It’s a great idea to take stock of what is looking good and giving you enjoyment in the garden every so often. Chloris at The Blooming Garden often does a snapshot round up in her garden and she always has many beautiful and unusual things to share. This month she has restricted her choices to ten and has invited readers to join in with their own top five or ten. So, these are my current top 5 stars:
Gladiola papilio ‘Ruby’
I couldn’t resist buying the bulbs for this gladiola (I got them from Sarah Raven) after reading a post by The Frustrated Gardener. They are absolutely as gorgeous, lush and berry-like as described. Certainly, mine are not as ruby red as the SR website photo shows, but are possibly prettier for it. Since I’ve grown them in pots, because I couldn’t decide on a permanent home in time to plant, the flowering spikes are relatively short. Once they’ve finished flowering they will be going in the garden, hopefully to multiply and get stronger year on year. I’ll protect them for the winter with a generous mulch.
I’ve grown this Monarda this year because it was one of five packets of seeds in the ‘Boozy Gardeners’ Kit’ my son gave my for Christmas. (The cinnamon basil in the kit has also been a big success). It is early days for the plants and I am waiting to see the monarda flowers properly, but so far I am really enjoying the textures and form of the flowering head.
I grow this annual hibiscus from seed most years, because it is an easy and exotic looking flower. Just look at the theatrics and complexity of the reproductive parts!
I have a number of Thalictrums around the garden, many grown from seed of the fluffy T. aquilegiifolium kind. However, I love the T. delavayi species even more and those plants are just sending up plumes of delicate dancing butterfly flowers now. There was a massive example of this in the walled garden at Audley End House I remember (but it has been some time since I last visited). I hope that I can eventually grow mine to those dimensions too.
Eucomis comosa ‘Sparkling Burgundy’
Another bulb putting on a glorious display currently is a Eucomis comosa ‘Sparkling Burgundy’. Last year the plants languished rather as they were a late (i.e. end of season sale) purchase. The spikes are so much longer than E. bicolor and that tint of rusty plum in the stalk and pistil makes the green in the flower pop that much more.
At this time of year it really is hard to limit the number of favourites to such a small number. Having browsed Chloris’ top ten choices there are obviously many more to watch out for. So, what would you recommend to others?