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”

      • 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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. 🙂

  5. 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,

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

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