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It's a pineapple...it's a lily...it's a Pineapple Lily!

THE PINEAPPLE LILY

Make a statement with Pineapple Lillies in your summer garden. These exotic summer blooms are available in several different varieties, ranging in colors of pale green, purple, white, pinks and burgundy. Two of our favorites are 'Twinkle Stars' and 'Sparkling Rosy'. The plant has a base rosette of long lance-shaped leaves. It's flowers are on a long spike, topped with a tuft of smaller leaves. These leaves and the appearance of the flower spike make the flower head look like a pineapple, thus it's name.

Pineapple Lilies grow from bulbs. They may be planted directly in the ground or in pots. They grow best in a well-drained, fertile, sandy soil. Use a mixture of sandy loam, well-rotted manure, and sand. If the soil is not well drained, the bulbs will rot, especially in the winter. Protect the bulbs with one to two inches of mulch in the winter months and they will return each summer in July.

Water the plants well once they are planted. Pineapple lilies need constant moisture in the summer. Cut back on watering in the winter, as too much water will cause the bulbs to rot. A dressing of compost will help keep the soil fertile.

Pineapple lilies will tolerate a partly shady area in the garden. However, they bloom best when they get at least 6 hours of sun per day. Give them midday shade, though, as they may wilt if exposed to the noonday sun. If they wilt, water them quickly and thoroughly and they should perk up again.

Pineapple lilies start to form flower buds in July and reach their peak in August, filling your garden with tall spikes of colorful and exotic flowers! And, these gorgeous blooms make a super attractive, long-lasting cut flower.

Bring the Tropics to Your Garden

Perennial Hibiscus

When most people think of hibiscus they think of a tropical plant that grows in warm climates like Hawaii or Florida. Well, if you love the look of hibiscus but think it can only be grown in very warm climates don’t fret. If you crave a touch of the tropics, how about a perennial hibiscus? The perennial hibiscus should not be confused with the tropical hibiscus, which will not survive a winter freeze. Perennial varieties are true, cold hardy shrubs that die back each winter only to reemerge in the spring even bigger and better. And best of all, these beauties are easy to care for.

Provide them with full sun, decent soil and some pruning now and again and once established, they’ll provide your garden with years of fabulous color. There are many varieties of perennial hibiscus to choose from with plant heights ranging from 3 feet to 8 feet tall with giant, dinnerplate size blossoms in an array of colors. These plants where once limited to flower colors of red, white and pink but not anymore. Breeders have developed a new color palette including hot pink, mauve, rose, plum and bicolored blooms. Who would have guessed that the cousin to okra and cotton, yep, okra and cotton, could be so striking! One of our favorite perennial hibiscus varieties this year is Cherry Cheesecake. Be sure to check out this dazzling hibiscus that is sure to put the cherry on top of your garden for years to come!

Cherry Cheesecake is a stunning bicolor, hardy hibiscus featuring large 7-8 inch blooms. These blossoms are a crisp white with bright pink ruffled edges and a Bing-cherry-colored eye with vibrant, filigree and tips. Plant in full sun to part shade Cherry Cheesecake blooms mid to late summer and is deer resistant. Best of all, it will bring blooms to your garden year after year.

Compliment Your Crepe Myrtles

OUR FAVORITE SUMMER PERENNIALS

Summer has arrived and with that the beautiful blooms of the Crepe Mrytle! With our 32nd annual Crepe Myrtle Fest just weeks away, we hope you are planning ways to compliment your Crepe Myrtles. Here's our favorite summer perennials that are a sure way to showcase your Crepe Myrtles giving you a show-stopping summer landscape year after year.

Perennial Hibiscus
Perennial Hibiscus plants provide dramatic, tropical blooms all summer long. These perennials are easy to grow and once established can last for years in your garden giving you massive blooms. We recommend Cherry Cheesecake, Summer Storm, and Plum Fantasy.

Gallardia
Gaillardia Moxie. This summer bloomer loves the sun, does not require a lot of water and blooms for a long time. Gaillardia, also known as Blanket Flower, is quite showy in summer shades of yellow. They look amazing in the garden or planted in containers. They grow about 18 – 24 inches tall and spreads about the same so they definitely mix wonderfully with other flowers. The extra bonus about this perennial is that not only does it also attract butterflies but is also deer resistant, which is a big plus. We recommend Moxie, Fanfare Blaze, and Arizona Sun.

Agastache
These prized trees are one of the darlings of Hampton Roads - in assorted shades of pinks from pastel to fuchsia. We recommend Raspberry Summer, Summer Glow and Summer Sky.

Lantana
You simply can't beat Lantana for summer-long blooms and heat tolerance. This easy to grow plant is sure to make an impact in your landscape. It's a magnet for butterflies too! We recommend Miss Huff.

Coreopsis
These sun-loving flowers will be a wonderful addition to your garden design, blooming for most of the summer. They bloom bright, daisy-like flowers providing a sunny pop of color. We recommend Moonbeam, Sunset Strip and Red Satin.

Coneflowers
A fantastic choice for any sunny garden, the Coneflower is a proven performer in the heat of summer. It is often seen in summer landscapes to attract butterflies and for use as cut flowers. <We recommend Sombrero Red and Sombrero Hot Coral, Pow Wow White & Wildberry.

Daylilies
Enjoy these low-maintenance perennials that thrive in full sun and absolutlely love the heat. These classic beauties are available in many varieties bringing you vibrant color all summer long! We recommend Jazz King, Jamaica Sunrise, and Key Largo Moon.

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