Many plants performed well this summer. The African lily (Agapanthus) with its strappy bright leaves sported spikey blue flowers. Wintering it in the garage was just the ticket.
The combination of blue salvia, Bandana Lemon Zest Lantana and Diamond Frost Euphorbia thrived in pots in part shade/afternoon sun.
On a very dry, sunny slope Helen von Stein lambs ears did well alongside Denim ‘n Lace Russian Sage. Coral bells in the same location unfortunately fried to a crisp. I should have known better.
But two plants stole my fancy. One was a David Austin shrub rose, Litchfield Angel , named after a limestone sculpture from the 8th century discovered in Litchfield Cathedral in Staffordshire, UK. https://www.davidaustinroses.com/ They arrived bare root at the end of May and quickly put out an abundance of leaves and bloomed in the softest blushing cream. I will never get tired of looking at them in the garden or in a vase. The David Austin Handbook of Roses is available for free every spring. It’s a little book full of beautiful photos of roses and heartfelt descriptions of everything to do with roses. In the 2021 edition David Austin describes the company philosophy:
“This past year has been unlike any other, presenting challenges for us all, customers and businesses alike. However, if nothing else, it has served as a welcome reminder of the importance of our gardens and outdoor spaces. It is in these peaceful enclaves that we nurture, nourish and enjoy the fruits of our labors. It is here that we find reassurance in the reliability of nature to bloom once again and create beauty and fragrance around us.”
Whether you buy roses or not this treasure of a handbook is worth reading. I do not wish for a bigger garden because what I have is all I can care for, but I do wish for more roses.
The other plant that caught my heart this summer was Eskimo African Marigold. At only a foot tall its orange and gold faces are so bright and engaging. The seeds came from John Scheepers, https://www.kitchengardenseeds.com/, a very reliable old firm in Connecticut. I must get more for next year and place them where they will nod at me every day.
Litchfield Angel shrub rose and Eskimo African marigold are my two summer loves this year. Next summer I will still be fond of them but will surely find other plants to take my breath away.