Looking for a low-maintenance perennial for a practically nonstop flower show from summer through fall? Salvia 'Velocity Blue' is a full-proof way to add beautiful, bold, blue tones to your garden throughout spring and summer. This early bloomer adds an element of structure and height to plantings with its bushy, upright habit and unusually large flowers. Best of all, it has excellent heat tolerance for those hot, humid days of summer. This salvia mixes well in a perennial garden and in mixed containers infusing color all summer long. Thrives in full-sun and in moist, well-drained soil and is a magnet for attracting butterflies, bees and hummingbirds to your garden.
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Few plants supply as much long-lasting, reliable color as lantana. This heat and humidity lover features brightly colored bloom clusters that last through the summer and into fall. Lantana thrives in hot, dry weather and tolerates just about any well-drained soil, growing well even near the beach. And, it’s a magnet for butterflies. This versatile plant has many applications and can be used just about anywhere in garden.
Luscious® Marmalade Lantana produces vivid clusters of coral-pink flowers with tinges of orange and yellow centers that bloom abundantly and constantly day in, day out all summer long. This variety will grow to about 18-inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24-inches. Marmalade is a perfect selection for planting in outdoor containers and hanging baskets. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of vibrant, cascading flowers. It’s also a good choice in beds and borders.
This plant does best in full sun to partial shade and is adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions. Marmalade is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary to remove dieback.
In the world of gardening, bigger is not always better. Nowadays, seed companies are constantly producing new varieties of vegetables that can be grown as compact plants in small areas and even in pots, so don't let limited growing space stop you from creating a bountiful garden. And contrary to what you might think, compact and dwarf vegetables are just as tasty and certainly as healthy as their larger counterparts. Here’s a few of our favorites from the Chef Jeff collection:
Short Snack Cucumber
Short Snack Cucumber produces high yields of 6-inch, glossy, spineless, deep green cucumbers. These thin-skinned, seedless cucumbers are an excellent addition to salads or make for a healthy, on-the-go snack. Short Snack produces fruit early and often. Harvest as often as possible, since the more fruit you pick the more the plant produces.
Mascotte’ Dwarf Bush Bean
This dwarf bean is an award winning “All American Selection” as well as named a "Top New Edible Plants for 2014" by Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. 5-6 inch, stringless, slender, flavorful pods grow on bushy plants 16-18 inches tall making them ideal in patio containers, window boxes or small gardens. The unusually large, white flowers add an ornamental element, and the beans set on top of the leaves for easy harvesting.
TIP: Compact and dwarf varieties of vegetables require the same light and soil conditions and fertilization as standard varieties. Vegetables grown in containers or raised beds may need more frequent watering, since the roots may dry out quicker.
It's easy to fall in love with gardenias, the belle of the southern garden, and the queen of fragrant flowers. With their lush, evergreen leaves, snow-white blossoms, intoxicating scent and the ability to withstand the Southern summer heat, what’s not to love?
And, if you’re looking for a gardenia that offers double the petals, double the flowers, double the fragrance, and double the bloom time, look no further than Double Mint. This gorgeous gardenia flaunts sophisticated ivory and white blossoms with glossy, evergreen foliage. Double Mint is a quick growing shrub that blooms in spring and again in late fall. It is compact and tightly branched growing two-to-three feet tall and wide making it perfect for small space gardens and foundation plantings. Place Double Mint beneath a window, in a container on the porch, or along a garden path to enjoy its heavenly scent all season long.
Double Mint does best in full sun but is tolerant of a bit of shade. Remove darkened blossoms to promote new buds and prune after the bush is finished flowering in the late fall.