Granted I haven't tried every variety in the categories I am about to list, but I've decided to share some of my favorites...and not so favorites based on my experiences here in Pennyslvania.
Best overall heuchera- Green Spice
Best flowers on a heuchera- Hollywood
Best hosta- Eskimo Pie tied with Stained Glass
Best agastache- Acapulco Salmon and Pink
Best salvia- Blue Hill- A non-stop bloomer with colors that match my russian sage exactly
Best echinacea- White Swan - I have tons of different cultivars, but this is still my favorite.
Best shasta daisy- Becky; heavy bloomer on strong stems. Needs to be divided every two or three years.
Best russian sage- Blue Spire; although it does get a bit floppy despite never being fertilized. Bees love it though.
Best verbena- Red Quartz
Best salvia coccinea- Lady In Red followed closely by Coral Nymph and Yvonne's
Best coleus- Kong
Best zinnia- Will Rogers; large, bright red flowers.
Best marigold- Scarlet Starlet; I'm not much of a marigold person, but I have to admit these are nice.
Best nasturtium- Alaska- I love the variegated foliage. The red flowering ones are my favorite.
Best celery- Tango; although this is the only one I've tried, it was VERY easy in a raised bed.
Best carrots- Scarlet Nantes
Best jalapeno- Mucho Nacho; I've seen listings for a mild version under the same name. This is not that version.
Best bell pepper- Fat N' Sassy hybrid; producing like mad right now!
Best cucumber- Salad Bush hybrid. The seeds are a bit pricey, but well worth it. They have excellent disease resistance, few seeds, and taste great! I will use these as long as I can still get seeds.
Best pumpkin- Jack Be Little; tiny and cute. Easy to grow even after a vine borer split open the vine when it was young.
Best lettuce- Jericho; romaine; slow to bolt, tastes great.
BEST PLANTS FOR BUTTERFLIES:
Butterfly Bushes. Hands down the best. In particular Royal Red and Pink Delight.
BEST PLANTS FOR BEES:
Lavender!!! Honeybees especially seem to love all types of lavender.
Blue Spire russian sage- Mine are covered with honeybees.
Purple coneflowers- Bumblebees and carpenter bees love them.
Black Adder agastache- Bumblebees love it.
Walker's Low nepeta- Again, bumblebees love it
BEST NEW ADDITION THIS SEASON:
Verbena bonariensis- Dark lavender blooms. Wispy, see-through foliage. I love how you can still see what is planted behind it.
Sundown Echinacea- This plant survives year after year despite what looks to be a heavy covering of rust. I'll give it credit for surviving, but the foliage looks terrible up close.
William Baffin roses- I have two of these MONSTERS. Make sure you have tons of room for these beasts. Mine is about 10' x 10' and GROWING!!! I will say that they do produce like mad in the beginning of the season. Sporatic blooms after that.
Pink Fountain gaura- It doesn't seem to appeal to any type of wildlife. I never see anything living near it. Although the individual stems are pretty, that is about it can offer.
I hope you enjoy looking through my list of favorite, and not so favorite, things. Any questions, feel free to ask. Those plants that I listed as favorites are all ones that I would highly recommend. They are very easy to grow, and I have had no trouble maintaining their health without the use chemicals.