Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hot Plants! We love Hot Plants! Hotter than the Temperature too!!

Hello again,

Yes folks it is warm out there but we have some plants that are even hotter than the temperatures. The following list of 10 plants are JUST A FEW hot performers that we feel you should consider for your home and garden. Many more choices await you at Skillin's in Brunswick, Cumberland and Falmouth. Now on with the 10 Hot Plants List:

Tim Bate, our Nursery buyer,  is HOT about hydrangeas right now!

Here is what Tim wrote in a recent query from a customer about good shrub choices for right now:

"Hydrangeas are looking hot right now and will put on a long show this summer."

Limelight is loaded with buds right now. 'Limelight" is a paniculata hydrangea that has unique bright chartreuse blooms in mid-summer that hold bright and refreshing color right into autumn when the blooms change color to a rich deep pink. The autumn display of chartreuse and pink blooms on the same plant is breathtaking! The color makes a great addition to the garden and it blends wonderfully with all other colors. Use 'Limelight', either fresh or dried, in bouquets to make a unique floral design. This is an easy to grow plant with reliable flowering and flower color regardless of soil pH. The flower heads are of good size, ranging from 6 to 12 inches and are held upright on the shrub. The blooms are well distributed making a very nice plant and display. Hot? With the light this plant produces there is a lot of heat here!

                          (Hydrangea limelight early in  flower)                       
“Quickfire” is flowering white now and will turn reddish pink in August.  It is an early flowering hydrangea paniculata but with a long term flowering season. Very hardy as well. The picture below shows the Quickfire in the pink stage and very profuse! This plant is Quick to Fire the blooms and the petals burn brightly into the fall!

“Incrediball” is HUGE white flowers. It is an improved “Annabelle”-type Hydrangea, with large 8-10” round flowers.  The Annabelle's have always been a favorite and this Incrediball is just a great example of white heat! Great balls of white fire!

Now we turn from hot hydrangeas to some smokin' perennial choices!

The day lily Hermerocallis" Rocket City" has caught my eye. I am not sure that the picture (picture copyright by Epibase)  below does it justice but the fiery mass of flowers from Rocket City are just a show stopper for several weeks in the garden.

Speaking of daylillies, do you know what is a hot trend in daylillies right now? Rebloomers--daylillies that blossom in late June or July, can be deadheaded and that dead heading will force more flushes of color later in the summer and fall. Hot darn that sounds good! Check out this re blooming day lilly called "Hush Little Baby". Don't let the gentle name fool you; this plant will make you feel WARM all over!

(Hemerocallis Hush Little Baby, picture by White Flower Farm)

More perennials! Another hot favorite, the Liatris Gayfeather with it's "electric" purple plumes!

Two more of my absolute favorites: The Red Monarda or Bee Balm AND the Echinacea Coneflower. The hot attractions with these plants? LONG-term color--many, many weeks! Also these plants are among the best at attracting hummingbirds and butterflies to your yard. So these plants make your yard a hot place to hang out! They are hardy and viourous plants and are a definite Must Have for your yard!

(Red bee balm and purple coneflower--Mike's 2 favorites in the same picture!!) (Thank you http://www.finegardening.com/)

To round out our "10 Hot Plants" list we come to the world of annuals. Those who read my postings and emails KNOW that I love annuals. Their bright every day colors that last from Spring until well into the fall can't be beat!

#9 on our list and the first annual to mention is the Portulaca. Our Portulaca of choice is the Sundial Mix. Some like it hot, the portulaca loves it real hot and sunny! Turn up the heat with these beauties!

(Portulaca Sundial Mix, picture from Darylrice.com)

Last and never least is the Gazania. We sell mostly mixed colors of the Gazania. Check out this link for a live shot of our gazania selection (and more!). Gazania might be my favorite annual; I love the combustible combinations of reds, oranges, whites and yellows. On warm sunny days the blossoms open wide and the colors are brilliant. I usually plant a nice big pot of gazanias and the color show is non stop for months!

Folks, thanks for reading this blog. I hope we have given you some nice choices for some great hot color for your garden! And remember we have many many more choices right here at Skillin's!!

(Gazania Daybreak Mix from growonyou.com)

Mike Skillin
Skillin's Greenhouses
July 6, 2010

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