July 16, 2016
I get many questions about combining plants for the landscape. It’s not that complicated, so let me share some ideas for a sunny landscape bed of summer color. Today we’re at the Mississippi State Trial Gardens and let’s start with a tough plant that loves the heat of the summer, Melampodium. It’s no wonder it was named a Mississippi Medallion winner in 1997with the non-stop blooming with no deadheading from summer until frost. It literally bursts forth with golden yellow daisy, star-like flowers. There are several varieties to choose from like Jackpot Gold and Million Gold. Purslane is popular because it thrives in our high summer temperatures. This selection is called Cupcake Cherry Baby and is covered with large cherry red flowers all summer. Purslane maybe be one of those perfect full sun color annuals. To many gardeners marigolds are just those ordinary yellow flowers, but I don’t think these are ordinary, being over 3 feet tall and topped with orange pom-pom double flowers. There are several selections in this bed, with the tallest being Jedi Orange, at nearly 4 feet tall, and the shortest being Bindi Orange that is right around 2 feet tall. In the center black-eyed Susan vine, known botanically as Thunbergia alata, is being trained to grow up these supports. They quickly growing up but is closer look reveals a surprise, it’s forming a dense full mat. I’m thinking black-eyed Susan vine might make a fine ground cover. Planting a summer landscape bed is as easy as grouping plants that have the same growth requirements. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.