2017: plant(s) that you have been most happy with!


alp

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Now that summer is nearly over for some of us, would love to know which plant has brought you most pleasure or fun ..

For me, it could be salvia amistad. I bought two near dead plants for £1 each and they are now thriving in my garden. It looks as if they had been been there for years, but no, only a few months.

One has thrown up about 8 stems and most of them have velvety violet / royal purple colour .. Even the cuttings have one with flowers.. Very pleased with my purchases ..
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Logan

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@alp they look great. Do they have leaves like the ordinary sage? I might have trouble with slugs and snails, if i grew them. Do the bees like them?
 
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Licenter, you have a true winner there with the salvia greggii. It also comes in white, raspberry, and coral. It is perennial for us, and should be for you, I think.
My favorite (other than my roses) are zinnias. Hardy, drought and heat tolerant, loved by hummingbirds, and make a decent bouquet, too! Even better, they self-seed, so I plant them once from a packet, and then let nature take over.
 
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Licenter, you have a true winner there with the salvia greggii. It also comes in white, raspberry, and coral. It is perennial for us, and should be for you, I think.
My favorite (other than my roses) are zinnias. Hardy, drought and heat tolerant, loved by hummingbirds, and make a decent bouquet, too! Even better, they self-seed, so I plant them once from a packet, and then let nature take over.
This is the first time for me planting zinnias, and everyone says they reseed readily. So here's my question: When spring arrives and many things are breaking ground; how in the world do you distinguish them from the weeds that are also popping up?
BTW they are quite the showstopper also.
 

alp

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I don't know who loves my various salvia more. Me or the hummers. What a terrific year they have had here on Long Island NY. This one is salvia greggii. Radio Red, Autumn Sage
View attachment 27033
I Looooooove your hummer! I nearly bought this one for £2 reduced yesterday / today. Went to Homebase again, only to find this one tugging at my heart's string. But as I have Royal Rumble red, I don't want to have another. If I had known a hummer will visit, I would have bought it! :eek::D:LOL:

Whoa, you''ve made my day, @LIcenter !
 

alp

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@alp they look great. Do they have leaves like the ordinary sage? I might have trouble with slugs and snails, if i grew them. Do the bees like them?
Don't have that problems with my hotlips or Royal Bumble (Ooooops! I always get this one wrong) Hotlips can take a lot of abusive and can be invasive, but the flowers are dainty and lovely. Their leaves are quite different from sage leaves.

@marlingardener Agree. There is a whole plethora of colours .. there's even one call Salvia Greggii violin music (pastel blue), La Luna creamy beige. I only came across this name Greggii last month.

I raised zinnia from seeds 19 years ago. Only this year did I start
This is the first time for me planting zinnias, and everyone says they reseed readily. So here's my question: When spring arrives and many things are breaking ground; how in the world do you distinguish them from the weeds that are also popping up?
BTW they are quite the showstopper also.
planting them and they are just a must. They take to my droughty hot soil and spot and have been flowering non-stop for months.. The flowers just stand there like garden fixtures, but very pretty and one different from another..

Just google zinnia+seedlings

https://www.google.co.uk/search?biw=1229&bih=582&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=zinnia+seedlings&oq=zinnia+seedlings&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0i7i30k1j0i30k1.12459.15129.0.15703.4.3.1.0.0.0.476.775.0j2j4-1.3.0....0...1.1.64.psy-ab..0.4.777...0i13k1.xFmaR264eng
 
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salvia Amistad Is A big Favourite of mine Too Alp(y) I have four plants in my garden & If I get a Chance I want to take some cuttings to further increase there presence I have been growing it for a few years & have found it a great plant that go's in to Rapid growth and flowering from July till November in my Garden the only Difficult bit about this plant is getting it through the winter. I normally lose all top growth but it pops up new growth from the base as the temperature in the garden warms up. I had a little research on this plant & I came up with the following...... It was Discovered by Argentine salvia expert Rolando Uria in a garden bed, Salvia ‘Amistad’ first made its way to England where plantsman Rod Richards popularized it
 
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Licenter, the zinnia leaves, when they get past the initial stage and have true leaves, are fairly distinctive. Study your zinnia leaves now (even take a few small ones and press them between wax paper for future reference). When in doubt, leave everything and the plants will sort themselves out.
Alp, you are an enabler! Violin Music, and La Luna--now I'm on a hunt! Salvia greggiis are easy to propagate. Just take a cutting of fairly new growth (not the woody stems) and put the cuttings in a damp mix of perlite and vermiculite, cover with plastic, set out of direct sun, and root growth starts within two-three weeks, depending on the weather. You can either pot up the cuttings for planting out later, or put them directly into soil.
Daren, We cut our salvias back severely in June and January. It stimulates blooming and keeps the plants from becoming too woody at the base. Perhaps if you put a pot over the cut back salvia, and remove the pot in the early spring, your salvias will recover more quickly. It doesn't seem that you really need to do this, since your salvias are popping up new growth from the base.
 

