Even though it’s difficult to fathom, there are many plants that not only survive the heat, but are at their peak during the dog days of August.
Desert Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii) is a haven for bees and other pollinators in the summertime. If it’s planted in a tight place, like this one is, it’s necessary to tie the branches upright so they don’t sprawl out. This rope is tied to a metal stake.Henry Duelberg Sage (Salvia farinacea ‘Henry Duelberg’) is the blue-purple blooms while the white ones are named after his wife Augusta. Found in a Texas cemetery growing on their graves, they are also sold as Mealy Cup Sage.
In my opinion, it’s one of the best salvias around and should be a staple in gardens where the summers are hot and dry.
Mint also pays no attention to the heat. It’s so aggressive that the word “aggressive” doesn’t even describe it. I first planted it in a flower bed. It spread so quickly by underground runners that pulling it out was a chore. In fact, it will take a concerted effort to monitor new shoots coming up and totally removing all of the underground parts from that bed.
Obedient Plant or False Dragonhead (Physostegia virginiana) is in the mint family, so it too can be aggressive. However, it spreads much slower than mint does. The lovely foxglove like flowers bloom during the hottest part of the summer.
Another take-over-the-world plant is Mexican Petunia (Ruellia brittoniana). If there’s a theme here, it’s that plants with underground runners that root and produce a new plant must have space and diligent watchfulness to keep it controlled.
However, if you live where the summers heat up with no moisture and have hard rocky clay soils, these are be beautiful, reliable plants.
Old fashioned Dusty Miller has survived winters and summers in this pot. When planted, it was to be a temporary solution until I found the right spot for it. But now, it looks perfect in this pot.Rose Mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos) and Hardy Hibiscus give the garden a wow factor. Although the blossoms only last one day, their flowers are so large and stunning and the blooming is so prolific that they are both super stars.
“My garden, like my life, seems to me every year to want correction and require alteration.” Alexander Pope