|Plants for Spectacular Summer Color|
|Written by By Nicholas Stadden, Director of New Plant Introduction, Monrovia Growers, for Molbak’s Garden + Home|
Come June, it is nice to know the chilly airs of spring are behind us. It’s time to look forward to what we refer to with some affection in England, my country of origin, as “Salad Days.” Yes, summer is here or soon to arrive. Some years ago, it was the only time we would get near a lettuce or such produce from the garden. Today, of course, gardening is a year-round pleasure.
I love all the seasons, but the one that holds no equal is summer. It is the one time of year we can be outside all day long, and half the night, enjoying the fruits of our labor. I have always thought of the Northwest region of the U.S. as the garden of America. It never ceases to amaze me the variety of plants that can grace the frame around the house we call a garden. For me, the cutting garden is almost the center of the universe. Nothing gives me more pleasure than growing plants that can be harvested and brought inside to enjoy on the kitchen or dining room table.
I’d like to share with you some of my favorite plants for spectacular summer color. Let’s start with repeat blooming hydrangeas. The new Lets Dance® series include a reblooming mophead by the seductive name of Moonlight that provides exceptionally vibrant flower color and sturdy stems, with the added bonus of great fall foliage color. Be smothered in color by Hydrangea Invincibelle® Spirit – another repeat bloomer with dark pink buds that open to hot pink flowers, fading to soft pink and finally to green. Agapanthus Midknight Blue® is known for its deep, violet-blue flowers held in tight clusters on tall stalks. It is a hardy plant, a magnet for the pollinators, and makes a dramatic cut flower. Other must-haves are the new series of sterile dwarf Buddleia’s called ‘Blue Chip’ and ‘Purple Haze’. These new introductions bear no seeds, so focus on pure flower production, and their bloom have the fragrance of sweet lilac. Try these new butterfly bushes in containers. They are smaller in habit and can be enjoyed on the patio during those long summer evenings.
I have to mention one Blueberry, her name is Bountiful Blue®, she will change the way we use Blueberries in our gardens. Not only is she a bountiful producer, sorry no pun intended, of fruit in the ground or container, but has a stunning blue cast to her foliage spring and summer. The added bonus of red and amber autumn color catapults her into a snappy foundation landscape shrub.
Want to learn more? Catch Nicholas at Molbak’s on Saturday June 9th from 10-11am as he presents a free seminar, Spectacular Summer Color! Bringing the Outdoors In. He‘ll share a list of plants that can provide a prolific harvest of cut flowers, a draw for beneficial pollinators and delicious fruit for the table.