on May 24, 2016 by test_editor in WEB-EXTRA content, Comments Off on Web-extra (May 26, 2016): Summer Gardening; 5 perfect plants.

Web-extra (May 26, 2016): Summer Gardening; 5 perfect plants.

Web-extra (May 26, 2016): Summer Gardening;
5 perfect plants.

By Hilary Kemsley.

Every year about this time I tell myself – I will not buy one new plant this summer. This is
the year I downsize the garden. And then it happens.

An uncontrollable urge drags me to the Internet. Soon I am zigzagging like a pinball from one beautiful garden design to another; from one gorgeous plant to another. Before long,
my must-have list begins anew. Resistance is futile.

Plant addiction does have an up side. I have tried hundreds of plants, and in the process have come across some true superstars.

The heat of Ottawa summers is vexing for both humans and gardens; here is a list of plants that will beautify your garden and positively impact your water bill. Are you keen on conserving water? Check out the five drought-resistant, perfect plants below.

  1. ) Heartleaf Ice Plant (Aptenia cordifolia ‘Variegata’). I picked up this trailing succulent by chance one day simply because I’d never seen it before. It’s a keeper, trust me. Not only are the variegated, fat leaves attractive but this drought-resistant plant produces tiny, gorgeous red flowers all summer long and indoors, all winter. A great plant for full sun planters that always dry out way too quickly.
  2. ) Joe Pye Weed (Epatorium maculatum). My favourite of the Epatoriums. Stands 8’ tall in my garden. Shorter ones exist but aren’t nearly as eye-popping. In the late summer and into the fall, the top of this huge herb is covered in plate-sized pink flowers that bees love. Years ago, Joe Pye Weed was used as a curative for any number of ailments including Typhus.
  3. ) Prairie Flax or Blue Flax (Linum lewisii). I feel like kissing my Linum lewisii every morning. This favourite has delicate leaves, slim stems and periwinkle blue flowers. Best of all, it blooms afresh each and every day all season long. Loves dry neglect.
  4. ) Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia). Grey delicate leaves and stems with mauve blooms from spring to winter. Perovskia is fragrant even when the flowers are gone. Don’t trim back the stems in the fall, and you’ll have something interesting to look at in
    the winter garden.
  5. ) ‘Mona Lavender’ (Plecanthrus). An international best-seller developed at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in South Africa. Fingers crossed you will be able to find it. There was no label on the one plant I stumbled upon, but an Ottawa Master Gardener later identified it for me. The underside of Mona’s scalloped leaves is deep burgundy. A true shade plant, ’Mona Lavender’produces sweet bouquets of purple flowers continuously. You’ll need to bring this delicate perennial indoors for the winter. Worth the effort, believe me.

Happy gardening.

Heartleaf Ice Plant

Heartleaf Ice Plant

Photo Caption: Heartleaf Ice Plant from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Heartleaf_Ice_Plant_%28Aptenia_cordifolia_’Variegata’%29.jpg

Photo References: (the following images are not to be copied, as they are the copyright of their owners. Follow the links for the sources.)

Joe Pye Weed

Joe Pye Weed

http://mysweetcottage.com/heidis-august-plant-pick-joe-pye-weed/

Prairie Flax or Blue Flax

Prairie Flax or Blue Flax

http://serenitycove2.blogspot.ca/2012/05/ive-got-blues.html

Russian Sage

Russian Sage

http://georgeweigel.net/plant-of-the-week-profiles/perennials/russian-sage-little-spire

Mona Lavender

Mona Lavender

http://berniesgarden.blogspot.ca/2010/09/plectranthus-mona-lavender.html

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