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A Summertime Favorite


Hydrangeas are the perfect hues of summer. Cool and refreshing like the water, these shade loving bloomers will give you repeat flowers all summer long. These two traditional reblooming Hydrangeas perform well in Hampton Roads.

Endless Summer Original. It's a mop-head variety with the unique ability to bloom consistently on both old and new wood. The result is a plant that provides beautiful flowers all summer long. The flowers grow up to 8" in diameter, with PINK blooms in alkaline soils or BLUE blooms in acidic soil. The green foliage is a beautiful contrast to the lacy bloom. And, who doesn’t want an Endless Summer?

Nantucket Blue. A repeat blooming selection with dense leathery green foliage. This shrub will produce an abundance of summertime flower clusters that last until frost. Sweeten the soil with lime to turn the blooms pink, acidify the soil and it should intensify the blue color. This fast growing shrub will get to be 4 to 6 feet, so be sure to give it plenty of room. Blooms on both old and new wood.

How-to Plant:

  1. Dig a hole one and a half times wider than the plant's container.
  2. Place plant in the hole, keeping the top of the root ball at ground level; and back fill the hole with dirt.
  3. Water thoroughly and then mulch around the base to conserve moisture and reduce weeds.
  4. Remember, new plantings require more frequent watering than established plants especially during the summer.

How-to Prune:

  1. We suggest pruning these hydrangeas in the fall once it they have finished blooming.
  2. In this fall pruning, cut the canes back about half way. This encourages stronger, thicker plants.
  3. After winter, trim back the dead canes to the ground.
  4. As the blooms begin to wilt, be sure to dead head the old blooms off of the plant to encourage reblooming.

Learn more on turning your Hydrangea blooms pink. >>

Celebrate Perennials. Celebrate Summer.

Summer is a great time to celebrate! We celebrate dads, we celebrates grads and even the flag. So, why not celebrate those wonderful perennials that come back each year in the garden?

Perennials are considered to be ornamental plants that do not die after one season of growth. This does not mean they live forever, however, they do offer a repeat performance for several seasons. The term perennial is generally reserved for plants with showy flowers, excluding ornamental grasses and other plants mainly grown for their foliage. The term herbaceous perennial further narrows the group to plants with soft, green stems that die back to the ground in colder climates. Trees, shrubs and other woody stemmed plants are excluded.

We love planting perennials in the landscape. They can create a border, focal point, accent or even fill a container. They are a source of back-ground in color and size and provide an abundance of cut flowers. With so many colors to choose from, there is one that is perfectly suited for your garden.

In the garden center now are some of our faves:

Mexican Petunia (Ruellia Purple Showers)
This beautiful, long blooming perennial thrives in hot, sunny conditions. Deep green foliage with hints of burgundy provide the perfect backdrop for the scores of vibrant blue-purple flowers. Works well in combination plantings, in borders, or in pots.

Coreopsis Moonbeam
Enjoy creamy-yellow blooms all summer long! This perennial loves the sun but tolerates some shade. The daisy-like flower is lovely in the garden or in containers. So versatile, yet so simple to grow!

Homestead Purple Verbena
This tough perennial is another great heat and drought tolerant plant that blooms continuously throughout the summer. Beautiful deep purple flowers bloom from spring until frost. Excellent as groundcover, in mixed color bowls, borders or in the landscape. Trying pairing with yellows or orange for vibrant color.

Miss Huff Lantana
Vibrant yellow, pink & orange blooms with light green foliage - you simply can't beat lantana for summer-long blooms and heat tolerance. This easy to grow perennial attracts butterflies too. Plant in full sun or light shade. As it is a spiller, this is a great plant for containers.

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A Sweet Summer Treat

ALTHEA... the NEW Smoothie Collection

There’s nothing better than a summertime smoothie and our NEW collection of Smoothie Altheas is no exception! These shrubs feature double-bloom, ice cream colored flowers all season long. Althea, also known as Rose of Sharon, is highly adaptable and easy to grow. We suggest growing these plants in full sun to part shade. As an upright shrub, they will grow to be a height of 8 feet and width of 4 feet and boast large, double blooms giving you a super summer show! They are perfect for hedges, beds, borders and mass plantings. As a heat-lover, this shrub is a treat for Hampton Roads gardeners who crave plants that can stand up to summer's heat.

