Guides by Season: Mid-Summer Guides
Blooming their heart out in summer and fall, Tagetes (Marigolds) is a genus of annuals and perennials with showy single or double flowers in shades of orange, yellow, red, gold, white, and any combination of those colors. The strongly aromatic fern-like foliage repels pests such as deer or rabbits, making Marigolds great companion plants to other plants.
Incredibly showy, Gomphrena (Globe Amaranth) is prized by gardeners for its cheery, long-lasting flowers. Blooming its heart out all summer long and sometimes until frost, this wonderful annual or perennial plant is easy to grow, tolerates heat and drought, and attracts beneficial insects to the garden. To double the pleasure, the brightly colored flowers can be dried without losing their vibrancy to create everlasting bouquets.
Native to South Africa, Zantedeschia lilies have become popular garden or household plants. Mainly grown for their magnificent, chalice-shaped flowers (spathe) surrounding a yellow finger-like stalk (spadix), and their arrow-shaped, spotted leaves, they are not true lilies, but are arum (Jack-in-the-pulpit) family members. Whether used in borders, containers or as cut flowers, they always provide a spectacular effect with their rich, cheerful colors.
Coveted for their spectacular blooms which come in a wide range of shapes and colors, Azaleas and Rhododendrons are members of the genus Rhododendron, one of the largest genera in the plant world which includes over 900 species and over 20,000 named hybrids. All are fascinating.
The ravishing foliage of hostas is not only attractive to humans. Slugs and snails are the most troublesome pests to hostas. They feed on their leaves and leave conspicuous holes. They can kill young seedlings by completely eating them.
Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage) is an attractive deciduous sub-shrub or woody based perennial with silvery stems bearing an airy cloud of blue to lavender in mid-summer to early fall. Attracting pollinating bees and hummingbirds, the tiny tubular flowers are arranged in whorls along the stems.
Native to Southern Europe and Western Asia, Sempervivum (Hens and Chicks or Houseleek) is a mat-forming succulent, that produces irresistible, evergreen rosettes of thick, fleshy leaves. Cute but tough, their beauty resides largely in their infinite variations. They are available in a wide range of colors, from light to dark green to brown, pink and purple, either at the tips of the leaves or throughout the whole plant. The leaves may be pointed or rounded, glossy or matte, with a waxy bloom or with downy hairs. Their foliage colors vary with the sun exposure, the seasons and the climate.
Since Lilies appreciate some shade around their roots while keeping their foliage and ravishing blossoms in the air and sunshine, they welcome the company of neighboring plants such as annuals, perennials, bulbs, grasses or shrubs. However, a few rules need to be respected to ensure your Lilies will thrive.
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