As I write this, we just had what is called the flower moon last night. It’s named that because this is the time of year when the flowers start popping open. Pop. Pop. Pop. I wish I had acute enough hearing to hear the flowers popping but instead, I’ll enjoy just seeing the results. I don’t know about you, but flowers are just one of the many things that I love about summer. Flowers add cheer and beauty to my life. The fun thing about flowers is that you can choose what kind you want in your garden and around your home. I’m going to go over some of the flowers that you may want to consider having in your summer garden. I’ll also write about some tips that hopefully will be of great help to you as you plan your summer flower gardens.
Annual Plants That Will Do Well in Your Summer Garden
Annuals are flowers that grow for one season and then die off in the fall. Most will live until the first frost kills them off. Perennials, on the other hand, will die off only on the above ground section of the plant at the end of the season. The roots will continue to live and then the plant will push up through the ground the next spring. Annuals generally have a longer flowering season than perennials. If you have a hard time remembering the difference of annual versus perennial, think of it this way: Annual means year. One year only for annuals.
I’ll go over some annuals that will really well in the summer. The nice thing about annuals is that you can change up your color hue every year if you’d like, or stick with the same each year. Here are some annuals to consider for your summer garden.
This unique annual is a very hardy plant that is native to South Africa. African Daisies have pretty silver/grey foliage that can make a beautiful display when placed with other flowers. This annual comes in a wide variety of colors. An advantage of an African Daisy is that it will bloom for an extended period of time in mild climates.
Begonias are household names for good reason. They are easy to grow, do well in a variety of conditions, and take very little to thrive. Just make sure to provide this annual with a little shade, well-drained soil, water, and fertilizer. Begonias come in a variety of colors to choose from.
This annual gets its name for the black center in the middle of a beautiful display of golden petals. This stunning annual will look good in any flower garden, either alone or with other flowers.
Calendulas are a cheerful and bright flower coming in yellow, apricot, cream and orange. Because this annual has an edible flower, it is known as an herb. Calendula does best in cool seasons, so look for them to be in full bloom in early spring or fall.
This annual is also an herb that is native to the USA. It is easy to grow and a fragrant herb. Chamomile grows well in most gardens and also in containers. You can often find wild chamomile growing along roadsides in rough conditions. This annual does not need much water to thrive. It is one of the most prolific and easy keepers of all annuals. If you enjoy tea, you may want to cut off the buds and dry them. The buds, when seeped in hot water, make a calming hot drink that many people like to drink before bedtime.
This easy to grow plant will vine out and cover a large area when not trimmed back. This annual makes a nice basket or garden annual. Some people enjoy planting it with other flowering plants.
This is a favorite annual among many gardeners and for good reason. Cosmos have a daisy-like flower that appear in bright colors on tall stems. This makes a wonderful flower for cutting and placing in vases. Cosmos are known for self seeding. Even though the plant will die off each year, you most likely will have new Cosmos come up the next year. In that respect, even though it’s an annual, the results are much like a perennial.
Marigolds may be the most popular of all annuals. They are easy to grow and easy to care for. Chances are good that any garden supply store that sells annuals will have Marigolds front and center. Some people like to save and dry the petals for use in perfumes and for cooking.
This is one of my favorites since they come up wild each year on my land in Wyoming. Lupines have vibrant purple showy spikes of densely packed blossoms. In native habitats such as where I live in the foothills of the Big Horn Mountains, Lupines cover hillsides and mountain tops.
This fast-growing annual is a good pick for creating privacy between neighbors. It grows on a vine, so it makes a perfect flower for a chain-link fence or trellis. The flower of a morning glory is trumpet-shaped. The flowers open in the morning and close by afternoon.
This popular annual can add a lot of color to your flower garden. Petunias are hardy plants that will bloom all season long. They come in a variety of colors and patterns to suit many tastes.
Perennials That Grow with Minimal Care Needed
The beauty of perennials is that once established, they will come up each year just like dandelions. You won’t have to do much except occasionally water them if the ground turns dry. You’ll get the most bang for your buck with perennials since you won’t have to buy them each year. A drawback of perennials though is that they normally do not flower all season long like annuals do. I’ll go overs some popular and easy keeping perennials for you to consider.
Perhaps one of the most well known perennials is lavender. Known for very fragrant buds, this extraordinary flower is stunning to look at. The buds are often collected and dried and then used for culinary reasons or for simply smelling. The fragrance has a calming effect. This is why many people put lavender in their bedrooms. This long stemmed flower normally grows to a height of around twenty four inches.
Also known as Bee Balm, Monarda comes in many stunning colors. This perennial is native to the United states and will often grow wild in fields. My Wyoming field has Monarda that has brilliant purplish/pink/blue foliage at the end of each summer. The flowers are extremely large and stunning.
The Shasta Daisy is a very big Daisy that has approximately a three inch diameter for the flower head. This flower blooms in the summer and will work great in your summer garden. This long stemmed perennial makes for an excellent cut flower for vases.
Vertical gardens grow upward instead of outward, just as the name implies. These gardens are good choices when space is limited or when you’d like extra privacy. Plants with vines especially make for pretty vertical gardens.
Harvesting food from your garden can be one of the most rewarding things to do. Not only will you get to enjoy the beauty of your garden all season long, but it can provide tasty nutrition for you and your family.
Vegetables and Fruits to Include in Your Summer Garden
Plants that grow fruits vegetables are my favorite plants to grow. Why? Because they produce food that my family and I can eat. I’m going to go over some popular fruit vegetable plants to consider for your summer garden.
Tomatoes – Very easy to grow and a wide variety of choices to choose from. Go for a variety so that if one type doesn’t do too well, you’ll have others to fall back on. Don’t forget to add in some cherry tomatoes. They are fun, tasty, and good for you, the perfect size for snacking on while gardening.
Cucumbers – This viney plant will produce a lot of poundage of vegetables. Prepare for cucumbers to wonder into other garden areas.
Radishes – Radishes come up very quickly. You can plan and eat several crops of radishes in one growing season.
Lettuce – The beauty of lettuce is that you can keep cutting it all season and it will continue to grow back.
Kale – This superfood is frost tolerant, so plan on eating it all summer long and into fall.
Summer Gardening Tips
A little extra effort here and there can save you lots of time down the road with your garden. I’m going to go over some garden tips that will help make your gardening simple.
Water Early in the Day
The best time to water plants is in the morning. This reduces the risk of mildew and other fungi from growing. There’s also less of a chance of mosquitoes hatching if you water in the early mornings.
Keep Your Lawn as Tall as Your Mower Permits
It’s a myth that keeping your lawn low reduces the amount of times that you will need to cut your lawn. Try to keep your lawn as high as your mower still allows you to cut it. A slightly longer lawn will hold in moisture longer than grass that is kept too short. This will also cut back on water waste.
Do Hard Work When It’s Cool Out
Gardening can be hard enough without trying to garden in hot weather. Try to do weeding and other gardening chores when it’s cool out.
Summer Garden Checklist
Here are some things to consider for your summer garden.
- Weed your existing garden
- Order seeds or seedings
- Select a mulch to use
- Plant a new garden
- Add color with summer annuals
- Consider planting perennials
- Water your garden frequently
- Raise your mower
- Harvest vegetables
I’ve gone over some summer garden flowers and plants including annuals and perennials. Have fun designing a garden that fits your tastes and needs. You are only limited by your imagination, time and budget. Gardening can be healthy for your body and mind. The daily gardening care will keep you physically active, while the beauty of a gardening environment can soothe a mind. Gardening is a great stress reliever. I hope that I’ve not only motivated you to start a summer garden, but also given you some good information to get you started.