Favorite Flowers of 2017

It’s New Year’s Day, and I’m sitting on our back porch looking out on the garden, which is in a state of deep freeze. Now seems like a good time to think about the flowers that made me happiest over the year that just passed.


In March, I’m starved for color. So the appearance of Crocuses (like these Crocus tommasinianus) always make for a big mood boost.


This was a great year for Clove Currant (Ribes odoratum). This year our shrub in the Sidewalk Border was smothered in blooms, and the scent was strong and delicious, to the delight of most passing pedestrians.


I do love blue flowers, and my favorite blue flower in spring is the Virginia Bluebell (Mertensia virginica).


We are in the process of establishing a patch of Great White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) in the shady back garden. This is the first year we had any blooms. I’m looking forward to many more in future years!


The Tulips this year were disappointing – I had more winter losses than normal. Still, some Tulips are better than none. Spring would not be spring without vibrant blooms like ‘Princess Irene’ above.


Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) is another spring favorite.


Blue Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis) blooms mark the transition from spring to summer. Another much loved blue flower.


Love, love, love the orange flowers of Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa). All in all my favorite Milkweed.


Last year I tried cutting back the Clematis jackmanii in summer on the theory that it would rebloom in the fall. Didn’t work, and may have led to the vines being a little less vigorous this year. They still looked pretty good in 2017, though.


‘Raspberry Wine’ Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) dominates the Sidewalk Border in summer.


Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) is more understated, but still another favorite Monarda.


Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) in the Driveway Border had been in decline for a couple of years, partly due to attacks of the Four-Lined Plant Bugs. This year they made a modest comeback. I’m glad, because this is a fantastic plant.


Then, of course, there’s Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia). In my book this is an indispensable annual.


Here’s a close-up. Love those orange blooms!


It was the Lurie Garden that inspired me to plant ‘Summer Beauty’ Allium (Allium angulosum). They are now the most prized among the Alliums in our garden.


I love tall plants, especially Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum).


This is the first year that Cutleaf Coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata), another statuesque plant, made its presence known in the Driveway Border. Great plant, but how it got to our garden is still a mystery.


Fall brings masses of starry aster blooms.  If I had to pick just one of the several species in my garden, it would be Short’s Aster (Symphyotrichum shortii).



There were only a few ‘Honorine Jobert’ Japanese Anemone blooms this year. We initially had just a couple of young plants, but I’ve planted several more.

Warmed by memories of last year’s blooms, here’s looking forward to the 2018 gardening season!

That’s all for now.

46 Comments on “Favorite Flowers of 2017

  1. Lovely reminder of all that we have to look forward to in the warmer months!

  2. What a wonderful review of great flowering plants in your garden! It’s pretty darn wintry here, too, so encouraging to think about. I’m enjoying the winterberry shrubs next to us at the moment, and thinking about spring ahead.

    • I would love to have some winterberry. There are no winter berries in my garden now, as they were all eaten by squirrels long ago. But I believe you told me they leave the winterberries alone.

  3. What a treat to look at your beautiful photographs on this frigid day! Thanks!

  4. I’m going to have to look up that Clove Currant! Sounds wonderful! All of those flowers are lovely, and so nice to think about right now!

    • I recommend Clove Currant for the flowers and fragrance. The rest of the year it’s nothing special, kind of like Lilacs in that regard. The fruit’s not bad either, but you need two plants to ensure you get any currants.

  5. Incredible and what a welcome reminder of what warmer weather has in store. Love the Mexican sunflower. I need a bigger yard. 🙂

  6. That certainly is a lot of blue! Blue is a difficult color. Most blue flowers are purplish. It is funny that the lowly agapanthus is such a perfect blue . . . and white (my favorite). Your Japanese anemone rox! So does your indigo!

    • It’s true that most flowers called “blue” are not a true blue – more a mix of purple, violet, lavender. Never thought of Agapanthus as “lowly” – mainly because I’d like to grow it but can’t.

      • Oh of course. I think of it as lowly because it used to be so common in areas where no one wanted to tend to the landscape, but in colder climates up north, it is a fancier flower. It was popular as a potted plant in Portland. I suppose it would need protection in your area as well.

  7. It is quite nice to see these beautiful blooms on a cold winter’s day. I want to make sure I have some of these in my garden this year. That allium is a beaut. I wonder if it needs full sun? I don’t have much full sun here in my garden.

  8. It’s always a treat to see what’s blooming around your garden, so this is a nice look back. I love Virginia Bluebells but haven’t been able to get them established here. Such a delicate color. Nice to meet you and Judy this year. Happy gardening in 2018!

  9. This look back is lovely. I wonder how much winter loss I will suffer this year. On the bright side of freezing cold temps, the voles will have to burrow much deeper and maybe more hosta roots will survive.

    • Speaking of voles, I never got around to wrapping hardware cloth around my roses, and I’d really rather not until the weather warms.

  10. How lovely to see that colour while we seem to be in an endless deep freeze! You introduced me to tithonia and “raspberry wine” bergamot. I haven’t tried the cup plant, ‘though know it’s one of your favourites in mid-summer. Now I’m looking forward to the first peek of species crocus! Happy New Year.

  11. With the frigid landscape outside right now, it’s nice to be reminded of what we can look forward to in the coming year. Thanks for introducing me to Tithonia; I’ll be planting it again this year!

  12. So many beautiful blooms, Jason. One of these years, I’m hoping the Virginia Bluebells that I planted from seed a few years ago will actually bloom. I love them, and they make an appearance every year, but they’ve yet to actually produce blooms. Maybe I need to start with plants. To answer your question about the Monarchs, I do usually see them in June. This past year, I saw my first one in the garden on June 5, and I went out in the garden and found a dozen eggs on the Milkweed that day. 🙂

    • Maybe it just takes a few years for the VA Bluebells to flower. It’s wonderful that the monarch cats are plentiful in your garden, in mine they are quite rare.

  13. Hi, Jason! Happy New year!
    Love your spring flowers, your ‘Princess Irene’ tulips are awesome. I think I can loss some plants this winter as you lost in last winter. The weather is wet and icy that isn’t good for plants, especially tulips,

  14. A delightful review, Jason. I find that looking back over the year is a great way to anticipate what we have to look forward to in the coming year. Have a grand New Year.

  15. Thanks for that winter reminder of color..all white and frozen in our yard too. I will research about some of those plants especially the Clove Currant. That looks really neat, and if it smells of clove, I am all in!

  16. It was good to see the stars of your garden again Jason. I should review my images of the year but it was such a terribly hot, dry summer that I hardly dare remind myself. Perhaps I should; it might be better than I remember!!!! Love all the blues in your garden.

  17. Happy New Year to you and Judy! This is the perfect time to look back at these beautiful blooms with the sub zero temps outside. We’ve had several “extreme cold” alerts already, something we usually don’t see until January or February. I’ve just been making my list for seed orders and butterflyweed is right at the top of the list. Can’t wait!

  18. It is wonderful seeing all your blooms, especially at this time of the year. Your clematis has to be the crowning glory.xxx

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