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Bring on the blossoms

Lantana is choice for heat and summer-long color

One way to make beautiful green even better is to cover it with spectacular flowers all summer. Two of my favorite annual flowers that bloom all summer long are lantana and Golden Bidens.

There are lots of varieties of lantana that are available and they come in a rainbow of colors and sizes. This year I planted Lantana Luscious Piña Colada (shown below), Lantana Luscious Grape, along with Bidens Peter’s Gold Carpet, and I could not be happier. All three are notoriously heat-tolerant, drought-tolerant, and have a very long bloom season, all music to my ears. A hot, humid, and dry Kentucky summer is not a problem for these garden beauties.

Lantana Piña Colada has beautiful white flowers that literally cover the entire plant. It grows only 12 to 24 inches tall so is quite compact in comparison to many lantana. Lantana Grape is also covered in flowers but they are purple. This lantana is low-growing and only reaches 10 to 14 inches in height.

Bidens Peter’s Gold Carpet is not very widely known among gardeners, but once you try it you will be looking for it every year. It grows only 10 to 15 inches tall, and is covered with rich yellow flowers from spring planting until fall frost. It is commonly found in hanging baskets but plant it in the ground and prepare for it to perform.

Put all three together in the same planting bed, hanging basket, or container, and all summer you will be rewarded with vigorous, healthy, and profusely flowering plants. An added bonus is that they don’t require much watering and they are also attractive to birds, butterflies, and hummingbirds. This summer is just getting better and better

Shelly Nold from the August 2016 issue

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