I was reading one of Mamu's great posts introducing a perennial to us... and it occurred to me. There are some plants in my garden that I simply adore.. that may not be well known... and wouldn't it be great if we all took turns telling each other about some of our "personal picks". For the sake of keeping it manageable... let's stick to no more than THREE personal picks... (I had to put a limit on myself basically - as I have MANY!). I will start. I love the following plants and I don't think they are generally as well known as some others. <center>Salpiglossis - painted tongue (annual)</center> <center></center> Were an artist to look upon a Petunia and wish that it had a delicate pattern traced upon its petals, he would create in his mind the Salpiglossis. The funnel-shaped flowers are borne upright upon slender but strong branches two feet tall. The flowers of Salpiglossis sinuala are crimson and gold, yellow and white, darkest maroon, scarlet and gold, violet and gold, and of many intermediate colors; they are velvety in texture, exquisitely penciled and curiously marbled. The plants are most unpromising in appearance when young. So poor do they appear that some may forget that homely babies sometimes grow into persons of character. So with the Salpiglossis: when one least expects it, the plants decide to thrive, and they send up glorious stems of bloom often 3 feet tall. UTILIZE. Unlike the Petunia, this flower may be cut and will often last longer in water than on the plants. As a garden subject it is attractive, rivaling most other annuals in its regal colors. <center>Love Lies Bleeding -amaranthus (annual)</center> <center></center> Heirloom plant. Brilliant red seedheads dangle like dreadlocks from the tops of sturdy, 3-5' plants. They hold their color a long time, and are great in arrangements. Amaranthus prefers heat and a long season. <center>Spidorwort (perennial)</center> <center></center> Native to North America, this reliable, hardy perennial herb forms a handsome clump just 20 to 24 inches tall and 18 to 20 inches wide, with rush-like foliage and vibrant blue flowers. Each bloom lasts only one day, but others rise to replace it, keeping the plant colorful over a long early-summer-to-fall season. Long-lived, it asks only full sun (for more blooms) to part shade and well-drained soil. Divide every few years to increase vitality and bloom power. This naturalizes very well and if left to it's own devices will fill in areas quite effectively. Tends to get leggy late in the summer - support or a shearing helps with this. Tell us about your personal picks!