Performers are those annuals that bloomed all summer with
minimal deadheading (removal of spent flowers) and no signs of
insect or disease problems, and no animal damage. There are times
when deer damage plants in one garden, but not the other. That will
be noted in the individual plant evaluations.
2007 performers include:
‘Angelface Blue’ Angelonia (Angelonia angustifolia ‘Angelface
- bloomed all summer
without deadheading; attractive foliage; good in large containers as
well as beds and borders.
series Angelonia (Angelonia x Serena series)
– more compact than other varieties of angelonia; bloomed all summer
with little or no deadheading. The first Angelonia from seed
(the rest are cutting propagated). Use in beds, borders and
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias curassavica 'Red Butterfly')
- trouble free and long blooming; attractive to butterflies and
pollinators. Monarch larvae fed heavily on this plant in South Park,
but that is one of the reasons we love it so much! Best in beds and
Gold Carpet Bidens (Bidens ferulifolia 'Goldteppich')
– blooms from planting until hard frost with no deadheading; heat
and drought tolerant. Use for edging, massing, or in hanging baskets
Trumpet (Brugmansia spp.)
– shrub or small tree not winter hardy in our area; can be
overwintered indoors. Large trumpet-shaped, evening fragrant flowers
make this a standout in late summer and fall. Use as a focal point,
or grow in large containers to make it easier to move them indoors.
‘Australia’ Canna (Canna x ‘Australia’)
– dark maroon foliage a great foil for deep red flowers. Use in
beds, borders and large containers. Lift rhizomes in fall and store
indoors for the winter.
‘Tropicana’ Canna (Canna x ‘Tropicana’)
– this canna would be a standout if it never bloomed. Large leaves
are striped with red, orange and green. Very showy! Use in beds,
borders and large containers. Lift rhizomes in fall and store
indoors for the winter.
Pearl' Ornamental Peppers (Capsicum
annuum 'Black Pearl')
- heat & drought tolerant; fruits ripen from purple-black to red.
Can be eaten - VERY hot. Use in beds, borders or containers.
Chili' Ornamental Peppers (Capsicum annuum 'Chilly Chili')
- heat and drought tolerant; fruits are not hot, which makes them
safe around curious children and pets. Fruits remain showy even
after they have dried on the plants. Use in beds, borders or
Vinca (Catharanthus roseus Pacifica series)-
clean, glossy green foliage and constant bloom. Vigorous heat and
drought tolerant plants. Good for massing, edging and containers.
Look’ Celosia (Celosia argenta var. plumosa ‘New Look)
– old All-America Selections winner that stands the test of time.
Bronzy foliage sets off dark red flowers exquisitely! Dries well,
too. Use in beds, borders and containers.
Flower (Cleome hasslerana Sparkler series and Spirit series)
- heat and drought tolerant; attractive to butterflies. More compact
and less likely to flop than older varieties. Use in beds and
Illusion® and Mystic Desire® (Dahlia x ‘Knockout’ and
- vigorous plants with maroon foliage that held its color through
the summer; especially outstanding in late summer and fall. Dig up
tubers and store indoors over winter. Use in beds, borders or large
Purple Angel's Trumpet (Datura metel 'Cornucopia')
- unusual double purple flowers and evening fragrance. Use as an
accent in beds and borders, or in large containers.
Pink' Twinspur (Diascia x 'Miracle Pink')
- outstanding plants for edging, massing and containers. Blooms all
season with little or no deadheading, clean and problem-free.
Dewdrop (Duranta erecta ‘Gold Edge’)
– Outstanding medium-sized foliage plant; gold leaf variegation does
not scorch in full sun. Minor deer damage late in the season did not
detract from this beauty. Use in beds, borders and large containers.
Frost® (Euphorbia x ‘Inneuphdia’)
– outstanding baby’s breath effect; season long bloom with no
deadheading. Use in beds, borders and containers. DEER DAMAGE IN
Blush Wood Spurge (Euphorbia amygdaloides ‘Inneuphhel’)
– attractive green-and-white variegated foliage, with a reddish
blush that intensifies with cooler temperatures. Chartreuse flowers
in early spring. Might be perennial for us – stay tuned!
Euryops (Euryops pectinatus 'Sunshine Yellow')
- heat and drought tolerant; dark green foliage shows
off bright yellow, daisy-type flowers nicely. Blooms right up until
series Gomphrena (Gomphrena globosa Qis series)
- very heat and drought tolerant. Long blooming and problem-free.
Excellent dried flower. Use in beds and borders.
Gold' Helen's Flower (Helenium amarum
- free-blooming, very compact relative of our native sneezeweed.
Problem-free. Use as an edging plant, or in beds and containers.
camara Patriot™ Classic™ ‘Desert Sunset,’‘Tropical Fruit,’
‘Cherry Sunrise,’ and 'Peach Sunrise')
- very heat and drought tolerant; non-stop blooming with little or
no deadheading. Use in beds, borders and large containers. Great for
attracting butterflies and pollinators. DEER DAMAGE IN SOUTH PARK.
