I spent some time enjoying the blooms this weekend, and took pictures. I will use the pictures to relieve the pain of a 20 below winter day. I will also use them to remind me what to plant (and what to avoid) next spring. I may even print them out and use them for cards.
But since today is the first day of school in most of Minnesota, and I have friends who are sending kindergarteners off for the first time, these blooms are for you, to enjoy, and take a deep breath, and smile.
Coleus. This year I planted at least a dozen varieties, throughout my yard. These are for my Great Grandma Ethel, who loved her coleus. They come in so many varieties and colors, and you can use them in both sun and shade. They provide huge doses of color, all summer long, and require little maintenance. Datura. Also known as moonflower. I usually plant this in white, the blooms last for about 24 hours, and are just incredible. This year I found a yellow variety, and though it has only had two blooms so far, they have been spectacular.
Dahlias. I picked up this bulb at a yard sale this spring. The plant is nearly four feet tall, and the blooms are the size of a salad plate.
Impatiens. This is a tropical variety, that I get at our neighborhood garden center each year. It spreads enormously-and next year I plan to make it my main plant in all of my shady windowboxes.
Nasturtiums. (You may remember these lovely blooms from my cake disaster post...) I planted two small plants at the edge of my herb bed, they are gorgeous and flow in waves across the border.
Hyacinth Bean Vine. The most pleasant surprise I planted this year. I had tried coaxing other vines to grow up my ironwork dress form, but had little luck as it is nearly full shade. I bought a fairly mature version of this plant, and it has rewarded me with a spectacular disply of vines and intriguing blooms. This one is definitely going in the garden again next year!
Begonias. While I always plant the basic varieties, this year I added this cascading version in a pot with lemon thyme and candy corn vine. Isn't it fun?
Nicotania. I found this interesting variety and planted it in a couple of spots in the garden. I love the graceful blooms, and the giant leaves.
So many plants, so little room in my yard...