Image by: Traveling Mermaid
Flower gardeners await the arrival of each summer with a mixture of nervous excitement and gnawing apprehension. Whether or not their garden will explode into glorious Technicolor depends on a number of factors outside their control.
There are few things as disheartening as watching your spectacular summer garden quickly dry out due to high heats and humidity. If the weather conditions don’t suit the flowers you so diligently planted earlier in the year, you will have no choice but to watch them go from full bodied beauties swaying gently in the summer breeze to droopy and discoloured versions of their former selves.
Your choice of flowers here is important, and you in no way have to limit your range of colours and shapes by sticking to plants that you know will be able to handle the heat.
Not only will the following flowers survive the hottest of summers, they will do it while looking visually stunning from the day they first flower till the day that winter comes creeping round again.
If you are not yet acquainted with the striking blue-y green colour and geometric leaf displays of the Agave (especially the tequilana or ‘blue’ variety), then you really should.
Although this plant won’t give you many flowers, it is extremely effective at providing striking counterpoints to your bright flower arrangements. And because it comes from the hot and dusty plains of Mexico, the Agave is nothing if not sturdy.
A word of warning though; the leaves of the Agave tend to be quite sharp so make sure you snip them gently to avoid cutting yourself.
These delicate white hanging flowers look so beautifully ethereal in the midday sun that is seems counter-intuitive that they should have such a high heat tolerance. But they do, and they will make a great contribution to any sun-kissed garden.
Aside from their spectral and frail beauty, these plants are known for their sweet fragrance, and depending on the particular variety you have, the potential size of the hanging trumpet-shaped flowers themselves.
It should be noted that some parts of the plant can be poisonous to animals and you should definitely not ingest parts of the tree itself (although why you would is another question entirely). But this potential toxicity means that if you have pets or children who enjoy digging around in the garden, you may want to consider some other options.
With its long tall blossoms of red, pink, yellow or orange shooting skyward and its large leaves, planting some Canna in your garden is a sure fire to give the space a more exotic feel. Widely regarded as a great summer plant to adorn both borders and containers, Canna can survive in both the sweltering heat or in the cooler climes of a conservatory.
As the summer months roll in these plants will quickly begin to tower over the rest of your beds and arrangements, so make sure that you give them enough space for their fan like leaves to spread out. While in terms of tolerance to heat, these colourful giants can match the best of them, they can only do so if they in well watered soil, with enough light hitting those antenna-like leaves providing nourishment to keep the flowers riding high.
The tall elegance of the Canna can be matched perfectly by the small delicate, prettiness of the Tropical Milkweed, with its red and yellow flowers. Known primarily as a firm favorite of the Monarch Butterfly in the sprawling gardens of the southern states of the USA, but the plant has become a firm favorite in colder climates as well due to their inherent mix of beauty and ragged durability.
But this weed has a great enemy in the common aphid, which seems to love nothing more than chomping merrily through the foliage all summer long. In America there is a tough balancing act between the desire to attract butterflies and the need of the caterpillars to feed on the plants themselves, and this shows just how tasty some critters seem to find these delicate leaves.
A perfect counterpoint to the tall Canna, the Tropical Milkweed is a great way to spread a joyous, low-lying sprawl of color over your garden.
African Daisy (Arctotis)
Perhaps befitting of a plant that originated on the dry and stony slopes of the southern tip of Africa, the African Daisy can take their fair share of heat and humidity while still producing distinctive flowers made up of two contrasting color rings around a central eye.
The African Daisy is perhaps the easiest way to ensure that you have a beautiful sea of color stretching over your garden, even when the grass is struggling and the other plants are beginning to droop and shrivel. The only potential problem is that these plants can have a relatively short flowering time, but while they are in bloom the show is likely to be spectacular.
These plant choices are by no means the be all and end all of the options that are open to you when trying to create a garden that is capable of retaining its beauty and its color in hot and dry summers.
No more shall each summer be an apprehensive wait to see if your carefully selected arrangements survive or not.
Do you have any other great suggestions for flowers and plants that are heat tolerant and beautiful?
- License: Creative Commons image source
Louise Blake is a new mum who loves nothing more than spending her summer days toiling away in the garden, meaning she spends a lot of time at Webbs Direct.