TOP 12 FLOWERS FOR THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER

TOP 12 FLOWERS FOR THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER

July is the month that marks the turn of the season from the fresh early spring flowering to the heat of late summer when you need sturdy plants that can continue to perform on into fall. The twelve flowers in this list have been chosen by Nick McCullough from? McCullough?s Landscape & Nursery. The plants are described in an article by Bill Marken which I came across on the Garden Design Magazine website.

Yes, the motto at McCullough?s Landscape & Nursery, our family landscape design and nursery business, is ?We love the Midwest,? but we also know the realities of the weather here in central Ohio. Who can forget this past winter with around 10 days below zero? Or the typical summer days in the 90s? After almost 12 years of designing gardens, I?ve learned the hard way what plants I can rely on?not just to survive, but to actually star in the midsummer garden.
I think these dozen midsummer classics are ideal for my design style, which I describe as a merging of traditional and contemporary, but the same plants can easily look at home in other garden styles also. I like to plant them in drifts, using big brush strokes?particularly Allium senescens ssp. montanum var. glaucum and Veronicastrum ?Fascination?. Cirsium rivulare ?Atropurpureum? is a stunning accent plant; for containers, I really like Verbena bonariensis and Dahlia ?Caf? au Lait?.

SNEEZEWEED

Photo by: Doreen Wynja.

1. SNEEZEWEED (Helenium ‘Mardi Gras’)

This perfectly named cultivar does just as it implies: it adds a party to the garden. It produces a profusion of 2-inch flowers from August to early October, with bright orange petals splashed with yellow. This long-blooming, hot-colored perennial will liven up the dog days of summer. I often use it as an accent to drifts of purple-blue flowers like Agastache ?Blue Fortune? (giant hyssop), and the fine texture of a bluegreen grass like Schizachyrium scoparium ?The Blues? (little bluestem).
Bloom: Yellow/Red rays (August-October) | Height/Spread: 24-36?/12-18? | Zones: 4-9

FIRETAIL FLEECE

Photo by: Marianne Majerus.

2. FIRETAIL FLEECE (Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Firetail’)

For a pop of hot color that starts in June and lasts until the first frost, look no further than Persicaria ?Firetail?. While not aggressive, this sturdy perennial likes a bit of room and will drift and weave amongst a border planting. The bottle brushlike crimson flowers swaying above clumps of dark green lanceolate foliage add a textural dimension to a pond?s edge or in a prairie-style planting like those of Piet Oudolf. It pairs wonderfully with contrasting shaped flowers like Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower), Ratibida pinnata (gray-head coneflower), or a finely textured grass like Muhlenbergia capillaris (pink muhly).
Bloom: Crimson (June-October) | Height/Spread: 36-48?/36-48? | Zones: 4-8

Go to the next page for more of these late summer bloomers.

I am a keen gardener and so created Garden Pics and Tips for people who love gardens and enjoy great pictures of plants and gardens. Also covered are practical tips on all aspects of gardening.

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