Tis the last rose of summer left blooming alone all her lovely companions are faded and gone Thomas More – English Statesman, 1477-1535
Most of us hope to keep the blooms growing late into summer season, if for no other reason than to keep our roses company. Spring is notorious for colorful varieties that may fade away as the season continues, so you may find yourself looking for options to keep the look alive. With some careful planning, you can have flowers blooming all summer long – including during the heat of July. Annuals are the key to blooms that pick up where the perennials left off. Here are a few tips from Gardner’s Supply Company on how to make sure you have the right annuals mix to carry those blooms through the end of the summer.
1. Choose the right style of annuals. You don't want plants that are too billowy or too bold in flower or foliage. The best companions are vase-shaped, old-fashioned flowers with a casual form. The types of annuals that work best are those that weave among the foliage of your perennials. Good examples include verbena, nicotiana, salvia, diascia, and heliotrope.
2. Choose heat-tolerant annuals. Unless your perennial border is in the shade, you’ll want to select sun-loving, warm-weather plants such as ageratum, alyssum, cleome, morning glory, browallia, nicotiana, salvia, verbena and matricaria.
3. Don't neglect the tropicals. There are many fabulous heat-loving plants from zones 8 and 9 that can be used as annuals. Though many of these are quite large and possibly too bold to blend into the average perennial border, you may want to find space for them. Good candidates include canna, elephant ear, ginger lily, Mexican sage, and the many varieties of plectranthus.
Once you've established the annuals to bring your garden’s colors back to life, don’t forget to adjust your water schedule to help establish the new plants. You can add even more color to the heat of July by adding a few pots or paving stone planter boxes throughout your yard. Most nurseries are closing out their annuals for the year so the deals are plenty and you may find varieties you've never used before for exciting results.
Don’t let the last bloom leave you feeling alone. Continue your summer colors far into the fall with annuals that continue the blooming all season long.