Swirling in at number one, doing the Jarabe tapatio; the Mexican Hat Dance, we have Tigridia pavonia.
The Tigridia comes from Mexico. From the Drakensberg mountains in South Africa we have another bulb, Albuca shawii. It has deliciously fragrant, little yellow lanterns smelling of almonds and it is easy from seed. Mine live in the cold greenhouse but I am going to try some in the gravel garden to test for hardiness outside.
Number three has to be a lily. I love lilies and so I persevere even though lily beetle is a terrible problem. I don’t use a bug killer because even though the one generally used for lily beetle no longer contains the neonicotinoid; thiacloprid , it now contains deltamethrin instead. I don’t imagine this is very good for bees and other pollinators or for me either. So I have to pick them off by hand and squash them with my fingers which is revolting. It is also unnerving, as on the odd occasion, they appear to scream, or squeak in alarm as you attack them. It makes you feel an awful brute. But still, it is worth it if it means I get to enjoy the beautiful Asiatic lily ‘Night Flyer’ which is the deepest, darkest red.
Number four is another dark-coloured flower, or rather spathe. It is the weird -looking Arisaema costatum. It looks like a striped cobra-head with a long sinister tail.
Verbascums get unsightly foliage as they are attacked by the Mullein Moth but it is worth persevering with the beautiful Verbascum x hybridum ‘Snow Maiden’. Mine is cream rather than the more usual snowy white.
Another white flower which is really easy from seed is the whiter than Persil -white, corncockle, Agrostemma githago ‘Milas Snow Queen’ . The corncockle is no longer found in cornfields as all parts of it are poisonous. But I am not going to eat it and if you can exercise similar restraint then this pretty flower comes highly recommended; it is easy from seed and the satiny flowers with their little pencil dots are delightful.
Another easy plant from seed is the short-lived perennial, Catananche caerula. It is sky- blue with dark centres and the flowers have lovely silvery bracts. I have read that you can dry it, so I might have a go. The common name is ‘Cupid’s Dart’ Why Cupid should have blue darts I don’t know.
Another plant grown from seed is the lovely dahlia which I feature every year as I love it so much. Its grandmother was ‘The Bishop of Llandaff’ and I tried to get darker and darker children by throwing away the wishy -washy, paler red offspring and keeping the dark ones. I am particularly pleased with this one as it is very dark, (darker than it looks in the photo) and it has darker stripes down the petals.
For number nine I have chosen the lovely long spikes of Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Fascination’. It blooms for ages, bees love it and I think it looks good echoing the spires of the Buddleia behind.
And now we come to number ten and I was hard pushed to pick out a favourite.
Romneya coulteri with its gleaming white flowers was a contender but they are disfigured by an attack of pollen beetle at the moment. I might have chosen the dainty ‘Dierama pendulum x pulcherimmum, Angel’s Fishing Rod, but it was so windy today, it wouldn’t stay in focus. So I am going for a foxglove. I love foxgloves and grow quite a few different ones. This one is Digitalis lanata. The flowers are rusty, veined inside and have a long white lip.
It is silly trying to pick favourite flowers when there are so many beauties vying for attention, but still it’s fun and next month I shall do another Top Ten Blooms of the Month and perhaps you will join me and show me yours.
Lovely choices Chloris. I particularly like your tall Veronicastrum which is quite impressive.
I love veronicastrums, they bloom for ages. I am going to look out for some different ones.
All beautiful, although to my eyes that dahlia is over-the-top gorgeous. The lily beetle anecdote made me cringe, which is not to say that I wouldn’t dispatch the destructive beasts as well. My go-to tool is soapy water so I might see if that would work – or do they swim? Of course, beetles on my lilies aren’t a problem as most of mine already seem to have been incinerated by the heat here.
Re your top ten list, I currently participate in a last-Friday-of-the-month favorites post but since many, if not most, of my choices are usually flowering plants, I may be able to marry the two memes.
A lot of people use a bucket of water but I haven’t always got a bucket of water to hand when I see them.
I suggested to Kristina that we could make it 5 blooming plants each month as in the winter months there may not be 10 really gorgeous ones. It would be good to hear people’s monthly choices and advice on how to grow them.
