The easiest and most colorful way to decorate your yard for the summer is to add plants. Not only will they rebloom all season long, they’ll come back year after year.
Summer flowering shrubs include many old favorites such as roses and hydrangea. Newer varieties are more durable and help even the novice gardener realize they too can grow beautiful plants. It is August and your garden should be busting with foliage and blooms.
There was a time, not long ago, when we could not grow crape myrtle on Long Island. The plants were not hardy enough to survive our cold winter months. Luckily many of those southern varieties have been cross-bred with hardier types and we can now enjoy many crape myrtle varieties here on Long Island. Flower colors range from white to pale pink to deep crimson. Several varieties are disease resistant and drought tolerant and available in a range of shapes and sizes.
The easy care and low maintenance butterfly bush blooms throughout the summer in shades of pink, white and purple. The fragrant blooms attract birds, butterflies and hummingbirds, making them a favorite in everyone’s gardens. Butterfly bush makes an attractive backdrop for garden beds. And once established, it is drought resistant.
There are hundreds of varieties of hydrangea available including lacecap, mophead and climbing varieties. ‘Endless Summer’ is one of the most popular varieties. It has rich beautiful pink or blue flowers, depending on your soil acidity. ‘Endless Summer’ blooms on both old and new growth, ensuring you will have gorgeous flowers year after year—even if you prune it during the wrong time of year. It is also more mildew resistant than other macrophylla varieties.
Planting summer blooming shrubs will provide you and your family with many years of spectacular color in your garden. Fragrant roses, colorful hydrangea, crape myrtle and butterfly bush are the perfect plants to create a festive atmosphere you can enjoy all summer long.
Nothing in the garden quite matches the beauty and elegance of a rose. Knock Out shrub roses are hands-down my favorite. They are drought tolerant and resistant to black spot, which are problems that can plague traditional roses. The sweet fragrance of the Knock Out rose comes from blooms that appear from April until November. The foliage turns burgundy in the fall. This is a must-have for every garden.
Karen Musgrave is a marketing and education specialist with Hicks Nurseries