Our native Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia) is a dainty little woodland plant that is prone to wilt. We got a wilt-resistant clone at Plant Delights and this is a seedling of that clone. The native Bleeding Heart blooms the entire growing season unless there is a severe drought.
Festiva Maxima is a common peony in the Southeast and a well-known passalong plant. It's an early-flowering cultivar that blooms before the heat gets intense. I know that a great many peonies can do well in this climate, especially the early blooming ones. Years ago my husband worked with someone who brought in armloads of cut peonies to work for others to enjoy. One of the peonies smelled exactly like a rose.
Normally I find red a little difficult to use in the garden unless it's a blue red, but I really like these hardy Amaryllis. I got them from a lady who was a victim of Hurricane Katrina. Sounds strange but it's true! She lost everything in her garden except for her bulbs, so when I sent her plants she packaged up some Amaryllis and Crinum and mailed them to me. Very generous of her, especially considering what she had just gone through.
I love Verbena bonariensis for its purple flowers and its great ability to act as a see-through filler wherever you need it. It's extremely long-flowering too, blooming from spring til frost.
Driving home from the feed store I pass a house with a driveway that is lined with white phlox about a foot high. It is beautiful. So when I saw Minnie Pearl for sale at one of Plant Delights' open houses I immediately thought to buy it. The flowers are wedding cake white and occur more than a month before Phlox paniculata. Phlox Minnie Pearl is listed as a hybrid of P. maculata and possibly P. glaberrima (Smooth Phlox). Like smooth phlox Minnie Pearl does not contract mildew.
Before I grew perennial salvias in my garden I'd always thought of them as summer bloomers, but as any salvia grower knows they often start in early spring and keep blooming until the cold cuts them down. I got Salvia transylvanica in a trade from a gardening friend and can't believe I hadn't heard of it before. It has relatively large flowers of a beautiful blue-violet color. It seeds in readily so there are always some to pass around.
I believe this skullcap is Scutellaria integrifolia, or Tall Skullcap. Which is ironic because it's not tall, rarely even reaching a height of 12". We have this growing all over in ditches beside the pastures down in the floodplain. It's especially lovely en masse and often forms colonies from seeding in.
After seeing a picture in Gardening with Native Plants of the South of a large spread of Hymenocallis liriosme, I wanted that same planting in the large ditch that runs by the house site. I still don't have H. liriosme, but I did get Hymenocallis traubii at Plant Delights 2-3 years ago. It's a very shy bloomer for me so far and very slow of increase as well, but the flowers are delightful (and fragrant) when they do appear.