Perilla, on the other hand, has never had any problems establishing itself. It will reseed readily and grow nearly anywhere, sun to shade. I like burgundy foliage and use perilla in bouquets, as well. It is technically an herb, though I personally couldn't imagine eating it. I have gotten used to its smell although I'm not sure I really enjoy it. I can remember one visitor seeing it growing in my garden and telling me - insisting - it was purple basil. Then she plucked a leaf and chewed it. She didn't say much after that!
This was one of the joys of my summer! I had no idea these hollyhocks would be rosy pink. I've had 'The Watchman' which is black, and 'Creme de Cassis' which is a mix of cream and burgundy. Neither variety is nearly as tall as these - well over my head. I might be exaggerating when I say ten feet tall, but they seemed like it! I now have quite a few babies around this mother plant from deadheadings. Much to look forward to!
I really have a thing for this plant. Which is good as it reseeds readily. It blooms from sometime later in July thru frosts. I use it a lot in bouquets and throughout the garden. It has provenance, too. Now, it's been growing in my garden for years and before that my mom's, but prior to us, the very seed that sprouts in our gardens each year happens to be the offspring of seed that grew in nature activist Lorrie Otto's Wisconsin garden who in turn got her seed from Christopher Lloyd. Oh yes, as in Great Dixter . The very place, and man, who made Verbena bon so popular. I'm also a big fan of his and hers so I get some pleasure out of all this. And that is what gardening is all about, anyway - pleasure. Connections.
All of these reseed for me, for years I left the seedheads of Echinacea intact, for the birds. This has resulted in nice clumps and drifts in a few places in my garden. No complaints, Echinacea is a trouble-free plant for me and I like it in the garden as well as in bouquets. I deadhead now, occasionally dropping a seedhead or two if I'd like more plants. I have E. 'White Swan', also. It is not as vigorous and I'd like more. I'm thinking of trying some of the newer varieties - some of which have been developed by Piet Oudolf - 'Green Jewel', 'Virgin', 'Vintage Wine' and 'Fatal Attraction'. Has anyone tried them? What do you think?
Cleome is fun one, its large ball shaped flowers float above other plants from midsummer on. I think my plants are 'Rose Queen', originally purchased ages ago. I'd be willing to bet from Pinetree Garden Seeds. This is a reliable reseeder, not too rampant, although I usually weed out more than I keep. It looks good in drifts or with a few sprinkled through a border.
Nicotianas are a favorite of mine. I love their colors, especially N. mutabilis. N. langsdorfii reseeds reliably for me, more so in the patio cracks. N. mutabilis I have to make sure I save...and I usually start it indoors, the earlier the better as I have had years when it doesn't bloom until so late in the season that it's barely started blooming and the frosts hit it. One of my favorite combinations is N. langs with the above mentioned Verbena bon - the butterflies and hummingbirds like this combo, too!
Salvia farinacea 'Victoria Blue' with Marigold 'Cottage Red'