Summer's heat is now upon us! While some of your plant materials are now past their spring "prime", some are just getting started. There are some trees, shrubs and perennials that thrive in these hot humid conditions! Let's consider some that are in their glory when the heat gets turned up. The plants I will be telling you about are best suited to climate zones 7 and 8.
Summer Blooming Trees
First of all, a southern garden is never complete unless you have at least one Crape Myrtle. I have pictures of two: "Sioux" pink and "Natchez" white. Both are very fast grwoing trees and are blooming now, mid June. They will need a sunny location to have the most profuse bloom time. Another great summer blooming tree is the Southern Magnolia. Known for its large, leathery evergreen leaves, they also bloom in mid June. The traditional Magnolia can reach heights of 30' with an equal spread, so plan accordingly when planting it in your yard. It can take sun or shade. Its smaller cousin, "Little Gem" can reach heights of 15' with an equal spread. It is more suited to smaller gardens.
Summer Blooming Shrubs
Some very attractive summer blooming shrubs are the Hydrangeas. They come in all sizes and colors. Larger varieties like the Oakleaf Hydrangea have large, cone shaped, white blooms. Smaller "Mophead" blooms come in a variety of white, pink, purple and blue colors. I have pictures of two "Red Charm" and "Nikko Blue." Plant your Hydrangeas in a shadier location, but maybe where they can get some indirect sun as well for best blooming.
For a sunny spot, nothing beats the very popular "Knock Out Rose." These easy care hybrids come in a variety of colors and are easy to care for. Its smaller cousin "Flower Carpet Rose" is equal in its beauty and ease of growth.
Summer Blooming Perennials
There is a bounty of perennials that bloom in the summer. I have pictures of several from my garden. For a sunny location, plant Bee Balm, Yarrow, For a shady location plant: Hosta ( see pictures of "Sum and Substance", "Pauls Glory, "Blue Cadet and "Fire and Ice" from my garden); Heuchera.
Summer Blooming Annuals
These will have to be replanted each year, but they are still fantastic! First take a look at the Caladiums for a shadier spot. They come in a variety of colors fromt the Greens, white and pink (pictured) to red and green. Adds a pop of color to any shady location.
Any of these plant materials will brighten your summer garden, plant them this fall for a real show next June!
READ MORE about plants that do well in the heat of summer:
About the Author:
Lori Hawkins, RLA, ASLA has been a registered landscape architect and active in the landscape design/build industry for over 25 years. For additional inspiring project pictures, design ideas, or great garden gifts, take a look at these websites:
GARDEN ART AND GIFTS: WWW.TriadGarden.com
DESIGN WORK PORTFOLIO: WWW.HawkinsLA.com