It’s amazing how fast the summer flies by every year. It’s mid-summer already and the excitement that spring blooms bring has past and we have moved onto focusing on how ripe our tomatoes are and the fear of sun burned grass! But let’s take a moment to appreciate those plants whose flowers thrive in the heat, providing us with color all summer long.
A favorite staple of any garden is the hydrangea (e.g. Hydrangea macrophylla, Hydrangea paniculata, Hydrangea quercifolia). From full sun to part shade, all varieties of hydrangea flower throughout the summer and most continue right into early autumn. The blooms range in color from green and white, to pink and purple and as dark as blue and deep red. This hardy species is wonderful as a single shrub, when planted as a hedge or as a small garden accent when grown in its tree form. Just be sure to prune at the correct time to ensure that you do not remove the buds for next year!
Physocarpus opulifolius, commonly referred to as Ninebark, is a native shrub that provides beautiful deep purple/red foliage all season long and fun arching branches that will liven up any garden. However, its mid-summer burst of pinkish white flowers which cover the shrub is the real show-stopper.
For the wildlife enthusiast, Butterfly Bush, or Buddleia spp., lives-up to its name. Butterflies are attracted to the long fragrant spikes of flowers, ranging from white to pink to varying shades of purple, which emerge in July and last through September. Although typically growing in excess of 6 feet tall, new hybrids have been developed into dwarf forms, perfect for lining walkways or borders of plant beds.
Last, but certainly not least is the rose bush, Rosa spp. Roses typically withstand high heat and droughty conditions, while blooming continuously from spring through fall. A classic beauty when it’s at its best, however, as Bret Michaels so poetically put it: every rose has its thorn. The landscape rose is notorious for disease problems like black spot. New hybrids, like the Knock Out® Rose, touted as “disease-resistant” and “low-maintenance” have flooded the market. These have certainly come a long way in their disease resistance, making successful rose growing attainable to even the most amateur of gardeners. However, good maintenance practices are necessary to keep your roses looking their best all summer long.
Stay tuned for our next e-mail for a more in-depth look at what it takes to make your roses flourish. Meanwhile enjoy the plants that keep blooming all summer long!