Big P.S.: Here’s a description from horticulturalist, author, and radio host Sally Cunningham, with some descriptions of the actual plants seen on GW:
We all saw certain plants performing at their dramatic best this week. Trumpet vines soared skyward, and rose of Sharon and some short hardy hibiscus bloomed right on time. Crocosmia was the perennial more people asked me to name—most likely the cultivar Lucifer, with strappy, three-foot leaves and a dramatic spray of bright red-orange tubular flowers. Great drifts of monarda. Phlox, shasta daisies, daylilies, lilies, and black-eyed Susans were like explosions of color, often in gardens that have sunshine for the first time in years. Seven-foot rudbeckia maxima was amazing in some gardens.
Perovskia, salvias, nepeta (“Walkers’ Low”) softened the bold colors. In shadier settings, hosta cultivars (named, quality choices—not just grandma’s same old greens) held primary positions, but many gardeners are also using variegated Jacob’s ladder, gold bleeding hearts, mosses, and a wide range of ferns.
Astilbes, often sold as shade plants, were in the sun and obviously thriving (getting ample water and compost-amended soil).
In baskets or in ground, some annuals were stunning, especially the coleus (patterned or bold single strokes of orange, gold, rust, maroon and lime—lush, rich.) Huge-leaved caladium also provided drama—pink, burgundy, silver, white—leaping out of the shade. Tall sunset-colored euphorbias and the red foxtail grass held center stage in great black urns, copper planters, or terra cotta pots. And don’t forget the mandevillas brimming out of coconut-fiber-lined Kinsman wall planters. Just—wow!