By August a lot of my plants have started to look tired. My Hosta is scorched at the edges, the cherry tree has started to defoliate, and my peonies are looking crispy. Fortunately, there are some plants that seem to take the heat without showing any signs of stress, and by the end of summer I’m appreciating what they bring to the garden. Read on to learn about two plants that can really take the heat.
Canna ‘Bengal Tiger’ – Bengal Tiger Canna
(Bengal Tiger Canna in a mixed planting with ornamental grasses and shrubs.)
When I first moved to North Carolina I was excited to learn that Cannas are perennial here. Available with white, pink, yellow, red, and orange flowers as well as different colors of foliage, cannas really shine in the summer. I like to site the larger varieties at a distance from the house – they are big and bold enough to be impactful at a distance and you can get away with less deadheading of their spent flowers. While an extremely tough plant, they can struggle with Canna Leaf Miner, though I haven’t run into this in my garden.
Rosemarinus officinalis – Rosemary
(Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Prostratus’ – Prostrate Rosemary growing over a wall)
Another plant that is not perennial in my native Virginia is Rosemary. Fortunately, it is reliably evergreen and hardy in all but the coldest winters here in North Carolina. Native to the Southern Mediterranean, Rosemary is a plant that can take drought and heat, and it is even tolerant of our humidity. It’s finely textured green gray foliage contrasts nicely with large leafed plants, and in addition to being great for cooking it is also highly deer resistant. Because it is often sold as a small plant in a one gallon pot people tend to underestimate it’s size (though there is a creeping variety – pictured). Give it plenty of room – mature plants can reach five feet in height and spread.
Interested in adding some of these tough summer plants to your garden? Contact Bright Leaf Landscaping at 919-475-1015 or fill out our online contact form. Design and installation are our expertise, and we are always happy to meet with new clients to discuss potential projects!