Not sure which is my favorite. Red Lilies I think. Or maybe the Dahlias…hmm.
Both the lilies and the dahlia are darker than they look on the photos; they are both gorgeous.
I agree, they are gorgeous! My Cereus bud fell off this morning!
Oh no! Tragedy. I was really looking forward to seeing it. Oh well, at least you don’t need to stay up all night so as not to miss it.
True, though I am so curious about the flower. Wah!
Oh what a top ten Chloris! Are they in random order or ranked? That delicious lily is well worth the truly revolting act of squishing those pesky beetles. I’ve developed a knack of using a length of card to knock them off into empty pot and then disposing of them. Great fun 🙂
They are not really in order of preference; I love them all.
The problem with lily beetle disposal is that you need to do it every time you go round the garden. I don’ t always have anything but my bare hands. Mind you, I draw the line at removing the disgusting larva wrapped up in poo with my hands.
All ten selections are outstanding and unusual, Chloris. The faithful and stately verbascum and foxglove may be my favorites. I definitely grimaced reading of your beetles. You have me yearning for a sniff of that Albuca!
I love foxgloves and each year I sow some different ones.
The Albuca is very pretty, it is only just coming into bloom, maybe I should have waited until the flowers are fully open to photograph it. I also grow Albuca nelsonii which is tender and the white flowers are not so pretty.
I have obviously been deaf to the shrieks of the lily beetles I kill here; this year I was lucky and the Regal lilies escaped their attention, I find Madonna lilies suffer the most. I love the upright spires of Veronicastrum, I would love to be able to grow it here but it needs much moister soil than I could possibly provide. I rather doubt there will be 10 plants flowering at the end of July but if I include the cut flower garden then I will try to join you.
I have noticed that Madonna lilies are the favourites. Mine were totally wrecked this year. .
It would be nice if you would join in. Maybe 10 favourite blooming plants would be difficult some months, perhaps we should make it 5.
I’ll join in and if sometimes it’s foliage rather than flowers it will just prove how important that is. Also it’s through the month not on a particular day so I’m sure it will work. My favourite this month is Plumbago, it is such a lovely blue.
Lovely post and pictures. My favourite of these is the white corncockle. xx
Thank you Flighty. The corncockle is gorgeous, I got the seed from Chilterns.
Vine weevil ate my pot of Lilium Regale too late to re-plant for this year, but I will start again just for the prospect of attracting the beautifully camouflaged lime hawk moth who visited every year. Do you grow Martagon lilies? I was bowled over by a pinky-bronze one seen at Sissinghurst last year growing in the shade of the nuttery I think. It would be a lovely addition to my developing shady pinky-bronze border. (Acer Katsura, Geum rivale, Digitalis ferruginea and Pennisetum rubrum.) Better the squish than the squeeze (of a plastic bottle)!
Have you tried growing Lilium regale from seed? It is the easiest lily from seed and the quickest to flower. Yes, I have Martagon lilies and they too are beloved by lily beetle, they look terrible this year.
I like the sound of your pinky-bronze border.
A lovely selection and some of them are my favourites too although I must admit I find it hard to select such a small number but on a monthly basis I probably could do it too. Veronicastrum would certainly be among them now. Love the colour of the lily. As for Dierama, they demand a lot of patience. Just one flower this year same as last year. I’ve got one in a pot, another one planted out in the border where it’ll probably do better. Hope you’re well, Liz, wishing you a nice summer 🙂
Na liebe Annette, wie geht es dir ?
It is hard to choose just 10 favourites but it is fun going round the garden selecting special plants. If we all write a little about the plants and more importantly how to grow them it could be interesting.
Einen wunderschönen Sommer wünsche ich dir auch.
Not great at the moment, Liz, as our dog is very sick. But I keep the 10 fav in mind for a future post, good idea. Take care xx
I loved them all, especially that weird Arisaema costatum, how fabulous!
Oh….OHHHHHHH…….your screaming, squeaking lily beetle comment has me shuddering! My poor lilies are being decimated by them, I am becoming obsessed with catching them, there are so many that I was building up to possibly squishing them, I can’t do that now can I???? I’ll just have to keep throwing them over the fence!!! xxx
I love arisaemas, they are all weird and wonderful.
