Last year, lurking somewhere deep within the bowels of GardenWeb, I read of someone who had a "Top Fives of Five" list. This was a listing of the top five workaholic plants in their garden over the course of their active growing season, which was five months.
Um, bingo! What else could a crazy listmaker gardener ask for but another list to keep track of? I modified my list slightly to the top fives over six months. And I did one list for perennials and one for annuals. These lists *should* help me better design my garden around my seasonal workhorse plants.
Here are my perennial Top Fives:
|Manna? What is it?|
*Side ramble: (I bought the plant in the above photo at a local garden sale - it was barely a seedling and was labeled "phlox." As soon as it got a little bigger, I realized That's. Not. Phlox. I let it grow for a year, and thought it might be angelonia. (Mysteriously, a phlox DID show up in the middle of the growth the next year!) I have a sneaking suspicion it might be obedience plant though...which would explain why it was in the plant sale in the first place! Any confirmations here?)
The annual Top Fives are pretty redundant - alyssum, snapdragons, then zinnias! :)
One thing I noticed in keeping track of my plants last year was a lack of foliage plants. What a challenge to outshine the stars of the garden, but a garden without these understudies shines only brightly for a few spots in the season. Last summer I added a few lamb's ears (a childhood favorite), and this summer am hoping to try some of the new sun-loving coleus.
Even if you're not much of a listmaker, I'd encourage you to give this exercise a try. After all, you only have to write down 5 plant names a month! And you may be surprised at what you discover.