There were many highlights, but today I'll list the disappointments of the year in the perennial garden.
Geranium wlassovianum has never had the clear sparkly red fall color that it did in 2010. The past few autumns it has looked brown and tired and bedraggled, and this year is no exception.
Iris 'Immortality' did not rebloom at all this fall. Disappointing.
No shows this year included the pink evening primrose, Oenothera berlandieri, all but gone entirely.
Physostegia Miss Manners did not appear, despite forming such a big lovely stand in earlier years.
Chocolate Joe Pye Weed never turned up. It was there in spring, but failed to grow or bulk up, and never flowered.
I tried growing clematis 'Niobe' up the Austrian pine, and watered it faithfully and tended it, but it failed to grow. I am hoping the roots survive and it will take off next year. I did get a bloom before it started to melt away -- more magenta than red.
I've tried for a number of years now to grow ornamental oregano 'Kent Beauty' in pots. I loved it in 2010, but in the past couple years it just sulks. The hops form but they are brown and dusty, not pink. The foliage can be silver-veined and nice, but this year it seemed to shrivel and disappear, so the whole plant just looks brown and small. It isn't doing at all well for me. It once looked like this, but sure doesn't any more.
Of the annuals I tried this year, the small marigolds, Signet Lemon and Signet Tangerine, were too insignificant. Pretty enough I guess, and they did flower, but I was not a fan.
I was also not a fan of Blushing Susie thunbergia. The one trailing in the pot by the patio wall finally flowered in very late summer and looks nice enough, but the one growing on a tower never flowered. The flowers were pale and washed out, only occasionally looking soft rose or peach.
Nasturtium 'Variegated Queen' started off very, very slowly, and did not climb the twig towers until very late in the season, around September. The leaves are huge and mottled, the plant more bushy than vining. One tower seems to have yellow flowers, the other orange. I think I liked 'Gleam' and 'Moonlight' from last year better.
Dichondra 'Silver Falls' did well enough in a big urn by the front walk, but I was not a fan of its stringy dangling look. I like licorice plant better, it's fuller and just as silver and draping.
There were plenty of great successes in summer of 2013 to offset these few disappointments. But these annuals are not plants I would try again, and the perennials may or may not come back with any satisfaction in coming years.