainly due to animal
damage. A nibble here or there is one thing, but these plants were
begonia (Begonia semperflorens 'Prelude Scarlet' and
'Varsity Bronze Leaf Scarlet') -- in South Park, deer and groundhog
Mix' treasure flower (Gazania rigens) -- in North Park,
daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) -- deer damage.
- 'Quartz Mix'
in South Park, deer damage.
More 2006 Flower
Trials in the parks
Raised Bed Plantings