alp

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salvia Amistad Is A big Favourite of mine Too Alp(y) I have four plants in my garden & If I get a Chance I want to take some cuttings to further increase there presence I have been growing it for a few years & have found it a great plant that go's in to Rapid growth and flowering from July till November in my Garden the only Difficult bit about this plant is getting it through the winter. I normally lose all top growth but it pops up new growth from the base as the temperature in the garden warms up. I had a little research on this plant & I came up with the following...... It was Discovered by Argentine salvia expert Rolando Uria in a garden bed, Salvia ‘Amistad’ first made its way to England where plantsman Rod Richards popularized it
So glad that I have started this thread. I love any plants which are responsive, tough and elegant - a bit like me! (OOOOps .. tough and broad more like it!) and Salvia Amistad is one of those. I bought them two or three months ago. I took cuttings (when you're rubbing tuppence, you've to maximise, optimise and improvise) and lo and behold, even the cuttings are now cuttings and one has about 5 flowers. The flowers are much bigger than those of hotlips and Royal Tumble. I was very stupid (well, it's true..) I bought tons of sage from China thinking sage is salvia and they all turned out to have red, green, white flowers with veins.. That's so embarrassing. Another happy thing about salvia is that I collected seeds and they more or less germinated straight away. A friend sent me some seeds called Tall salvia and obviously she had no idea of their name. It sat there staring at me for a whole year. Last month, I sowed them and now they have all sprung up..

Thank you for the lovely history. I wish I were young and I would go into tissue cloning.. What fun that would be!
 

alp

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Licenter, the zinnia leaves, when they get past the initial stage and have true leaves, are fairly distinctive. Study your zinnia leaves now (even take a few small ones and press them between wax paper for future reference). When in doubt, leave everything and the plants will sort themselves out.
Alp, you are an enabler! Violin Music, and La Luna--now I'm on a hunt! Salvia greggiis are easy to propagate. Just take a cutting of fairly new growth (not the woody stems) and put the cuttings in a damp mix of perlite and vermiculite, cover with plastic, set out of direct sun, and root growth starts within two-three weeks, depending on the weather. You can either pot up the cuttings for planting out later, or put them directly into soil.
Daren, We cut our salvias back severely in June and January. It stimulates blooming and keeps the plants from becoming too woody at the base. Perhaps if you put a pot over the cut back salvia, and remove the pot in the early spring, your salvias will recover more quickly. It doesn't seem that you really need to do this, since your salvias are popping up new growth from the base.
Shame that my Greggii pastel blue for which I paid £3.33 is only a very young plant and I haven't had many viable stems left after messing about with them. I took about 5 cuttings and they all turned dry, brown and dead as a dodo! I will try again using perlite and vermiculite and follow your method exactly when I can find a decent stem. Ask your friends for seeds. They are a breeze to germinate..
 
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I have been really happy with this buddleja this year. I'm sure it hasn't looked so lovely before. I do know I cut it back last year and the actual tree/bush is quite dense so that must be the key. I don't have a photo of it in the garden but I put some in this vase this morning. The mauve and white is really soft and pretty en masse in the garden.
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alp

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I have been really happy with this buddleja this year. I'm sure it hasn't looked so lovely before. I do know I cut it back last year and the actual tree/bush is quite dense so that must be the key. I don't have a photo of it in the garden but I put some in this vase this morning. The mauve and white is really soft and pretty in masse in the garden.View attachment 27050
That's lovely. Normally, I remove buddleias when I see them self-seed as I don't have a big garden. But last year, I sprinkled my 30p a bottle of wild flower seeds and suddenly, I saw a white one. I loved it so much that I left it on the ground and it has been flowering happily this year. What a lovely vase you have, @DeborahJane
 
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That's lovely. Normally, I remove buddleias when I see them self-seed as I don't have a big garden. But last year, I sprinkled my 30p a bottle of wild flower seeds and suddenly, I saw a white one. I loved it so much that I left it on the ground and it has been flowering happily this year. What a lovely vase you have, @DeborahJane
It's my favourite vase alp. Second hand from a market. Just shows you, one persons junk is anothers treasure.;)
By the way, our purple salvia is quite stunning.
Just thought I'd pop in the other vase I put together this morning using the buddleja, ginger lillies and green goddess. A very good gardening friend has had to down size and leave her garden. She always did stunning big vases so I do often raid my garden for her and I was do impressed with what she did with MY flowers in HER home I decided I must do it too.:p:LOL:
 
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alp

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@DeborahJane Ginger lilies smell so nice. I liked to crushed the leaves and sniff and sniff!

Love your display units.. I also love classical old fashioned furniture. I bought a unit from bootsale for £7 just because it has castor wheels on the four legs and they were beautifully carved. The surface was so robust. The one I had from Argos caved in under the weight of my plasma Panasonic TV. I threw that one away and used this old piece of furniture instead. I also liked details like that of the back of your chair. Bought a pair chairs with beautiful features for the back for £18 from a bootsale and have loved them ever since.
 
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My favourite surprise surprise has got to be Heliotrope Arborescens cherry pie. One of my clients purchased some earlier in the year. This is a plant that was much more popular when I was an apprentice gardener back in the 70s, I have to confess it is one that I had forgotten over the years, until recently, when the dear lady asked me what the botanical name for cherry pie is.( I had to look it up) It's a lovely plant that has a beautiful scent of cherry pie and seems to be uneffected by our unpredictable weather and very free flowering. Have posted previously about this plant and stimulated much interest.
 

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