Some people collect dolls, others collect classic cars. The need to collect is buried deep within the human psyche. I'm afraid I'm starting to collect Lobelias. They start blooming in the dogdays of summer, when just about everything else in the garden is starting to look ratty and tired. They thrive in partial shade and the dryness of my soil. I started with what was labelled Lobelia x gerardii 'Vedrariensis.' I now believe it is the native Lobelia syphilitica. I was expecting something more purple, but I never turn my nose up at a blue flower. My second, and solely disappointing, Lobelia was 'Grape Knee-Hi.' It died. Others have flourished. Therefore, the 3-kills rule may be ignored here.
The best Lobelia, hands down, is 'Monet Moment.' These beasties can carry a border single-handedly, they are so floriforous and long blooming. One of them is four feet tall. 'Monet Moment' is a bright pink, which I think matches RHS color 60D. This looks great with Black Beauty liles (RHS 60A), but slightly off putting next to Phlox 'Laura' (RHS 78A). This plant was brought to you by Thurman Maness.
Also from Thurman Maness is my newest Lobelia, making its debut this summer, drumroll please, 'Sparkle deVine.' According to Tony Avent of Plant Delights Nursery, this Lobelia was named to "commemorate a splendid night in drag." It is a velvety dark magenta (RHS 71A), which looks good with both Lobelia 'Monet Moment' and the Black Beauty lilies. I think it might even look nice with Phlox 'Nicky' (RHS 74A). One would think I would be satisfied with these, but oh no, I want 'Ruby Slippers' now too. Of course I don't have anywhere to put it. Yet.