Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Let's Heat Things Up!

You have got to be kidding!  This year has been a wake up call for me in regard to plants that can withstand the intense heat we have had for most of the summer.  Granted, each and every summer is different and not like this one, but we must think in terms of planting what will hold up in our gardens if we have this type of weather.
Pennisetum Hamlin

Believe it or not, but the plants that are surviving this heat are impatiens, followed quickly by coneflowers, zinnias, succulents, sedums, agastache, centranthus, nepetas, verbenas, fibrous begonias, lantana, coleus and of course daylilies.  The phlox has suffered browning leaves and the petunias bought in pre-planted containers have dried up.  The petunias that I planted in my own containers have done much better.  The geraniums have ceased to bloom in this heat, however, the ones that I mossed the top of the containers are reviving and setting buds

Grasses usually love this weather, even the carex on the north side of my home is flourishing.  Hydrangeas are into the wilts and will require extra water as well as the ferns, astilbes and hostas.  The rose bushes look good and do not go into the wilt mode easily.  However, they are continually attacked by insects during this type of weather.
Miscanthus Udine

I will definitely become more aware of plants that will withstand the heat, repel insects and still add color to the garden.  Here are a few:  Grasses, Agastache, Gailladaria, Verbenas, Lantana, Sedums, Nepetas, Coneflowers, Penstemons, Agaves, Daylilies, Dianthus (Firewitch) and many more.  Check out for more ideas.  I am seriously thinking of making the south side of my home into a completely succulent garden.  Xeric plants are not plentiful in my area because intense, prolonged hot weather is not typical.  However, in the past years I have put more and more of these waterwise plants into my garden.

Coleus with Bronze Sweet Potato Vine

Lemon Twist Coleus
I will never again plant a dahlia!  I know this sounds drastic, but I have more bad looking dahlias this year than any other plant I can remember.  Although, maybe it depends on the variety because the large ones that I have in the ground look good (except the insects love them).  We do not seem to have the climate for this plant.  I remember my friend from Scotland whose husband was a dahlia expert, crossing them and growing them each year he was in the United States.  I now appreciate his expertise to make it work.

Coleus Inky Fingers
Even my Dianthus Firewitch has had a problem here this year, but not in Wisconsin.  Mine on the south side of my home is in it's first  year and maybe could not take the heat.
Gaillardia Arizona Sun
Gaillardia Mesa
Phlox Eva Cullum

Fibrous Begonia
Impatiens with Coleus

Border with Impatiens

Petunias in Hayracks on North Side

Verbena Great Expectations (purple) blooms all summer with deadheading.

Sedum Autumn Joy almost prettier than when it turns red

Nicotiana Alba

Coneflower Magnus