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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Tropical Flowers

From Logees: http://www.logees.com/Angels-Trumpet-Angels-Blushing-Beauty-Brugmansia-hybrid/productinfo/R2314-4/?utm_source=Growing+Tropicals+in+Your+Summer+Garden+-+04-07-13&utm_campaign=Growing+Tropicals+in+Your+Summer+Garden+-+04-07-13&utm_medium=emailhttp://www.logees.com/Angels-Trumpet-Angels-Blushing-Beauty-Brugmansia-hybrid/productinfo/R2314-4/?utm_source=Growing+Tropicals+in+Your+Summer+Garden+-+04-07-13&utm_campaign=Growing+Tropicals+in+Your+Summer+Garden+-+04-07-13&utm_medium=email This is a lovely flower, and one that is terrific for Easter; I am not doing an Ad, I love Logees, but have only been able to order once about three years ago. Still, I get ideas form this and other wonderful books and catalogs this time of year. Growing Tropicals in Your Summer Garden By Laurelynn and Byron Martin Greetings! Tropical plants grown as annuals in your summer garden add plant diversity and grace the gardener with some unusual, eye-catching flowers. Some plants make a bold statement as a focal point in a garden bed or a spectacular stand-alone plant in a container. This is a great way to add dramatic flare to your summer garden. Using tropicals as border plants or filler plants enhances your design and adds color and charm to the garden. Dramatic Plants for Show-stopping Appeal Angel's Summer Dream Angel's Trumpets (Brugmansias) - 'Angel's Summer Dream' is one of our own hybrids and can be grown in a pot or planted in a garden bed near an entryway for its intoxicating nighttime fragrance emitted from its orange trumpet-shaped flowers. 'Angel's Summer Dream' also makes an outstanding hanging basket as well. 'Angel's Blushing Beauty' is another one of our hybrids that has an abundance of pink flowers that bloom prolifically during the summer months. Make sure you grow these in full sun and fertilize and water heavily during the warm days. Thai Giant Elephant Ears (Alocasias and Colocasias) - Another favorite for the summer garden are the Elephant Ears. These large plants can grow 5-6' tall in a single season and their leaves measure 3-4' across. Very impressive! Try Alocasia 'Portora.' Its upright stems and wavy-edged leaves make a bold statement in a garden. Another favorite is Colocasia 'Thai Giant' whose large, rounded leaves measure up to 4' across. The difference between alocasias and colocasias is that alocasias grow slower and prefer drier soil while colocasias grow rapidly and like to be kept moist. I plant a colocasia every year at the bottom of my rain spout so with every good rain, my plant gets plenty of water. Iochroma Royal Queen Iochromas are often called "Mini Angel's Trumpets" because of their prolific, tubular blossoms. Iochroma Royal Queen™ Purple (Iochroma hybrid) is a hummingbird magnet and a welcome addition to any garden wanting to attract pollinators. The purple flowers grow in clusters and will delight the gardener from early summer until frost. Guardian Gate Collection Egyptian Water Plant (Cypress papyrus) - This tall plant with a tufted top makes a dramatic statement as a centerpiece in a container like our Guardian Gate Collection. It grows well near the edge of a pond or bog where there's plenty of water. Hardy Banana Hardy Banana (Musa basjoo) - Our Hardy Banana never ceases to amaze us. Its tropical banana leaf foliage will literally unfurl a leaf a day. Its rapid rate of growth loves full sun, plenty of water and fertilizer and it can reach heights of 10-12' tall in one season. Border Plants For Color and Charm Tropicals can be planted as border plants along a walkway or filler plants in a garden bed or container. I love growing salvias, abutilons and agastaches. Bolivian Salvia Salvias add colorful spires of flowers that hummingbirds frequent. There's nothing better on an early summer morning than watching a hummingbird position its long slender beak into a vibrant flower time and again. The Bolivian Salvia (Salvia oxyphora) with its robust pink color and the Arrow Leaf Salvia with its vibrant blue color are hardy to Zones 8 & 9 and can be grown as annuals in northern gardens since they flower from spring through fall. The spires of color line my walkway and every day during the blooming season, I notice how the colors dance to-and-fro in the slightest wind. Another salvia worth mentioning is Salvia 'Black and Blue' (Salvia guaranitica). It is hardy to zone 6 and winters over well in southern New England. Chinese Lanterns Abutilons or Flowering Maples are reliable bloomers all season long. I keep my abutilons near my walkway because every day a new bell is ringing with color. Whether it's the two-tone color of Chinese Lanterns or the deep red of 'Voodoo' or even the open faced pink flowers of 'Kristen's Pink,' there are always enough blooms to delight the eye. Hummingbird Mint 'Tango' Finally, the Hummingbird Mints (Agastaches) make great filler plants for the garden bed. Some of our favorites are 'Tutti Frutti,' 'Acapulco Salmon and Pink' and 'Tango.' Spires of tall flowers and fragrant foliage make this plant desirable in any garden. Plus, the hummingbirds will visit often. 'Tango's' brilliant fiery-orange flowers make for a sensational show and will keep you entertained from spring to fall. These plants are hardy to zone 5. Feed moderately and keep well watered during the growing season and you won't be disappointed. If you're interested in container plants, click here to be directed to Create Sensational Container Gardens - On Sale Now. This sale lasts through 4/10/13.

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