Plants that inspire passion, Part II

Leaves are falling outside my kitchen window, and the wind is blowing them across the lawn these last warm days. Last week, I talked about plants that inspire passion in my garden. The post was too long–even for me–so I broke it into two parts.

The green chairs in our front lawn surrounded by leaves.

We’re supposed to have a cold front come through tomorrow. In autumn and later winter, cold fronts push out of Canada or across the Pacific and eventually confront the plains. Some of the Canadian Express types are very strong. Because of Hurricane Sandy stirring up the jet stream on the eastern side of the U.S., Oklahoma has had wonderful weather, and every blue sky reminds me of the devastation. As someone who has watched her state deal with the aftermath of wildfire and tornadoes, my heart is heavy.

If you want to help, consult your favorite charity like the American Red Cross or Catholic Charities USA. Both will take donations with the click of a mouse. This storm was so huge it will take the whole country to help people get back on their feet. The government can’t do it all, and as taxpayers, we’re the government anyway.

It’s nearly time to plant tulips, narcissus and crocus. I already planted my true lilies–not daylilies–where I can keep a close eye on them. I’ve been adding lilies here and there for the July garden when nothing much is blooming. The bed next to the garage isn’t on our watering system. I use my old method of soaker hoses, so I can baby the plants that need it. The soil is basically amended red sand. When we built the garage, sand was brought in for the concrete foundation, and the remainder is what I amend with composted leaves and Back to Nature.

‘Black Beauty’ lilies from last summer.

I ordered the following lilies when I went mad one day at the height of summer, and the thermometer hit 104F:
‘Lionheart’ Asiatic hybrid;
‘Flashpoint’Orienpet hybrid;
‘Forever Susan’ Asiatic hybrid;
‘Conca d’ Or’ Orienpet hybrid;
‘Royal Sunset’ Asiatic hybrid; and
‘Scheherazade’ Orienpet.

Dendranthema ‘Will’s Wonderful’ (a/k/a Chrysanthemum x rubellum) just began blooming here.

More great plants are mums and asters–now no longer truly designated as either mums or asters. Mums are now Dendranthema, and many asters are Symphyotrichum, which may be more factual at the cellular level, but also unpronounceable. They’ll always be mums and asters to me. ‘Will’s Wonderful’ has started blooming again, and he’s a honey. All of the former asters are pretty much finishing up. These plants are worthy additions to your fall garden, and you can keep them in check by chopping them back a time or two during the growing season. Stop after July 1st to give them time to form buds. I like them so much I added a few more to my garden this year. If you don’t want them to reseed, cut them off after blooming. I let mine reseed with abandon, but that’s just me.

Salvia greggii in red. Can you see the little hairs on the blooms?

Finally, I am passionate about natives. I really enjoy Oklahoma and Texas natives, and they seem to also love my garden. What would the summer and fall garden be without Salvia greggii? I have the best luck with the pink and red varieties and only limited success with the more purple ones. It’s okay. Every garden has its strong points.

I’m also not prejudiced against other southern natives, and I’m trying Coreopsis integrifolia, Chipola River daisy, this fall. It has bloomed like a champ, and in a protected area, I think it will be a wonderful addition to my native favorites.

Coreopsis integrifolia, Chipola River Daisy. Like a lot of my other unique plants, I bought this from Bustani. I’m sure you could find it other places too.

So, on this day at November’s beginning in 2012, these are my personal favorites in the garden. They make me say, “Ah” when I go outside. What are yours? If you change your mind later, I won’t hold you to your choices. Please share.



  1. Carol says:

    Plants that inspire passion? Well, this year I suppose it should be those plants that survived the drought. Right now, though, I am mad for clematis of all sorts, and violets. Thank you for a great post!

  2. Deanne says:

    Wonderful post Dee!!!! I can’t live without Hydrangea ‘Little Honey’, Clematis ‘Betty Corning’ and Orienpet llily ‘Taragonna’… Sigh.

  3. Move over Elizabeth Lawrence. YOU ARE A GREAT and INSPIRING WRITER! I loved this. I guess what I really love is how personal this is and how you draw us into your world.

    Love you dear Dee. Yes, we MUST donate to the Red Cross and YES, WE are the government. We just have to share both the good and the bad.


    1. Dee Nash says:

      Oh Sharon, you made me cry. That is the highest praise ever from one of my favorite writers, bar none, about another writer I so admire. We are the people. Yes, we are. Love you too and can’t wait to see you at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show my friend.

  4. commonweeder says:

    Beautiful photos. I love the way you extend my season, but get dizzy with all the plant name changes.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Thank you Pat. I think dizzy is the operative word. Me too.

  5. Diana-Sharing Nature's Garden says:

    They are all lovely. It’s so hard to choose when you have so many favorites!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Thanks Diana. It truly is.

  6. I like mums and asters, too. And as for another favorite in the garden, little blackfoot daisy keeps blooming and blooming, through heat, drought, freezes…it’s a trooper.