Try one of these new smoothies in your garden:

Raspberry Smoothie - features double, fuchsia-raspberry blooms
Blueberry Smoothie - features double, bluish-purple blooms
Strawberry Smoothie - features double, light pink flowers

Beaming with Summer Flowers


Coreopsis, also known as Tickseed, is a native flowering plant that is right at home in Hampton Roads. Coreopsis Moonbeam is a daintier variety than traditional coreopsis. We love its whispy foliage topped with creamy, daisy-like flowers. Easy to grow and even easier to love, this perennial will give you blooms June through August with repeat flowers up until fall’s first frost. This plant is lovely in flowerbeds, raised beds and in summer containers. It is especially beautiful paired with other summer blooming perennials such as daylilies, coneflowers, salvia and guara.

Moonbeam performs best in full sun but will tolerate some shade. Once established it is drought tolerant and even better, this plant is seaside and salt tolerant making it an ideal additional seaside landscapes. It also is deer resistant.

McDonald Tip: Coreopsis will spread slowly, but like lots of perennials, we suggest dividing it about every two to three years to keep it growing year after year. To divide, we suggest digging up the clump and using a spade or sharp shovel to make divisions about the size of your fist and then re-planting each piece in the garden.

Our Natives are Right at Home

Native plant is a term used to describe plants that are indigenous to a particular area. This includes plants that have developed, occur naturally, or existed for many years in a particular place. These plant species are adapted to the soil and weather conditions and are the foundation of our native ecosystems, or natural communities.


Native Plants Save Energy:
Native plants have evolved and adapted to local conditions over thousands of years. They are vigorous and hardy, so they can survive winter cold and summer heat. Once established, they require very little care.

Native Plants Provide Balance:
Each native plant species is a member of a community that includes other plants, animals and microorganisms. The natural balance keeps each species in check, allowing it to thrive in conditions where it is suited, but preventing it from running wild.

Native Plants Benefit Local Ecosystems:
Natives are a cornerstone of biological diversity. They provide food and shelter for native wild animals such as birds, butterflies and other wildlife. The also keep the natural balance of each.

Native Plants Help Save the Bay:
Their root systems help rainfall percolate into the soil, reducing erosion and runoff. They help divert water from storm drains and decrease the impact of runoff to rivers and streams and the Chesapeake Bay. This improves water quality.

Here is a recommended list of Natives for you to try in your garden. You will definitely have success with these native plants while benefiting wildlife and our ecosystem.

Native Grass-Like Plants
• Sweet Flag (Acorus gramineus)
• Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium)
• Rush (Juncus effuses)
• Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaries)
• Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum)

Native Perennials
• Aamsonia (Amsonia tabernaemontana)
• Columbine (Aquilegia Canadensis)
• Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnate)
• Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberose)
• False Indigo (Baptisia australis)
• Turtlehead (Chelone glabra)
• Green and Gold (Chrysogonum virginianum)
• Threadleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata)
• Fringed Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia)
• Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
• Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium coelestinum, dubium)
• Rose Mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos)
• St. John’s Wort (Hypericum calycinum)
• Blue Flag (Iris versicolor)
• Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
• Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)
• Cinnamon Fern (Osmunda cinnamomea)
• Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis)
• Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis)
• Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida)
• Goldenrod (Solidago sp.)

Native Shrubs
• Serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis)
• Clethra (Clethra alnifolia)
• Wild Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens)
• Inkberry Holly (Ilex glabra)
• Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)
• Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria)
• Sweetspire (Itea virginica)
• Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
• Bayberry (Myrica cerifera)
• Rugosa Rose (Rosa rugosa)

Native Trees
• Red Swamp Maple (Acer rubrum)
• River Birch (Betula nigra)
• Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
• Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginica)
• Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
• Sweetby Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana)
• Willow Oak (Quercus phellos)
• Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
• Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Native Vines
• Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata)
• Carolina Jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens)
• American Wisteria (Wisteria frutescens)

Get this look!


Native plants are those that originated in a specific place. They are adapted to the soil and weather conditions and they are the foundation of local ecosystems. By incorporating native plants into your landscape, you'll be successful while benefiting wildlife and your community. Native plants have evolved and adapted to local conditions. They are vigorous and hardy, so they can survive winter cold and summer heat. Once established, they require little care. Natives are a cornerstone of biological diversity. They provide food and shelter for native wild animals such as birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Their root systems help rainfall percolate into the soil, reducing erosion and runoff. They help divert water from storm drains and descrease the impact of runoff to rivers and streams and the Chesapeake Bay.

Here's what you need:

A. Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susan)
B. Goldenrod
C. Coreopsis (Tickseed)
D. Gaillardia (Blanket Flower)
E. Perennial Hibiscus
F. Echinacea (Coneflowers)

We offer over 60 varieties of native plants for Hampton Roads including perennials, grasses, trees & shrubs. Check out our list of recommended native plants for Hampton Roads. >>

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