Sometimes my experience with these falls under the “interesting” category rather than “delightful,” but this year I am very pleased with the results from two starts I got from Select Seeds in the spring.
This Martha Washington geranium (developed c. 1870s) is better than anything I can get in local nurseries. SS calls it “Gardener’s Joy.”
And you probably recall my ravings about the sacrifices made to get over-blooming, voluptuous masses of petunias. I love the various Waves for public plantings, but for my own yard, I like older varieties that don’t bloom nearly as much but have a scent, like the deep violet ones you can still get at many nurseries, or the “Rainmaster” whites, which have a light, sweet fragrance, especially at night. Their upright growth is perfect for me since I’ve got them in a container on the pavement.
Other old timey annuals I’d find it hard to get along without include my tall, branching heliotrope and my “outhouse flower”—rudbeckia laciniata “Golden Glow.” The image above is from last year; they are much taller this year. Nine feet easy, I’d say.