As I mentioned last week, we are inundated with new introductions but the question is: Which of them are worth buying because they really do perform as advertised? Today, I have three more perennials for you.
I love garden phlox but only the ones that are mildew resistant. Many cultivars are supposedly in this category but few are the ones that actually deliver. However, add ‘Glamour Girl’ to your list of performers. Starting in mid-July, the coral-pink flower clusters will knock your socks off and they will continue blooming well into September. The foliage is always a clean green. Phlox ‘Glamour Girl’ grows about thirty inches high, perfect in my back garden to hide the yellowing foliage of Dicentra spectabilis as it temporarily goes dormant in mid-June. Of course, full sun and average moisture is essential. This is the only perennial in this article that is not deer-resistant but, happily, the deer have ignored it.
When it gets really hot, it’s time for the next act in the garden and that’s when you want to feature Hibiscus ‘Heartthrob’. Just give it lots of water and it will bloom its head off, from late July/early August well into September. The dark red flowers are huge and even the deadheads are large and beautiful. Catalog photos show the flowers as more burgundy than mine and perhaps they would be in full sun. Most of my hibiscus are sited in full sun but this one doesn’t seem to mind being in partial shade. Only four feet tall, it easily fits into my landscape.
Moving now into mid-August, many gardeners forget to add perennials that are late bloomers in order to keep the garden fresh. For many years, heleniums were tall and straggly but more recently, that has changed. Now we have Helenium ‘Short and Sassy’ about which I have already written and the new Mariachi series. Last year, I planted Helenium ‘Mariachi Salsa’ and I love it. It supposedly only grows eighteen to twenty inches high but this year, as a result of all the early rain, it is thirty inches high. Most of the cultivars that are described as red are actually orange but this one is as close to red as I have seen, especially when viewed up close. This is basically a native tall prairie plant that has been refined. Full sun is the ticket.
These are some of the best of the new and I encourage you to find places in your landscape for them.