Flower (Melampodium paludosum 'Showstar')
- bloomed nonstop with no deadheading. Tolerant of heat and drought
as well wetter weather. Powdery mildew started in late September.
Use in beds, borders or containers.
Clock (Mirabilis jalapa 'Broken Colors' and 'Limelight Rose')
- long-blooming heirloom flowers that tolerate hot, dry weather very
well. Best in beds and borders. Flowers open late afternoon or early
evening. NORTH PARK ONLY DUE TO PAST DEER DAMAGE IN SOUTH PARK.
Bird’ Nemesia (Nemesia strumosa ‘Blue Bird’)
– season long bloom with no deadheading. Use for edging, massing and
Majesty’ Millet (Pennisetum glaucum ‘Purple Majesty’)
– this past All-America Selections winner is still one of the best
plants we have ever grown! Foliage and long-lasting seedheads remain
attractive right through summer. Seedheads dry nicely, too. Use in
beds, borders and large containers.
Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum')
- outstanding in all types of weather. Its only fault is that it is
not winter hardy in our climate! Use in beds, borders and large
– also sold as “Scaredy Cat; attractive gray-green foliage and showy
flowers in summer; pungent aroma of leaves supposed to repel problem
cats and dogs; seems to work on deer and other wildlife, too!
Bean (Ricinus communis and R. communis 'Carmencita
– these huge plants make a great focal point in the garden;
problem-free. Tiny white flowers very attractive to pollinators.
Beds, borders and large containers.
'Victoria' Mealy-Cup Sage (Salvia farinacea 'Victoria')
- Very heat and drought tolerant; long blooming and problem free.
Attractive to butterflies, hummingbirds, and pollinators. Flowers
dry nicely, too. Requires some deadheading to stay attractive. Use
in beds, borders and containers.
Anise-Scented Salvia (Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue')
- tolerates heat and drought; long blooming. Attractive to
butterflies, hummingbirds and pollinators. Requires some deadheading
to stay attractive. Use in beds, borders and containers.
Sage (Salvia splendens 'Flare')
- Heat and drought tolerant; long blooming. Attractive to
butterflies, hummingbirds, and pollinators. Outstanding selection of
scarlet sage. Requires some deadheading to stay attractive. Use in
beds, borders and containers.
Heart (Setcreasea purpurea)
– better known as a houseplant, but pink-purple foliage makes a good
foil for flowering plants. Use in beds, borders and containers. DEER
DAMAGE IN SOUTH PARK.
Firethorn (Solanum pyracanthum)
- like it or loath it, this well-armed plant is unique for the
bright orange thorns that cover the stems and run down the midrib of
every leaf. It is good it did not require much maintenance, because
this plant is painful to work around. No wildlife damage here! Beds,
borders and large containers.
Rose Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides Kong™ Rose
– Huge leaves are the trademark of Kong™ series coleus. Very
tropical-looking. Regular flower spike removal required to keep
plants compact and showy. Use in beds, borders, and large
containers. NORTH PARK ONLY DUE TO PAST DEER DAMAGE IN SOUTH PARK.
Glissade™ Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides Royal
– antique shades of green and pink, and few flower spikes to remove
made this one of the most outstanding coleuses we have ever grown.
Maintenance-free. Use in beds, borders and large containers. NORTH
PARK ONLY DUE TO PAST DEER DAMAGE IN SOUTH PARK.
and ‘Coco Loco’ Coleus (Solenostemon
‘Splash’ and ‘Coco Loco’)
– two more great sun-tolerant coleuses. Some flower spike removal
required. Use in beds, borders and large containers. NORTH PARK ONLY
DUE TO PAST DEER DAMAGE IN SOUTH PARK.
Shield (Strobilanthes dyeranus)
- grown for colorful foliage. Does well in hot, dry weather. Use in
beds and containers. Late deer damage. NORTH PARK ONLY DUE TO PAST
DEER DAMAGE IN SOUTH PARK.
Verbena (Verbena x 'Temari Patio Blue' and ‘Superbena Dark
- very heat and drought tolerant; long season of bloom; clean, dark
green attractive foliage - outstanding plant! We had a lovely
peach-colored verbena at North Park that was also outstanding, but
there was no variety tag on it, so the cultivar name is anyone’s
guess. Use in beds, borders and containers.
White’ and ‘Crystal Yellow’ Spreading Zinnias (Zinnia
angustifolia ‘Crystal White’ & ‘Crystal Yellow’
– long-blooming, disease resistant; excellent for edging, massing,
'Profusion White’ Zinnia (Zinnia x 'Profusion White')
- this All-America Selection Gold Medal winner bloomed all summer.
Very heat and drought tolerant, as well as disease resistant. Good
in beds and containers.