Thursday, August 9, 2012

Three Plants I'm Loving This Summer!

Here are three very different plants, with three very different uses, that I am absolutely loving this summer.  Each of them has weathered this summer's crazy weather admirably, and each is entering August looking incredibly good. 

This first one is Lythrum virgatum "Morden's Pink," and it's now in it's second season.  It's not getting as much sun as it typically likes, so it's getting off to a slow start, but that's not such a bad thing.  Lythrum (Loosestrife) can sometimes be invasive in the South, though this particular cultivar is supposed to be much better behaved.  I have had it in the Stepchild Garden now for four years, and it's perfectly controlled.  This photograph doesn't show it well, but we planted it along the length of this very long fence (about 150 feet), alternating with Russian Sage (Perovskia), behind yellow daylilies.  Since the daylilies have pretty much ended for the season, this combination of the pink and soft blue will fill in some of the empty space left behind once the daylily foliage gets cut back.

Hibiscus x moscheutos 'Robert Fleming' is a great plant for some pretty tough situations.  This is its second year of being used in a container at the pool, in full blistering sun.  The flowers are almost 10 inches across, the foliage stays clean and fresh (it looks almost like Hydrangea macrophylla foliage), and the plant itself doesn't get much more than 3 feet tall.  It is winter hardy to something crazy (like Zone 4), so at the end of the season we throw it into a nursery pot and overwinter it behind the greenhouse.   
"Snow n Summer" is an Asiatic Jasmine that I first saw in Vince Dooley's garden in Athens about five years ago, and just fell in love with it.  This might be pushing the ticket just a little, but where we have it planted it's getting more sun than at Coach Dooley's house, and I think it's doing better!

It is like most Asiatic Jasmines, which are very "exuberant" growers in the South.  In this particular spot, the ground is like cement, since this brick walk goes between two massive retaining walls, and there is a ton of mechanical work under the surface (drainage, lighting wires, etc.)  Prior to planting this last year, virtually nothing would grow in this spot.  It gets blistering sun for about four hours a day, and is then in full shade the rest of the time.  Monrovia had recommended cutting it back to keep the new growth (pink and white) coming, but we haven't had to do that at all.  The colors are beautiful, and ultimately the white goes to a variegated green with pink and white.  The only drawback is that we really MUST use a pre-emergent here, since weeding becomes next to impossible if we don't stay on top of it.  (What you see in this photo was planted as eight 1-gallon plants two years ago.)

One of the best things about these three plants is availability.  Each of them is readily available at this point, I haven't seen a pest issue with any, and I can't say enough good things about them!


  1. They're all lovely plants but I especially like the Hibiscus for it's rich red colour, gorgeous!

  2. I grow Ogon Nishiki (Golden Brocade) Asiatic jasemine, which is also variegated, but with yellow, green, and the new growth is very orange. We have been forbidden to sell any more Lythrum because it is so invasive. I must say though I have never seen it take over anything in the south, but have seen fields of it in New England.

  3. I Love the Jasmine! I had wanted to plant some in my garden under the roses. But I can't decide how hard it will be to maintain. Like you said in a previous post, I already have so much garden to care for and I'm not getting any younger...