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My best 9 garden performers


Oh Dotty, what a difficult job this has been, finding the ones that have performed best.

I would hate to be without Dianthus and have slowly built up a small collection of them. Both my paternal Grandad and my maternal Nan grew them, mainly to cut for the house as the clove like scent appealed to them, same for me!

Another genus I first saw as a young girl in Nan’s garden were Aquilegias, a flower I have always found attractive. She grew a gorgeous tall yellow one, I think I have one very similar to it now.

These are mainly pinks, lilacs and mauves, there definitely are some yellow and cream ones in my garden though!

As my husband is colour blind I do try to have lots of yellow in the planting as that’s a colour he sees clearly.
These Begonias flowered for ages and hopefully will do the same this summer.

An annual climber called Mina Lobata (Spanish Flag) is easily grown from seed, slugs and snails leave it alone and it needs no dead-heading, perfect to climb up obelisks or similar.

I love Roses, especially this climber ‘Arthur Bell’, he changes colour as he blooms and fades.

Flowers for Bees are always welcome in my garden and this Lavender ‘Hidcote’ was looking great last Summer, covered in Bees most of the day.

My Viburnum tinus ‘Gwenllian’ has probably outgrown the space I planted it in some years ago, but it never fails to thrive and I would hate to be without it. It looks good throughout the year and certainly earns a place in my garden.

Another vibrant yellow, this time the climbing Clematis tangutica is a hit with my OH!. The fluffy seed heads are attractive, really silky to touch, once the petals have fallen.

My final choice as a good performing plant has to be Penstemon, of which I have a few. They are low maintenance, will flower for months if dead headed regularly, what more could you wish for!

We have no plans to move, but all of the above would be on my ‘must-have’ list if we ever did!

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Oh, Shirley what a wonderful collection! I too love Aquilegia and yours are gorgeous. And that Penstemon is knock out.

5 Jan, 2018


It certainly is a great selection. The lavender could be an advertisement in a catalogue! The Penstemon is irrisistable - I love that one. Good job we don't have to pick a favourite...

5 Jan, 2018


Really beautiful choices.

I always love to see lavender and your dianthus collection is very pretty indeed.
Thank you for this.

5 Jan, 2018


I like the plants you chose Shirley, Most of them would have been on my list if they had done better. I hope they do next year.
I'll have to try Mina lobata, anything the slugs leave alone must be good to grow :)

5 Jan, 2018


Waddy, thanks so much for looking in!

Glad you like the Lavender too Stera.

Thanks Chris, Dianthus always make me think of my dear Nan, lovely Norfolk lady that she was ... :o)

Hywel, I'm with you on liking plants that slugs leave alone. Give the Mina Lobata a go, it really is eye-catching, just grow it against something it can cling to!

5 Jan, 2018


Will do Shirley :) Thanks

5 Jan, 2018


A great blog of favourite plants, Shirley! I love all the plants but haven't grow many of them on our balcony.

I remember seeing "Spanish Flag" growing in the Botanical gardens in Cambridge when I was there some years ago. Anything with an allusion to Spain always attracts my attention! ?

5 Jan, 2018


Lovely Shirley. I don’t think Spanish Flag would do well here, but its a lovely plant for the South. I was very disappointed when all my Pinks were destroyed by our cold winds, as I enjoyed growing them in my last garden and love their perfume. The yellow aquilegias are my favourites..and the pure blue aquilegia alpina.

5 Jan, 2018


the choices are lovely Shirley. Aquilegia are another of my favourites. they are a really good cottage garden plant.

5 Jan, 2018


Balcony, I'm not surprised, with your Spanish connections!

I remember the loss of your Dianthus, Karen, such a shame. One of my white ones, possibly Devon Dove, has been blooming for months, very strange!

Thanks Sbg, can't wait to see them in flower again.

6 Jan, 2018


Oh Shirley, what a great selection. Isn't it nice how we cherish the plants our families grew, your lavender is beautiful, your V tinus has made me envious, mine have the dreaded beetle. Mina is so pretty.
Quick question about OH colour blindness, what colours does he see, just curious :)

7 Jan, 2018


Oh Dawn, the Viburnum Beetle seems to be more prevalent these days, I really hope it misses my garden! I had to get rid off all my pots of Fuchsias as they had Fuchsia Gall, that was a sad day.

Regarding the colour blindness, the best way to explain it is that he never sees a field of Poppies, or red berries on shrubs, especially the Pyracantha, and they are scarlet almost. Yellows and blues are very clear. It was discovered when he was training to be a cartographer (map making) and he was refused admission to the Police and the Armed Forces. As he always says, he knows no different!

One advantage is that he appreciates shapes and forms of leaves, tree bark etc. more than most.

Surprisingly, colour blindness affects 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women in the world.

7 Jan, 2018


Fuschia gall doesn't sound very nice. :-(.
The colour blindness is fascinating isn't it, I'm pleased he's not too bothered about it.
So when he sees red colours, what colour does he actually see instead?

7 Jan, 2018


Hard to explain really. I have sometimes said "Look at those red (or orange) fruits or berries" on a shrub and he cannot see them until he is very close to it. The colour merges into the green of the foliage and just appears a different shape. On the other hand, he loves the Autumnal shades of gold and brown, so it's strange.

7 Jan, 2018


Interesting Shirley,it’s good he can see the trees in their full beauty

8 Jan, 2018


It certainly is ... :o)

8 Jan, 2018


Shirley I love them all, as we are not too far from one another.... its interesting to see what does well for you but not us!!
Dianthus hate our heavy wet soil, shame because like you I love that clove scent...
Aquilegia the common ones do well....Lavender hit and miss, yours is a picture!
Viburnum the beetles put paid to that one! your Penstemons are a joy, short lived here......I agree the Mina Lobata is very worthwhile although ours was so late last year, but then flowered for months!
Some excellent choices Shirley! thanks for taking part!

9 Jan, 2018


Dotty, after what seems endless rain these past few days, I'm not sure what is going to thrive in the garden now.

I really would like to have some dry and warmer days soon, not much hope of that if the forecast is to be believed. Colder weather from tomorrow ... :o((

15 Jan, 2018


So I see from the forecast......mixed here rain windy and sunny!! more like March!!

15 Jan, 2018

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