Garden Gate: Plant for color all summer long
Sometimes we might want to plant an area with blooming flowers we can rely on for color all summer. Long-blooming perennials make this a possibility. We can consider these long blooming perennials the “workhorses” of the garden.
Our wish for continuous blooming would be a lot easier if we would just take time to do a little planning. You could have a multitude of plants that flower for a brief time or plants that bloom for months on end. Are you tired of planting and re-planting every year? Or maybe the combination of quick bloomers and long bloomers would be the best for you.
One long blooming garden staple is Phlox. It is a long blooming perennial that flowers all summer and often even into fall. Some of the old school garden Phlox was troubled with powdery mildew disease on the foliage. The newer types like David are mildew-resistant. The plant foliage should stay nice and healthy all summer long. And what wonderful continuous color!
Have you seen the Stella de Oro daylily? It is a compact plant like yarrow that doesn’t need much care at all. Stella is classified under the daylily genus that derives its name from the Greek word “hemera” for “day” and “kailos” for “beauty.” Another hot perennial on the market right now is the daylily from the Twice as Nice brand. You can put this beautiful bloomer into the category of long-blooming perennial. It has good looks and will bloom with not much care all summer long. Look for it at local garden centers.
We all love the Shasta Daisy. If we look back in history we will read that “daisy” was once spelled “day’s eye.” It was a sun metaphor and said a lot about the feeling created by this plant. It’s hard to look at daisies and not be put into a good mood. This particular daisy is delicate looking but really tough as nails.
Salvia is another workhorse for your blooming garden. The Victoria blue salvia, Blue Hill, May Night and many other types of salvia will give you easy care beautiful blooms for months. Salvia is part of a large genus of plants in the mint family, including the culinary herb, sage. In fact, a common name for the red salvias we know so well as bedding plants is “scarlet sage.”
So go shopping! Find those garden shops and see what’s new. You may be surprised.
Master Gardener Short Course
Don’t forget to sign up for the fabulous Master Gardener Short Course this summer. If you ever wanted to certify as Master Gardener, this is your chance. The cost is $200 and classes will be held at the Texas Agri-Life Extension Office, 1225 Pearl Street, Suite 200. The dates this summer are July 15-26 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Contact Micah Shanks for more information on speakers and topics at (409) 835-8461 or mshanks52 [at] gmail [dot] com.