Monday, July 16, 2012

What Is A Gardener To Do?

What can we do?  Nothing, about the weather, are you tired of the heat, tired of watering, tired of yanking out shriveled plants?  I am learning the hard way that annuals with big root balls do not like confined containers in the heat!

My list is getting longer by the day of what not to plant in the lovely springtime.  Try to imagine 100 degrees and think of plants that not only will survive but might like it.

Coleus can be a staple in the heat affected garden, give it some water and it will perform for the long hot summer.

Coleus Redhead

Trusty Rusty Coleus

Indian Summer Coleus

Wild Lime Coleus

Wild Lime and Indian Summer Coleus

Sedona Coleus

These are the best of the best.  I am sure there are many others that are great performers, but I have found that year after year these do not disappoint.

Spillers are almost a must for most containers and two of the best I have found are:

Blackheart Sweet Potato Vine

Caroline Sweet Potato Vine

Phlox can be counted on to perform in the heat but it is not a xeric plant so does need to be watered.

Peppermint Twist Phlox

Blue Paradise Phlox
Blue in the morning, magenta in the afternoon

Miracle Grace Phlox

Rozanne Geranium
Rozanne takes the heat give her a light trim every so often.

Bob's Blunder Geranium
I am liking this one in its first year of bloom, low growing, gently weaving.

Peach Flambe Heuchera
This one is a winner on the north side of the house, some sun throughout the day, beautiful color.

Heucherella Stoplight
Very green on the north side and very yellow in the south back border

Daylilies are great in the heat and some are very long blooming, like Chicago Rosy and ....

Red Rum Daylily

Entrapment Daylily

Lady Lucille Daylily

Space Witch and Joan Senior Daylilies

Cherry Cheeks Daylily

Pop Art Red and Yellow Zinnia
Zahara Double Fire Zinnia

I started the zinnias indoors under lights and these have not disappointed.  You get very few seeds so it is important that most of them germinate.
Purslane takes the heat on the south side of the house, love it, but do not plant in the garden, only pots, reseeds everywhere.

These have been an experiment this year, started out in containers, not working.  The leaves became mottled with brown spots and flower buds fell off.  I had seen them at Ball Horticultural last year in full sun, not thriving for me in full sun.  They have thick stems and are very tall and stiff compared to regular impatiens.  I moved them to areas with part shade, planted them in the garden soil, and they are doing much better.
Let's keep going, watering, watering, watering and learning from this unusual season!