Summer 2011


Coreopsis for Hot Summer Days

cor_route66A good choice for these long, hot summer days is Coreopsis.Even if the garden is dry and dusty, this perennial will deliver heavy blooms of mostly yellow flowers from now until frost.

In the last few years, Coreopsis has seen an expansion in color range. ‘Route 66’, for example, features red streaks that begin to appear in the petals right about now. Yellow flowers will continue to darken with red until the frost kicks in. ‘Sienna Sunset’, a very new cultivar, boasts an orange, almost terra cotta color.


Summer Calibrachoas

callieI noticed an especially nice use of Calibrachoas last week in this planter bench outside a store:Callie ‘Blue Jeans’ spills over the front of the two arms while Plumosa Fern provides some vertical drama in the back.

It’s simple, but effective.


Sedum Roundup

sedum_wehhenstephanerHot, dry summer days give rise to hot, dry soils that are tough to keep covered.Stonecrop Sedum is the go-to groundcover for these types of spots. This versatile plant is used in rock gardens, on green roofs, as a houseplant, and even in broken or uneven ground where it is difficult to grow anything else. To our surprise, the Sedum leaves are edible, so it is even pet-friendly.


Summer Heleniums

hel_dgSummer Helenium is one of the great, but underrated, plants in the landscaper’s toolbox.Small golden-yellow flowers cover soft, ferny foliage. If you stand back, you might think that you’re looking at a miniature ‘Moonbeam’.

Unlike ‘Moonbeam’ however, Summer Helenium doesn’t bulk up and swamp the garden. It plays well with other plants, such as vincas, petunias, and zinnias. Summer Helenium grows in a nice, neat mound about 9 inches to a foot tall. It stays tidy, so you can grow it in amongst other plants to add a little zest and variety to the garden design.