Today we’re in Colonial Heights, Virginia, visiting Nancy Snyder’s garden.
Nancy has had this hibiscus (Hibiscus ‘Midnight Marvel’ (Zones 5–9) in the garden for three years, and she says it gets taller each year. Hardy hibiscus like this are hybrids of North American native species and have some of the largest, most dramatic flowers of any perennial.
This flower goes by many names: resurrection lily, surprise lily, or, most dramatically, naked ladies. They all refer to Lycoris squamigera (Zones 5–9), which sends up these beautiful flowers in late summer/early fall. All the common names refer to the fact that the flowers come up (surprisingly, nakedly) without any leaves. The leaves emerge in the spring and then vanish, like a daffodil, for the summer.
Moon flower (Ipomoea alba, Zones 10–11 or as an annual) is a close relative of the morning glory, but instead of opening in the morning, these huge, fragrant, white flowers open up in the evening. The white color and scent serve to attract the moths that pollinate them.
Hen and chicks (Sempervivum hybrid, Zones 4–8) are wonderful, easy-to-grow, hardy succulents that will thrive in a wide range of climates and conditions provided they are given decent drainage.
Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum, Zones 4–9) is a native wildflower common in the woods and forests of eastern North America. The blooms range from green to the dramatic brown stripes seen here and are followed in late summer by big heads of brilliant red berries.
Tiger lily (Lilium lancifolium, Zones 3–9) is a carefree species from Asia happily growing in sun or partial shade and producing these brilliant orange flowers covered with brown speckles.
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