What I’m Loving this Year…

So now that the spring has finally come (and yes, we’re still waiting on summer up here in the Northern Midwest), I’ve gotten out to some of our local farmers’ and flea markets. In my travels, I’ve come across both a perennial and an annual which I haven’t had the opportunity to grow before which I am absolutely in LOVE with. Each year I try to select what I would consider my favorite plants I have grown during the summer and so far, these have taken the title hands down.

Perennial – Lychnis x arkwrightii ‘Vesuvius’

This little beauty¬† has so many characteristics that attract me I barely know where to begin. First of all, I love its rather small size, topping out at 18″ tall and 12″ wide. Secondly, the foliage is a deep green to burgundy color while the flower stems are burgundy through and through. This being the first time I’ve

Just try finding another perennial for your garden with this brilliant orange color and perfect habit!

grown it, I can’t vouch for its longevity (my Plant Bible refers to it as “short-lived”) or ability to withstand the Midwest winters, but I’ll definitely keep you posted. Here’s the specifics:

Botanical name: Lychnis x arkwrightii ‘Vesuvius’
Common Name: Arkwright’s Campion or Catchfly Height: 12-18″
Width: 10-12″
Sunlight Requirements: Full Sun
Bloomtime: Early to Mid Summer
Zones: 5-8

Annual – Streptocarpus ‘Concord Blue’

As far as I am concerned, the world of annuals contains a lot of great options, but many which are way overused. Therefore, I have made it one of my recent goals to branch out and try some which have not made their home in my landscape before. Enter the Concord Blue. When I found this plant, I was immediately struck by the delicate blooms and the rich green foliage. This annual is borne from the same family as African Violets and can even be grown as a houseplant in extremely porous soil. Again, having been a “newbie” at growing this particular plant, I have yet to try this myself. Here are the specifics:

The 'Blue Concord' Streptocarpus is extremely happy in a shaded container.

Botanical Name: Streptocarpus ‘Concord Blue’
Common Name: Concord Blue Cape Primrose
Height: 8-12″
Width: 16-20″
Sunlight Requirements: Partial to Full Shade
Bloom Time: Spring to Autumn
Special Features: great in containers, can grow as a houseplant


There you have it: the two plants I “visit” most often in my yard right now. I guess you know you’re a plant geek when you go over to one just to say “hello” and could sit there just looking at it for hours! So…what are your favorites this year???

Until next time,