DENVER — If your garden lacks the wow factor, branch out. Grow some unusual plants. Nurseries can only stock a finite number of plants so they concentrate on the most popular. You may need to search online for unusual plants and seeds online.
The plants in this segment aren't difficult to grow or need special conditions. It's just a matter of finding them.
Lion's ear (Leonotus leonurus)
A South African shrub with columns of orange flowers that feel like felt.
There are literally hundreds from which to choose in a rainbow of colors. They can be grown in pots or in the ground. Dig and store the tubers after frost. The one featured in this segment is 'Purple Taiheijo.' It features big purple flowers on compact, three foot plants.
Much easier to grow than tropical types, these hibiscus feature huge flowers in late summer. Plant in moist ground in a sunny position. The variety 'Starry, Starry Night' has especially large pink flowers above maroon leaves.
These Asian flowers are annuals and bloom late in summer. They used to be quite popular but have fallen from favor. You can find seed online. I ordered 'King Size Apple Blossom' China asters from an English seed company. They open white and mature to pale pink. There are dozens of other China asters available in a wide range of mainly pastel colors.
Most hollyhocks don't flower their first season. The 'Queeny' series, developed in Hungary, flowers the first year from seed with double or single blossoms on compact two foot plants. I'm growing 'Queeny Lilac Rose' but their are other colors in the series such as white, red, purple, yellow and apricot. They can be grown in the ground or in pots.
If you do an online search, you should be able to find seeds or plants. I recommend all of them.
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