Inspiring poets with its beauty, this 1800s heirloom can be enjoyed in window boxes, hanging baskets, as a ground cover, as a screen, on a trellis or fence, and decorating mailboxes and columns. You will be rewarded with lush foliage and masses of blooms all summer long in vibrant orange, yellow, and white; the colorful petals make a striking contrast to the black "eye".
Botanical Name:Thunbergia alata
Hardiness:Perennial USDA zones 10 and 11, otherwise grown as an annual
Plant Dimensions:5'–8' long vine; in frost-free areas it may reach 20'.
Variety Information:1"–1½" wide, vibrant white, yellow, and orange flowers, some with and some without a contrasting black "eye".
Beautiful, large, bronze-red leaves and scarlet seed heads create a dramatic, tropical effect in the garden. Heat- and fairly drought-tolerant, dwarf-sized plant attracts hummingbirds and other pollinators. Grown commercially for the extract of castor oil.
Botanical Name:Ricinus communis
Hardiness:Perennial in USDA zones 8-11; otherwise treated as an annual
Plant Dimensions:4'–6' tall
Variety Information:Creamy yellow flowers followed by prickly scarlet husks that contain brown, speckled seeds.
Scarlet flax is a show-off in the garden. Each brilliant red flower lasts just a day, but in profusion, they set the garden ablaze with intense color. Easy-to-grow, low maintenance plants attract pollinators and tolerate hot and dry conditions. Allow plants to go to seed, and you'll be rewarded with months and years of color. This is an ornamental flax and not intended for consumption.
Botanical Name:Linum grandiflorum
Plant Dimensions:12"–24" tall
Variety Information:1½" diameter, crimson to scarlet with a dark center
This lovely mix of part shade-loving flowers gives you an extended bloom period. M. sylvatica is the traditional, 6"–8" tall forget-me-not that blooms in early spring and is perennial in USDA zones 3–8. Chinese forget-me-not (C. amabile), an annual, while not a true forget-me-not, has very similar flowers but grows 12"–24" tall and will bloom into summer. Excellent for moist, part-shade areas, as a bulb cover, or early cover for rock gardens. NOTE: Myosotis is the smaller seed; Cynoglossum is the larger.
Botanical Name:Myosotis sylvatica and Cynoglossum amabile
Native:Europe & Asia
Hardiness:M. sylvatica is a perennial (short lived) in USDA zone 3–8. C. amabile is often grown as an annual or biennial.
Plant Dimensions:6"–24" tall
Variety Information:Numerous ⅓" across, petite blue star-shaped flowers.M.sylvaticahas a yellow eye, whileC. amabileis completely blue. Flowers rise gracefully above plants.
One of the most popular hollyhocks of all time, 'Chater's Double' was named after the English horticulturist, Chater of Essex, who developed this variety in 1880s. Colors include golden-yellow, rose, maroon, salmon-pink, scarlet, and white. Flowers have a long bloom period and are edible! Fairly drought tolerant but performs best with ample moisture and rich soil. 500 mg.
Botanical Name:Alcea rosea
Hardiness:Biennial, hardy in USDA zones 2–8
Plant Dimensions:5'–8' tall
Variety Information:Golden-yellow, rose, maroon, salmon-pink, scarlet, and white 2"–4" peony-shaped, double flowers.
Observe the monarch butterfly lifecycle right in your garden! This heirloom species provides food and habitat for monarch butterflies and is an essential host plant for their caterpillars. In summer, pink to purplish or white flowers are followed by decorative seedpods that are beautiful in dried arrangements. Robust, shrub-like perennial spreads by underground rhizomes. Native throughout much of the eastern and central United States. Sap is toxic; avoid eye/skin contact and do not ingest. 150 mg
Botanical Name:Beta and Brassica assorted species
Days to Maturity:5–10 days
Family:SWISS CHARD, BEET: Amaranthaceae CABBAGE, KOHLRABI, PAK CHOI: Brassicaceae
Native:Africa, Europe, Asia
Hardiness:Annuals and biennials
Variety Information:The varieties in this mix are meant to be harvested at 1"–2" tall for use as crisp, tender, lively flavored, raw greens. The seedlings are varying shades of green and red.
Invite monarch butterflies and other pollinators to your garden with the stunning blooms of this robust, shrub-like heirloom perennial. Also called Greek milkweed, this species is drought tolerant when established and grows best in well-drained soils. Plants have green to silvery-green foliage and stems that are often soft and fuzzy. In summer, pink to white flowers are followed by decorative, woolly seed pods that are beautiful in dried arrangements. Native throughout much of the western United States. 150 mg.
Botanical Name:Asclepias speciosa
Native:Mid-west to western US and Canada
Hardiness:Perennial in USDA zones 3-9
Plant Dimensions:2'–4' tall on average but may reach as tall as 6'; 18" wide
Variety Information:Individual pink to white flowers ½" long, born in 4"–5" clusters