Here are my six in the garden for today. Be sure to check out The Propagator for the source of this meme and links to all the “Six on Saturday” posts from other contributors.
1. Campsis radicans
Also known as Trumpet Vine, this plant was well established in the garden when we moved here. I did not recognize it and had to look it up. Although it is said to be destructive to its supports and potentially highly invasive, I have found it to be vigorous but easily controlled and (knock on wood!) untroubled by pests. The flowers are quite showy and are attractive to hummingbirds. C. radicans is native to the eastern United States and has naturalized in many parts of North America, including Ontario.
2. Coreopsis ‘Star Cluster’
I used to be a ferocious knitter and at one time I became interested in dying wool various colours using plant material instead of chemical dyes. Onion skins work well. Lichens impart subtle hues and a wonderful fragrance to yarn. Coreopsis tinctoria (Plains coreopsis) is another well-known natural dye. It was used by the Zuni people to make a mahogany red dye for yarn. Over the years and long after my dye-plant experiments, I grew the common orange-yellow version of coreopsis (or tickseed) in my gardens. This summer, I discovered Coreopsis ‘Star Cluster’ at a local garden centre and did not hesitate. Bought and planted, it continued to delight. It is one of the Big Bang(TM) series and is said to be reliably perennial.
3. Rosa ‘Chapeau de Napoleon’
I used to have two moss roses: the common moss rose and Rosa ‘Chapeau de Napoleon’. Both were gifts to me from my daughter. Somewhere along the line, one of these roses was lost and I don’t really know which one I still have. It is most likely Chapeau de Napolean, also known as Rosa × centifolia ‘Cristata’ or crested cabbage rose. On these roses, each sepal has a mossy crest on the back. When the sticky moss on the rose is rubbed, it gives off an unusual and delightful scent.
4. Supermarket Chrysanthemums
Every September, flowering Chrysanthemums in various colours are offered up in pots at local supermarkets. Two years ago, I bought one in purple. It’s come back, bigger every year. I don’t know how I feel about it: I neither like it nor dislike it. I live with it because it has performed too well to chuck it out.
5. Rose ‘Summer Song’
This is a David Austin rose. I’ve read more than a few complaints about ‘Summer Song’: “it doesn’t do well in Texas” was one of them but, really, how many roses do well in Texas? Well, there are a few and, after all, cantaloupes do well in Texas. You can’t have everything. A frequent gripe is that this rose is too tall, too leggy. I agree it’s a wannabe climber, but pruning will take care of that. In exchange, you get an unusual and beautiful flower colour, lovely fragrance and repeat blooming that goes on all summer.
6. Rose ‘Molineux’
Another David Austin rose, this yellow-blossomed beauty is an all-around winner. It flowers profusely and almost continuously, each bloom more perfect than the last. It’s not greatly troubled by pests and most of the work involved in its care is the deadheading.