Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Three Winners and a Waste of Time

I used more annuals than usual this season at my house, mostly in order to add early color for the Tour, and wanted to report on some of the better performers.

First for the winners: Ammi majus, "False Queen Anne's Lace".  I've seen this listed as "Bishop's Weed," but it's not the groundcover that I know by the same name.  I bought it as an annual, it's about 2 feet high, and absolutely beautiful, with zero special attention.
The second "winner" in my book is Calendula Alpha, which I've mentioned before.  It is still growing and blooming like mad, even with 90 degree days.
The third great one in my mind is Myosotis, the Forget-Me-Not.  I just tore them out after they finally fizzled, but for two months they were absolutely brilliant in the perennial bed when nothing else was blooming yet.
Finally, and sadly, for the waste of time and money.  I think "Mignonette" must be French for "don't even bother" looks like a weed, smells like a weed, and does absolutely zero for the garden.  It wasn't even worth the amount of Roundup I would have needed to kill it.  I say that sadly, since I obsessed about it after hearing so many people talk about the incredible fragrance.....none that I could detect, but maybe it's just a guy thing.


  1. Ooh, if you haven't killed the mignonette, can you send me some seeds? It looks just like the unusual bedraggled kind of plant I like. It's definitely a plant that has gone out of style, but Victorians seemed to like its smell (though I'm sure you'll find its Latin name appropriate, Reseda odorata) and recommended planting it with Clarkia (which I'm surprised they knew about!).

  2. Tim, I couldn't agree with you more about mignonette! Weed, weed and weed again. Like you, I'm a sucker for fragrance, but I sure didn't detect it. It's a plant that just doesn't have anything to recommend it. It's one of those pigs that can be smeared with lipstick, and it still ends up being a pig, IMHO.....

  3. Monica, I killed it in a fit of frustration, but I'll try to remember where I got the seed from.

    Susan, you definitely called it on this detectable fragrance, and that's all the Victorians talked about....maybe overbred?

  4. Maybe it has been overbred, but let's be honest- the Victorians did have some questionable taste. And Victorian women were so heavily corseted that they could barely draw breath. That probably killed their sense of smell.......

  5. I love Gypsophelia, Cow Flowers, Cosmos & California Poppies... I don't even plant them & just broadcast the seeds around the garden.

  6. We have a version of the wild Queen Anne's Lace here in all of our ditches. It does look good domesticated. I like all of your choices and yes if the last one just isn't you cup of tea, ignore it. It will probably grow abundantly for you.

  7. Over here, in the UK, Bishop's Weed is a name sometimes given to Ground Elder, which has a similar flower. Ground Elder is one of the worst weeds in a garden - it spreads everywhere and is virtually impossible to eradicate. It was introduced into Britain in the Middle Ages as a cure for gout, apparantly.

    The Ammi is a lovely flower and well deserving of a top ten place.

    When are you coming over to the UK, Tim? I thought you were here now.


  8. I'll be in England in mid-September, and cannot wait! My thought is that the weather will still be unbearably hot in Atlanta then, so hopefully a little break in the UK. Johnson, you'll definitely hear from me for last minute ideas!

    Bishop's Weed here is also called Goutweed, so I'm sure it's one and the same. Apparently it's used as a food crop in Russia, so perhaps it's time to make soup?

  9. Always liked Myosotis in the winter and early spring garden. The fact that it can deal with afternoon shade so well had me planting it.