14 Plants with Truly Amazing Blooms
by Lisa Watters-Lain, Arizona’s Garden Gal
Some flowers are just bigger, brighter, and showier than others. We have each of the four Prescott seasons covered for flowers that show off in late winter right through the end of the year. These are the biggest and boldest of them all that deliver years of enjoyment:
Blue Chiffon Rose of Sharon
This flower is the hardiest of the hibiscus family. Every branch is loaded in flower buds that unfurl breathtaking hibiscus flowers. This vigorous grower offers summer-through-fall color, whether planted as specimens, hedges, or shrub borders.
This stunner features dozens of single-flower panicles—comprised of hundreds of densely packed florets—which grow up to a foot long. Because butterflies are naturally drawn to the nectar-rich flowers, count on a summer-through-autumn parade of these winged garden friends.
This handsome climbing vine displays billowy masses of fragrant flowers against dark green leaves. It proliferates in warm days with twining stems that quickly cover fences, arbors, and sheds. Each variety is different, but most flowers emerge late spring to fall, followed by silvery seed heads. Clematis is excellent as a fall accent and for strikingly attractive cut flowers.
A sensational, award-winning selection, this plant blooms with massive clusters of large flowers. Pinch off spent flowers and watch the newest repeat bloomer freely flower through fall. This easy-to-care-for plant forms neat, compact foliage clumps. In mild winters many daylilies remain evergreen, making for a truly impressive perennial border.
Ice Angel Camellia
Such glorious blossoms should be showcased as a high-profile focal point at entryways and for viewing through picture windows. The ice angel camellia makes a superior foundation cover-up that cloaks featureless walls in shaded exposures. It deserves front yard exhibition or positions at unique focal points around a patio or terrace. The beautiful evergreen foliage is well-adapted to the acidic soils beneath oaks, conifers, and junipers. Stunning winter blooms.
A rare, hardy hybrid, the creamy semi-double blooms of this plant become flushed with salmon as they mature. The flowers have a soft, pleasing scent, and are displayed on long stems perfect for cutting. This plant forms a lush hip-high mound with huge flowers that rival hibiscus blooms in size, but with many more in spring.
Pizzicato Oriental Poppy
Oriental poppies send long taproots into the soil, helping them establish a long life in the spring garden. The dwarf, compact habit, and hearty stems allow the blooms to withstand extreme weather conditions and remain upright. A colorful mix of red, scarlet, orange, pink, and white flowers all featuring that signature black dot at the center. Blooms more than seven inches in diameter are commonplace! This beauty is a great addition to borders, containers, rock gardens, and when scattered throughout mixed beds for spring color.
This is the perfect shrub for the lazy gardener. It is deserving of a spot front and center, where it provides fabulous summer-long color with little care. In the world of hydrangea hybridizing, the big blooms just keep getting better. Enjoy handsome green foliage on a boldly branched, mounded shrub. When planted in acidic soils, this plant produces blue flowers; in more alkaline soils, flower color may have a stunning pink hue.
If roses haven’t been your go-to for large blooms, it’s time to get acquainted with them. With petal counts of 140 or more per bloom, these large, cupped flowers are vase-fillers with old-world fragrance to spare. Easy Elegance Roses have reinvented the shrub rose into something fragrant, bold, and more natural to grow than our grandparents’ high-maintenance hybrid teas.
This is an outstanding lilac noted for its large trusses of purple-red florets edged in white. A late spring bloomer, it typically flowers around Mother’s Day. Branches are erect and open with rich green leaves. It’s the perfect choice to create a spring flowering hedge or screen, or for fragrant accents.
Snowflake Moscheutos Hibiscus
Gorgeous red blooms more prominent than the largest man’s hand adorn this summer blooming perennial. Strong upright branches erupt each spring, covered in these vast flowers with equally impressive foliage. This gorgeous plant is often chosen for its tropical appeal and loose cottage style in the summer garden.
Sombrero Lemon Yellow Echinacea
Bright summer yellow blooms with broad overlapping petals add bold lemon colors to raised summer garden beds. A must-have for a cutting garden, this drought-tolerant, cold-hardy perennial has a neat, compact form with prolific blooms over an exceptionally long season. Keep dried flower heads on the plants in the fall for winter interest.
SunBelievable Brown Eyed Girl Sunflower
Extraordinary summer color with large, vibrant sunflower blooms. This award-winning, multi-branching, heat-tolerant bloomer produces more than 1,000 flowers in a single season, which runs throughout summer until the first frost. Bright yellow petals with a dash of rich red surround the large brown center of each sensational flower. Excellent in borders and containers.
Zuni Crape Myrtle
This is a perfect summer bloomer with trusses of notably large, dark lavender-violet flowers, and handsome peeling bark. Each head-high bush glows with color until autumn turns the leaves to their equally spectacular hues of oranges, reds, and maroons. A superb plant for the hottest spots in the yard that just need a pronounced touch of ‘WOW!’
Until the next issue, I’ll be helping local gardeners select big-flowering plants here at Watters Garden Center.
Lisa Watters-Lain can be found throughout the week at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contacted through her web site at WattersGardenCenter.com or FB.com/WattersGardenCenter .