7 Hardy Flowers for Summer Gardens
My Tribute to Earth Day
This will be my tribute to Earth Day. I love nature and all it gives us in natural beauty. The following flowers will be of some of the easiest to grow and most heat and drought tolerant flowers I have personally grown in my flower gardens. All but one are considered as perennials in zones 5 through 10. Flowers are one of the most beautiful gifts nature has to give us and I always appreciate their beauty! I hope you enjoy the following pictures as well as the information provided.
Daylilies are very easy to grow, hardy perennials. They prefer full sun, but will bloom with light shade. They establish quickly and need very little or no care. Each plant will produce several flowers over a period of a few weeks, but each flower will only last for one day. Daylilies are best planted in "stands" so you will have continous blooming flowers for a longer period of time. They come in a variety of different colors and will reproduce each year. Sometimes they will reproduce to the point of over taking your flower bed and you will want to dig some up and plant them in another sunny spot.
Four O'Clocks have small trumpet shaped flowers that are beautifully scented. They get their name as the flowers will remain closed until mid-afternoon when the temperature starts to cool. They will remain open over night until the temperatures begin to warm up the following morning. They are perennials and are native to the tropical areas of North and South America and are sometimes called the "Marvel of Peru". They will grow up to 4 feet tall and will re-seed themselves in most warm climates. The bushy plants make attractive hedge or borders. Flower colors include white, red, pink, yellow, and some two-toned blooms.
Pink Cone Flower
Pink Cone Flowers
Pink cone flowers are great flowers to attract butterflies and bees. They are very hardy perennials and do well in full sun gardens, although they will tolerate some light shade. They are very heat and drought tolerant and great to plant in your gardens "hot spot". They too, will re-seed and thrive on their own. I dig up my new little plants and move then to another flower garden to give it some great color in summer. They will bloom all summer with proper watering. I highly recommend cone flowers!
The hardy hibiscus is an unusual plant as it gives us flowers that are huge and delicate! The flowers can get as big as your dinner plate and be just as delicate as your fine china. The hardy hibuscus is unlike the tropical hibuscus, as these are considered perennials. They do have woody stems but they die back to the ground in winter so are considered to be a perennial. They are native to the marshy areas of North America and sometimes go by the common name of mallow. They start blooming in late spring or early summer and will continue to bloom until the first frost. They do require at least 6 hours of sun daily and require a good watering at least once a week.
Sunflowers have a hardy single stem, topped with one giant yellow flower. Sunflowers can grow as tall as 10 feet and have a bloom as large around as 6 inches in diameter. They are considered as annuals, but sometimes re-seed themselves. They are very heat and drought tolerant. They do best in full sun and well drained soil. They are great flowers to attract butterflies and bees. Once the flower opens, it will actually follow the sun throughout the day. What a wonderful flower to greet summer!
Morning glorys are wonderful addition to your flower garden. Depending on what planting zone you live in, they can be considered either annuals or perennials. I live in zone 6, but the morning glory is considered a perennial in zones 5 through 10. Started from seed, let them grow up a trellice of some type and in full sun, they will give you many, many beautiful blooms first thing of a morning. As the sun warms the air, they will curl up to protect their delicate blooms from the mid-day heat. They bloom best in full sun but can tolerate light shade. They will drop their seeds and you will have many little morning glory plants to re-plant in another location. They are heat tolerant with sufficient watering. I would recommend watering deeply about once a week.
Lantana is a favorite flower of gardeners as it blooms continually all summer long. It comes in a variety of colors and is often two-toned. It will produce stems from the center of plant and they will extend out and downward from the center. It is extremely hardy and drought tolerant. However, it is best to water weekly, but don't let the roots stay wet. Lantana is a perennial in most southern regions of the US. The most common lantana will form a busy shrub that will grow up to 2 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Some cultivars will grow much larger. You can cut them back to keep them neater. They are also great flowers to attract birds and butterflies.
This is just a little information about some of my favorite flowers in my flower gardens. These are all easy to take care of and most will multiply on their own. Given a little care and love these flowers will continue to give you beauty year after year. I hope you have enjoyed my tribute to Earth Day this year. Have a beautiful day!
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Find out what planting zone you live in: http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/
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