Drumroll please…

Today I decided to do a post along with Meems over at  Hoe &  Shovel showing my Best Performer for 2008.  Since it is so hard to choose just one plant when I had so many great displays this year, I’m going to list a few categories.   And the winners are….


Angelonia (summer 2008)

 For best performer in the annuals category….this little purple beauty bloomed it’s heart out from May -November in the new garden bed.  It will definitely be on my planting list next season.  I saved some seed just in case it wasn’t easy to find at the nursery.

Clematis 'Niobe'

Clematis 'Niobe' (fall 2008)

 For best performance in the climber category….this large flowering cultivar can’t be beat for two seasons of blooms!  She started in late April and finished in May.  Then when the heat of summer faded away she came to life again in September and is still full of buds as we speak!

Hydrangea 'Limelight' (summer 2008)

Hydrangea 'Limelight' (summer 2008)

And of course the winner for best performer in the shrubs/small tree category in my garden is none other than the Hydrangea ‘Limelight’.  I raved about this champion plant all season.  Even now with her faded  blooms she is stunning and interesting to look at in the winter garden.  

Phlox 'Robert Poore'

Phlox 'Robert Poore'

 Last but not least is the best performer in the perennial category for 2008.  This garden Phlox has some wonderful qualities such as a long season of bloom (from Jun-Nov), magnet for bees & butterflies, lovely fragrance and mildew resistance.  She makes a great companion to Roses, Rubeckia, Liatris and Echinacea in my garden.  What were your best performers for 2008?


20 responses to this post.

  1. Racquel … do you fertilize Niobe with clematis fertilizer or just the general gardn fertilizer ? .. I have Niobe .. just put her in this year with Henrii .. and I wondered what you did for such beautiful blooms !

    Hi Joy, I just use general fertilizer for all my plants. She seems to have come into her own this year. It’s been a few years since I planted the three I have in the garden. Thanks!


  2. What eye candy on a cold, dreary day 🙂 Simply beautiful blooms!

    Thanks Mom, it’s always nice to look back at the photos from summer’s glory!


  3. Great selections to deserving plants! 🙂

    I had already posted this morning, so I’ll have to present my performers tomorrow.

    Thanks Cameron. These are my star pupils in the garden. 🙂 Can’t wait to see what you picked for your top performers tomorrow.


  4. Beautiful blooms Racquel. Nice to see on a December day. It reminds me of what we have to look forward to in spring.. My profusion zinnias would win on best bloom category. Love those flowers!

    Thanks Linda! It was nice to look back through my photos and see how pretty they looked over the summer and fall. Your profusion zinnias would definitely be a contender!


  5. Hi Racquel, the timing is perfect for this meme, just when we are planning and scheming for next year’s additions. Your photo of the angelonia belongs in a catalog! We need more of that, it grows well here also.

    Hi Frances, wasn’t this perfect timing for the end of the year! That Meems is clever. 🙂 Thanks so much, I just love that shot of the Angelonia too. It really was a champion in my garden this year, the drought didn’t even phase it. I might add some more colors next season.


  6. Just a stunning show of your flowers. I am learning so much from you and fellow garden bloggers! Thanks!

    Thanks Darla. Glad I am a source of information for you! 🙂


  7. Racquel, So nice to see your best bloomers. It is a nice idea to do the best performers in categories. I SOOOOO love limelight but it doesn’t grow here. I cut some when on vacation in N. GA in September, brought them home and they are still perfect in a vase. How can that be? What a perfect flower. And I love seeing them dried on the bushes too. The Angelonia is a big seller here in the big box stores but the one time I bought it, it didn’t seem to like the ridiculous long months of humidity here. I might have to give it another try after seeing yours. Great post. I’m offering up a big hand clap for your high achievers!
    Meems @ Hoe&Shovel

    Hi Meems, thanks for coming up with clever idea! I just put my own twist on it with the categories. 🙂 Limelight is wonderful but it probably doesn’t appreciate your long months of humidity and heat. It really lasts a long time cut in a vase too. I figured Angelonia would do well in your area. Maybe try it in some partial sun areas where it gets afternoon shade. I have to do that with some of my sun lovers. Thanks for the big hand clap. 😉


  8. It’s great to see other gardener’s favourite plants. I thought I had Jackmanii clematis, but it looks almost identical to yours (from what I can remember). I wonder if mine had the wrong label on.

    I think so Amy, it’s fun to see what other gardener’s have tried in their gardens with success. I know Jackmanii is more of a true purple but with similar shaped flowers as Niobe. It could be, I had one that was mislabeled this year. It was suppose to be Snow Queen (a true white) and it ended up being a lavender pink shade. It happens.