The lily beetles don’t squeak every time, it has only happened a couple of times. If you throw them over the hedge they will only come back, like snails. Maybe a bucket of water is better suited to your kind heart, although I don’t know whether drowning is better than being squished.
Just 10 is a good idea and though I agree choosing “favorites” can be pointless when you love them all, the process of evaluation is surprisingly helpful in many respects. I have a terrible time squishing bugs, but when the Japanese beetles arrive so does a mean streak and enjoy slapping them with a ruler into a jar of water with just a drop of liquid soap. Doesn’t make much difference, but so satisfying!
I agree, it makes you go round the garden with critical eyes pondering on what looks particularly good. And it gives other bloggers ideas for plants they might not have thought of.
Your top ten truly are beautiful! I always admire Tigridia pavonia in other people’s gardens and make a mental note to purchase some bulbs. However, my mental note pad gets misplaced easily.
Thank you Peter. Tigridia looks so exotic and yet it is so easy to find and undemanding to grow.
That Verbascum is gorgeous! At first I thought it was Hollyhocks. As for the Tigridia, all I can say is ole! (Just pretend there is an accent on the e, which I don’t know how to do in comments. Shouting “ole!” without an accent would be rather baffling, I suppose.)
I am pleased with the verbascum, this one is new to me this year. I shall get some more next year, I love it. You are right one would feel silly shouting ‘ole’.
Thankfully I don’t have to worry about squishing lily beetles as any lilies I might want to grow (fritillaria ditto) are eaten by the mice long before the beetles get a look in.
Smashing top ten. Arisaema is a genus I’m enjoying exploring and you’ve added a new one to follow up. Thanks!
Oh dear, your many mice are a pest. Not being able to grow frits is a tragedy.
I love arisaemas, they look so exotically sinister.
I really liked your top 10 flowers, lovely variety. I always take a paper tissue with me when I go lily beetle hunting, knock them onto the tissue and then stamp on them, so satisfying!
Thank you Pauline. Now that is a useful suggestion. A paper tissue would deal with the disgusting larva in poo problem too.
Another diverse and unusual list of beauties from your garden. Are A. ‘Milas Snow Queen’ blooms larger than normal? I am trying to track down what to buy after seeing a white version with flowers that were twice the usual diameter.
Thank you. I’m not sure if they are bigger, it’ s ages since I saw a corncockle. They are lovely though. T&M do a white one called’ Ocean Pearl,’ that might be bigger.
Thanks for this info Liz. Special Plants describes ‘Ocean Pearl’ as having a larger than normal flower, so now I know!
How to pick your favourites? They are all beautiful, as usual Chloris you also have some unusual plants.
When I first read about Romneya coulteri, I lusted after growing it but alas! It is not even remotely hardy here. I really like that foxglove’s bicolor effect; I once grew D. parviflora in my “Chocolate Garden” because of the common name, but yours has a much nicer white-and-dark-chocolate effect! Flowers are larger too, I think.
I dread the day lily beetles find my garden…
Fascinating flowers as usual. I might have to give a few a second look since up until now I’ve always disregarded tigridia and albuca as not worth bothering with. Verbascum and digitalis are a different story, I can’t ever get enough of them in the garden!
Screaming lily beetles…? Must be your conscience, Chloris 😉 Couldn’t possibly list 10 favourites in my garden but it was interesting to see what you ahd chosen ps my catanche germinated but didn’t get beyond small pots – do you think they might be better direct sown?
Jolis dahlia et joli mélange de fleurs colorées.
What an amazing selection, winners one and all!
So many beautiful flowers — how can you choose only ten? Every one of them is gorgeous, and your list gives me a few ideas for new ones to try in my own gardens. Thanks! -Beth
I think I have caught up with you now, Chloris! Your gardens are beautiful, and I love that special garden shed!
Our hot & dry season is now upon us, along with endless watering.
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I enjoyed this post Chloris and reading about your lovely sunflowers. It was also lovely to see some of the treasures you have collected on your travels
What a beautiful collection. The lilies seem worth your effort–gorgeous.
The pavonia flower is new to me. Thanks for sharing it!