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Old 06-14-2013, 11:13 AM
Location: Niagara Region
1,335 posts, read 1,657,783 times
Reputation: 4528


Reviving this thread to mention my Japanese Painted Ferns. I love the way they enter my garden so quickly every May, getting a little bigger and bossier each time. They look so delicate but they're one of the hardiest and most rewarding plants I have. I say no shade garden is complete without them!
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:46 PM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,497 posts, read 45,474,954 times
Reputation: 47448
I have to update my original answer to be :

Anything the deer don't eat.
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:30 PM
Location: Land of Free Johnson-Weld-2016
6,473 posts, read 14,345,263 times
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Originally Posted by Luvvarkansas View Post
Oh wow, I have too many, because I don't fool with annuals (except this year I tried some zinnias again....love zinnias).

Shasta Daisy,
sedums ('Autumn Joy', 'Angelina' and 'Lemon Ball', also a couple more I don't know the names of),
hostas, (favorite so far is one called 'Fried Bananas')
purple coneflowers,
orange milkweed,
blue agastache,
Black-eyed Susans (rudbeckia),
Louisiana iris,
Tropicanna cannas,
ferns (sensitive, autumn, Japanese painted, holly, tall kind I can't remember the name of, bracken),
white butterfly ginger,
grasses ('Cabaret', 'Graziella', mexican feather, muhly),
'Fireworks' goldenrod,
ajuga 'Burgundy Glow' (lives year 'round for me),
some kind of native phlox I got off the roadside (blooms for months!),
Peruvian daffodil (hymenocallis),
salvias ('Black and Blue', 'Mystic Spires', mexican bush sage, 'Victoria').....

Are you all bored yet? LOL

I could never pick one favorite.
I'm with you. It is difficult to pick one favorite. Right now the sour cherry and hydrangea serrata are near the top in my good graces. But I also love the early-blooming NOID lily I have (scented asiatic?) and my unstoppable geranium nimbus. Geranium nimbus also has red and orange fall color and divides easily. It is awesome.

One of may favorite flowers from the time I was a city girl and used to buy them as cut flowers is the peony. I have several kinds, but I prefer the scented doubles. They look awful after blooming, but while they're blooming...especially in tandem with roses as they did this year...WOW. They're luscious. I walk around in my garden and smell flowers LOL I love smelling them.

I see fireworks solidago in your list. I love that plant. It really lives up to the name. It looks just like fireworks. Another plus is that it speads nicely.

The plants I like that come back every year and were free may make more sense for me. I'm grateful to the previous owner of my house for:
Hostas - I inherited 3 types, one I am sure is a villosa...the others, no idea. But I have divided and spread them to many many areas. I love them.

Straight Daylilies - I divided an overgrown clump into many more plants. It does look nice at times to have a lot of the same plant as edging or whatever. I'm so glad these were free. They'e blooming now and are going to look awesome soon. Plus they're edible.

Dr. Huey Rose - These were probably rootstock from some long-dead grafted rose. I divided these as well and got several bushes from the two or so I found languishing. Now they're mostly salt-tolerant bursts of color along the road and big luscious bloomers in my other gardens. Of course they get blackspot and lose their leaves midseason but they're unstoppable otherwise.

I just got angelina this year... I've been lusting after that girl for a long time. Mine are small, but hopefully will look awesome in a year or so.
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Old 06-15-2013, 02:12 PM
2,063 posts, read 6,705,928 times
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I have so many flowers that I love dearly but I think the four or five that seem to come back without any effort on my part and seem to bloom easily and long would be echinacea (I have at least 5 or 6 different ones), Platycodon-aka balloon flowers (3 different varieties), daylilies (6 different ones) cranesbill (3 different species) and one few people seem to have which are scabiosa (3 different varieties). The one scabiosa I began with has turned into 8 or 9 plants that I have kept and the newer ones will probably do the same multiplication. The scabiosa bloomed the whole winter this past winter. Four season blooming is pretty rare for any plant.
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Old 02-26-2020, 08:34 AM
Location: California
328 posts, read 675,445 times
Reputation: 570
Alyssum and Cosmos
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Old 02-26-2020, 10:47 AM
9,011 posts, read 3,304,351 times
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I think my favorite is mint. The butterflies and bees love it. But mostly it's my favorite because every year, my husband tries to kill it by mowing it down. And it always comes back. Na Na Boo Boo!
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Old 02-26-2020, 01:38 PM
2,688 posts, read 988,470 times
Reputation: 4754
Wow, I have had so many. But if I had to pick just one, it would probably be Viola labradorica. Of course, that assumes being okay with it spreading but for me that's part of its' charm.

For something with less territorial ambitions, I would probably say, hmmmm... Ceratostigma plumbaginoides. Oh wait, that spreads too, LOL. As does the variegated Solomon's Seal. And Geranium macrorrizum, and G. cantabrigiense 'Biokova'.

Okay, a non-spreading always comes back plant would be Astrantia 'Roma' and/or Japanese painted fern.

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Old 02-27-2020, 08:10 AM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
31,703 posts, read 57,697,940 times
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Ours is the Pulmonaria (lungwort)which produces both pink and blue flowers on the same plant. They prefer shade, of which we have plenty, and are early spring bloomers and spread by rhizomes.

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Old 02-29-2020, 05:47 AM
Location: Knoxville, TN
1,902 posts, read 883,323 times
Reputation: 4917
I had a fuchsia plant that I won at a bunco game. It came back every year a little larger. I liked it because I never expected it to survive in my yard. I hope the new owners of my house enjoy it this spring
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Old 03-03-2020, 09:23 AM
Location: Climate Zone Dfa/ Hardiness zone 6a, 46062
3,400 posts, read 2,236,296 times
Reputation: 1163
Although they die back to the ground every winter and aren’t by any means common in the landscape , one of my favorite perennial “Herbaceous” stick shrubs in the Indianapolis area is the crepe myrtle.
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