|Violet Carson with nepeta and a penstemon|
Penstemon is one of my favorites.
It is generous with blooms that come in spikes and so compliment roses well.
The pointy leaves provide a good contrast to roses, and finally, garden hybrids especially are quite tolerant of regular irrigation that my roses receive, and so they grow happily together and often through the roses.
I have tried lots of salvias, and surprisingly they have not all done well for me. For some of them our area is still too chilly, and some supposedly perennial ones have not come back for no apparent reason.
|Pope John Paul II and salvia Hot Lips|
I have to mention California poppies because they can't seem to leave my yard. This year, I actually bought a hybrid with small yellow flowers - it blends better with my other flowers. But wild poppies will stay whether I want them or not, so here they are.
I fell in love with abutilon at the Carmel Mission. Mine blooms year-round in dappled shade and has become a large and lanky shrub. It leans on a camellia and a rose for support.