  7. Wow, Dee, you have a LOT more flowers blooming at this time of year than I do here. I’m lucky with a rose here or there. I did spot one penstemon this morning. And the mullein had a single yellow flower on top. You are so good at planning! Your front garden with the green chairs looks so inviting! xoxo

  8. VP says:

    I can’t get my head around those new latin names at all – Dicentra is still firmly Dicentra in my brain!

    I have a new red Salvia just like yours this year – Salvia ‘Royal Bumble’. Now there’s a flower – and name – which is a delight 🙂

  9. Oh yeah we are cold here and maybe in for another storm with SNOW! I hope not and am wishing for more warmth so I can see some blooms. I just finished the last of the bulb planting this cold raw day and now we sleep.

  10. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Of the plants you showed here those lilies do draw my eye. I wish I had ordered a batch of them to plant now. Those tall lilies give so much pleasure and almost at eye height. Have a great weekend.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      They make me swoon too. I just hope the lilies hang in here during our hot and dry summers. We shall see.

  11. Thanks for putting the links up, we all want to give what we can. Tragic.
    I get frustrated with the renaming of plants…..makes me crazy. I have long drooled over Scheherazade, what a beauty.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Janet, I get frustrated too. You could probably tell that from the wording in my post. I can’t keep up with all the name changing sometimes. I hope Scheherazade hangs in there during our hot and dry summers. We’ll find out in a year or two.

  12. Jason says:

    I’m a big fan of Asiatic lilies and the white ‘Casa Blanca’ orientals. All the salvias I grow are blue/purple, I’d like to try the red salvia gregii.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Jason, if you do decide to try pink salvias, please give ‘Pink Preference’ a look. It’s a great one I think, one of the best.~~Dee

  13. Greggo says:

    I’m not too impressed with my mums this fall as I’ve haven’t maintained them properly. However, the aster “Woods Blue” a dwarf variety, has succeeded and has done well underneath a red flower carpet rose in companion with variegated Miscanthus.
    I am really surprised how well the Panicum amarum has done this year in the drought and looks really good with it’s rust colored seed heads. I originally thought it was dewey blue switchgrass but now I think it’s Dallas Blues. If I remember right you have the Dallas Blues variety? Let me know what your seed heads look like (color) as I have planted more new plants to match the mature plants. The seed head colors are different and I understand Dewey Blue is more aggressive. I must conquer this mystery. Aye.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Greggo, I thought I had ‘Dallas Blues,’ but I’m not sure my variety is true. I think it is actually a different panicum. I think some that were sold as ‘Dallas Blues’ alas were not. I don’t have ‘Woods Blue’ aster, but I’ll have to look into it. I love the non-asters. They are wonderful plants. My mums have all been frozen to the ground by an early freeze, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. I enjoyed them for awhile.

      1. Greggo says:

        Thanks for telling me about the google chrome warning. I’m curious why google blogger hadn’t noticed it before and warned me.

        Sidenote: I’m actually watching OU on TV during lunch vs. Iowa State, tough place to play. OSU has a tough one tonight vs. K State. Enjoy the weather.

  14. Frances says:

    Thank you for those timely and important links to ways we can all help the vicims of the recent storm. It puts things we think are important into perspective, certainly. But loving gardens and plants is also important for our well being. Lilies are right up there among my passionate favorites, many blooming at a down time in summer’s heat. You will love Royal Sunset! I also ordered Conca D’Or this year and Scheherezade last. There can never be too many lilies. I am also glad those beloved plants will remain as mums and aster to you. So easy to remember, spell and pronounce, and most folks know what you are talking about when you wax poetic about them.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Frances, I am so with you on plant nomenclature. As for the storm victims, we must count our blessings in this month of thanksgiving and give as much as we can. Those poor people. We’ve known so many disasters here, and I know it takes the entire world to help sometimes.

  15. Layanee says:

    It is hard to continue with the day to day chores when so many are living in despair but then every day someone is suffering somewhere in the world. So wonderful of you to post those links. As for the garden, find respite there and I hope no great disaster ever befalls it.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      I also find respite there. I hope that the people of New York and New Jersey can also find time to love nature again one day too. I’m so sad for all of them and think about them as I weed the garden.~~Dee

  16. Ann says:

    I love, love salvias. Our whitetail deer won’t touch them so I have planted as many as I can and am trying all colors. I really like the Salvia guaranitica with its dark blue black blooms.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Ann, I love them too. They are the stalwarts of my garden and are great performers even when the weather is horrid. I love S. guaranitica too because it is one of the best.

  17. gail says:

    I am beginning to feel passion for Dendranthema ‘Will’s Wonderful’! You already tempted me with Coreopsis integrifolia, Chipola River Daisy when you showcased it for Wildflower Wednesday! Thank you for the links to charitable organizations~It will take all of us to help those devastated by Sandy. gail

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Gail, I’m here to enable. 🙂

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