Impatiens, lantana, elephant ears, petunias and other annuals are found in summer gardens year after year. The blight on impatiens has taken the number one landscape annual out of commission. Dragon Wing begonias are a great shade alternative. They flower profusely and look great in a bed or a container and provide a unique texture in the landscape.
Coleus has some of the most beautiful foliage I’ve ever seen, is shade loving and there is a variety called ‘Wasabi’ that can take full sun with sufficient irrigation. ‘Wasabi’ is a bright lime green and makes a wonderful accent planting for both containers and beds. There is a plentiful selection of coleus varieties, with different colors and forms to choose from.
Caladium is another showy foliage plant for shade and makes a statement as a centerpiece in a pot or as a mass in a bed. Bright annuals can make a shady area seem sunnier with contrasting colors.
he classics never go out of style but why not make a bold statement in your summer garden with some unique flowering succulents? For sunny areas, cacti and succulents are an easy way to make planters and the landscape pop. These plants come in a wide range of foliage and flower colors and offer a distinctive show that we rarely see up north.
Prickly Pear Cacti are winter hardy on Long Island. Warning: Be careful of their tiny spines. Sticky tape can help remove them from your skin. There is a thornless variety but it may not overwinter as well.
For the past few years, we’ve tried a few ideas out at our garden center – including mixed pots of succulents. Not only do they have showy foliage and flowers, but they require very little water, making them a more sustainable and lower maintenance option in the heat of summer. Agave ‘Americana’ and Croton ‘Petra’ make an eye-catching centerpiece while purple ice plant and Scaevola ‘New Wonder’ trail over the sides and bloom non-stop through the summer until fall.
Many of the succulents we use in green roof and wall installations double as perennials and groundcovers in the garden. Sedum ‘Vera Jameson,’ Sedum ‘Dragon’s Blood,’ and Sedum spurium (many varieties) are just a few succulents that perform well in the landscape. Sedum ‘Vera Jameson’ blooms in late summer/early fall and gives us one last hurrah in the garden before the cold weather sets in.
Want some advice on annuals for your garden? Contact Ashley at Goldberg & Rodler.