Plants I miss

During the dreary days of winter I spend quite a bit of time going back through my garden photo archives. Not only does it give me a taste of what I'm missing from the spring and summer, but it reminds me of what I had done in the garden in years past.

Looking back also reminds me of the plants that I no longer grow for whatever reason. Today I'm going to start talking about some of those that I miss, starting with hollyhocks.


The photos in today's post are from June 2004, eight growing seasons ago. It was probably the first and only year I had hollyhock blooms in my garden. From what I remember, they were bothered by rabbits -- that could have been because there wasn't much else around to nibble though.

I loved the height of these, and the wall of color they provided.

I didn't love having to wait two years for blooms though, as they're biennial. Back then my garden was so much smaller, waiting an extra year to see a plant's payoff just wasn't easy.

Now though, I don't see any reason why I couldn't tuck a small grouping of these somewhere, maybe into the prairie beds. I can think of three places they might work, and not be a problem the first non-flowering year. I'm pretty sure I'll need to buy new seeds though. (But I'll dig them out and test them this winter.)

This photo shows another plant I loved but no longer have: butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) -- the orange blooms in the foreground.

A native plant in Missouri (and much of the US) it was one of the first perennials I planted. I had two different plants if I remember correctly, and both eventually wasted away, probably from competition with other plants and possibly not enough sunlight.

I can certainly grow more of these from seed, and can tuck these almost anywhere -- even in the new walkway beds. I will have to buy one of these in the spring if I want to see blooms this year though. Am I still that impatient?

The last plant that I once enjoyed but no longer have is Yarrow 'Paprika'. At one time I had several different yarrows (the red 'Paprika', a white version, a pink one, the yellow 'Coronation Gold', and one with cool leaves called 'Love Parade').

I think only 'Coronation Gold' is left, and it's back in the corner in the "don't care" bed. Why? What happened to 'Paprika'? I love the ferny foliage, and the different shades of red and tan of the blooms were so attractive. I really should get this again and put it somewhere among some grasses.

Don't be surprised if you see all three of these plants showing up again in my garden photos in a couple of years.

Are there any plants that you once grew and now miss?


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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (December 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM)  

I can't tell you how much I envy people you can grow hollyhocks. I've tried and failed numerous times. I don't know what the problem is.

We used to have a 'Paprika' yarrow years ago but in our intense summer heat, the color faded very quickly to a dingy pink. Too bad, because I really liked it.

You picked some great plants to miss!

Nic  – (December 20, 2012 at 4:58 PM)  

I love the yarrows and the butterfly weed, and there are among the most reliable perennials for me in my parents' Michigan garden. Hollyhocks rarely work for me - though I did have a few measly blooms this past summer - because the mallow rust gets to them before they can develop properly.

Jason  – (December 20, 2012 at 9:21 PM)  

I'm completely with you on the hollyhocks. The first two years were glorious - then rust city! Happy to say I do have butterflyweed and 'Paprika' still growing in my garden, they would be sorely missed if gone.

Rock rose  – (December 20, 2012 at 9:50 PM)  

I'm with Gerhard on the hollyhock. One year I was successful and then it was rust from then on. I tried the French hollyhock too. Plants succumbed to rust before they bloomed. I love the yarrow too- that is one one plant that grows well here. Often I look back at plants I used to have. I find it rather depressing.

Anonymous –   – (December 20, 2012 at 10:12 PM)  

I've got yarrow, too, not many blooms but I love the low-growing feathery foliage. I have marguerite daisies - they have similar foliage with cheerful flower heads on whimsical stems. Your butterfly weed reminds me of my Joe Pye weed ('Baby Joe' - about 3-4' tall) you get lots of butterflies and bees on yours? A long-time Virginia reader

Barbie  – (December 21, 2012 at 8:18 AM)  

Wow - love your yarrow!! I have the white one and only a few months in the ground, so I really hope mine looks like yours soon :-)

ricki  – (December 21, 2012 at 2:30 PM)  

Thanks for getting me thinking about plants I miss. I think I will get me a passion vine.

Christine @ The Gardening Blog  – (December 22, 2012 at 1:54 AM)  

I love Hollyhocks and tried them this year (I bought seedlings). I probably planted them in the wrong place because only a few flowered - but boy were they pretty! So if I can get them again I will try them in a different location.

Hoover Boo  – (December 23, 2012 at 6:23 PM)  

Yes, Hollyhocks and Rust. Whew. Brings back some memories. Yours were gorgeous, no wonder you miss them. Mine--not so big a loss!

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