  9. I can see why you picked each of these star performers, Racquel. I planted some angelonia for the first time this year, but in a container–I might try planting it in a flowerbed after seeing yours. And I do hope my new Limelight does as well next year as yours did!

    Thanks Rose. They were true star performers in my garden this year and earned the recognition. How did your Angelonia do in a container? It did really well in my garden. No extra water or fertilizer. I didn’t even have to deadhead it. I’m sure your Limelight will do well. I wish you luck, it’s a great Hydrangea!


  10. Oh, that’s so lovely! No wonder they are your blooming stars! Is it a coincidence that most of them are pink-purple?

    Thank you Sunita. They did earn their seal of approval this year! 🙂 lol, I just noticed that other than Limelight the rest were in the purple family. I do have a tendency to be attracted to that side of the color wheel.


  11. Ok, so I’ve made my list! I love Angelonia, too–I just discovered it this year and it was great at the front of the border. My performers are seasonal–foxglove, penstemon, salvias, buddleia. But this is a great meme–I’m going to see what everyone else lists!

    This was a first year for me with the Angelonia. I keep forgetting about annuals for some reason. 🙂 You picked some great choices too. I love foxgloves but have never had much luck with them coming back after a couple of years. Buddleia can’t be beat for the long season of blooms we get. Wasn’t this a fun meme. I’m enjoying what other’s love in their gardens, gives me ideas. 😉


  12. Posted by greenwalks on December 14, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Nice to see all those summer blooms on what for us is a snow-covered-garden day! Thinks look pretty but it’s supposed to be super cold this week and I’m a bit worried about some of my “babies.” I didn’t plant a whole lot that was new this year, and I don’t have a ton of flowers, but I’d say the garnet Penstemon wins my prize for favorite long bloomer.

    Brrr…snow! Haven’t seen any of that white stuff here yet. It would be nice to have a white Christmas, only had one of those in the 20 years I’ve lived here. The snow should act as a nice insulator for your new babies. It’s the freezing & thawing that really wreaks havoc on my garden. Our weather is up & down in the winter which causes heaving. 😦 Penstemons are wonderful perennials. They have such pretty flowers and foliage.


  13. You have some wonderful winners there Racquel! I couldn’t agree with you more about the angelonia. Mine did beautifully as well. Another for me was my Coreopis “Creme Brulee”. A great summer blooming perennial. I could go on and on because it is difficult to choose from so many wonderful plants.

    Thank you Susie. I will have to give your Coreopsis ‘Creme Brulee’ a shot next season. It is difficult to choose amongst so many wonderful plants isn’t it.


  14. Racquel, all great choices. The angelonia is beautiful! I had some in a container this year and it also did well.I may try some in the ground next year after seeing yours. Of course the Limelight is just a wonderful hydrangea.I have seen them here at all stages and am very impressed. It’s been interesting to see what plants have done really well for others.

    Thanks Beckie. I was pleased with these selections this season. They were at the top of their game. 🙂 Sounds like Angelonia was a big hit with more than me. Yep you just can beat Limelight, I hope Rose’s does well for her next year. This has been a fun meme.


  15. lovely favourites you have. i love the clematis. i had it at my other house and will grow it here too. and the hydrangia are so nice.

    Thanks Marmee. Clematis & Hydrangeas are in my top 5 list of plants I have to have in my garden!


  16. What a wonderful meme! I love your choices and am very tempted to add Robert Poore to the garden. A wonderful love triangle with ensue with Laura and David nearby! Wow on the Angelina…gail

    Thanks Gail. This has been a fun meme to participate in & appropriately timed don’t you think. 🙂 You should add Robert Poore, he will make a nice companion to your Laura & David.


  17. I so agree about Angelonia! Not just in my garden (in containers) but also in my mom’s garden, in the ground, it was just outstanding, blooming through the hottest, dryest part of summer & well into autumn.

    See! Everyone I’ve talked to about this wonderful annual feels the same way that you & I do. I will have to try it in containers as well as the ground next season. 🙂 Thanks MMD!


  18. I came over for GBBD, but got sidetracked by this post. I like this idea, but I’m pretty indecisive, so don’t know if I could come up with a list like this.

    I enjoyed seeing your beauties!

    Glad I got your attention Sue. 😉 It was an easy decision for me, these beauties kept making the top of my list this summer for posts. Thank you!


  19. Your bed of Angelonia is beautiful. I am going to have to try that next year. I have Phlox Robert Poore too and I agree that he is a star!


  20. I would agree with you on Angelonia. We have been planting more and more of it each year on some of my company’s landscape jobs and it is a sturdy performer. In my own yard I declared a tie between New Gold Lantana and Profusion Zinnias.


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