Well, its almost the end of the summer, and while living in the wonderful world of zone 7 means I'll still have time to grow more plants, the stork is due in 2 weeks (!!!!!) so I am sure I'll be occupied for a while, and I don't currently have a lot of fall plants in my garden, as its still young.
What worked well, what didn't, and what I might try for next year.
Worked well: All the Hibsicus were fabulous! I am in love with the Fireball hibiscus, which went dormant for maybe a week or 2 during the worst summer weather, but now is completely loaded with blooms. No supplemental water needed for it or the Fantasia Hibsicus pictured here, which somehow managed to survive the death bed (AKA Jen's big noobie mistake of putting almost all compost in the bed, because compost is better then soil, right?) Both Hibsicus were in their 2nd year in my garden:
The Narrow Leaf Zinnias were also great plants. I am not surprised, because this is a Felder Rushing recommendation, from his book "Tough Plants for Southern Gardens" but its still important to note, once I got this established, no problems at all ignoring it in the garden. This is an annual, so I'll have to get it again, or try it from seed. Maybe it will show up in my garden as reseeds! I didn't have to dead head it or water it at all.
Snowflurry Verbena had all the same attributes as the Zinnias, with the added benefit that it is a perennial! This is its first year, so hopefully there will be no issues with it overwintering, as I really don't want to pay the high PDN costs again for this plant. It did great though! I love Verbenas, they are just gorgeous. I picked up some Aztec Cherry Verbena on a whim on the markdown section, and they are also incredible. I gotta get these next year at the beginning of the season, so cheery and bright and undemanding.
Perennial Heilotrope also did great, no need to water, and spread like crazy. I think it looks lovely next to my butterfly bush. I need to come up with a good color to mix with that light lavender, though. I have a pretty boring bed of just white and purple right now, it just needs a little more excitement. Not sure what to do with it. This is also the first year for the Heilotrope in my garden.
Man, I had a lot of plants that didn't do well. This is 100% due to the fact that it was survival of the fittest for them, and probably not due to them being bad plants. I just couldn't bring myself to do a lot in the garden, especially as hot and miserable as this summer was. I did manage to keep up with the weeds (mostly) and that is an impressive feat when you factor in that I was 6 months along in June!
All my Coneflowers did terrible almost all summer. The ones that performed best were the Kim's Knee High. Most of the species had ugly mutant flowers, and weird diseased flowers. What went wrong, Coneflowers? You were my favorite plants last year! I thought the beds had good enough drainage, and come to think of it, the Agastaches in the same beds did GREAT, so it can't be that. I think the varieties I planted must have just been bad. Maybe I'll pull them all up and move the Kim's to a better place, right now they are close to the pine trees, so they are way more thirsty than they should be. Second year for all my Coneflowers, all of which did miserable.
My Nepeta were sulky and puny, and I don't know what could be causing it, unless its that they are too close to the pine trees as well. They hardly bloomed, they didn't grow. Right now my plan is to move around some stuff in that bed and pull some other plants in the fall. Hopefully they will be happy somewhere else.... maybe they should go in a different bed all together. This was their second year in the bed.
Well, that's enough details for me. I had some annuals that didn't perform well, but they are annuals, and probably it was my neglect more than anything. Oh and my Cherokee Purple tomatoes are still going strong, had table ready tomatoes by July 19th. Definitely will keep growing these next year.