Monrovia Plant Savvy
design, inspiration and practical ideas from the plant experts. July 2011
summer flower frenzy
  Dear Savvy Gardener,

Hurrah! Summer is here, and it’s time to relax and enjoy every blooming thing in your garden. Enchanting and easy-care flowering shrubs, like Hydrangea, Rose of Sharon and Butterfly Bush, will electrify your garden with color this summer!

Hydrangeas have long been the darlings of the summer landscape, brightening up shady locations with massive clusters of bright blue, pink or white flowers. Their huge blooms are ideal for floral arrangements — both fresh and dried. And they’re more popular than ever, thanks to the newer reblooming varieties that provide no-fuss, profuse color and long-lasting blooms that grow on old or new wood. Some of our favorite rebloomers are Penny Mac , with big mopheads of pink or blue, and her little sister, Mini Penny, a dwarf, growing just two to three feet tall and looks fantastic in a container!

  Penny Mac Hydrangea
Reblooming Hydrangeas like Penny Mac will just keep blooming and blooming all summer long.
bloomin’ beauties
  Let’s Dance® Moonlight Hydrangea leafgif   flower power

We’ve partnered with Proven Winners to bring even more fantastic Hydrangea varieties to independent garden centers. Invincibelle® Spirit Hydrangea is the first-ever pink ‘Annabelle’ Hydrangea. Its dark pink buds open to hot pink flowers and it is so hardy and reliable, flowering even after harsh winters. Let's Dance® Starlight is the first reblooming lace-cap Hydrangea, and its sister, Let’s Dance® Moonlight has huge pink and white mopheads. Both are prized for vivid flower color and glossy foliage.


 
  Lil ‘Kim™ Rose of Sharon

leafgif   for blooming sakes

Love the spectacular colorful flowers of Hibiscus, but your climate isn’t warm enough for the tender tropicals? Try the Rose of Sharon Hibiscus, which are hardy to a Zone 5. These deciduous shrubs bloom profusely all summer and make a colorful hedge or screen. Blushing Bride is loaded with pretty, light-pink double blooms — or try Lil ‘Kim, a dwarf variety that blooms late summer with dainty white flowers that have a showy red eye.

 
  Blue Bird Rose of Sharon

   

The blue varieties of Rose of Sharon contrast nicely with their bright green foliage. Blue Bird, has vibrant blue single flowers with a darker purple center, and Blue Chiffon has big light blue flowers with lacy centers. Azurri Satin™ is the first seedless Rose of Sharon and is covered with large, rich, blue flowers. These are terrific easy-care shrubs that will produce color all summer and attract butterflies.



 
  Blue Chip Dwarf Butterfly Bush leafgif   we’re all a-flutter about the Butterfly Bush

But if you really want to attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden, nothing gets the wings flapping like a Butterfly Bush. Once established, they are quite drought-tolerant and low-maintenance. Many of the newer varieties have a tidy habit, and there are some dwarf varieties that look delightful in a container. Purple EmperorTM has deep, pink-purple blooms, while Miss Ruby has especially vibrant pink flowers. Lo & Behold® ‘Blue Chip’ is under three feet tall without any pruning and blooms continuously from mid-summer to frost without deadheading. It is frost-tolerant, non-invasive and very easy to grow.


 
  Strawberry Lemonade® Butterfly Bush leafgif  

Petite Indigo®, Petite Plum® and Petite SnowTM will reach just about five feet tall and produce a wealth of fragrant blossoms of deep purple, rosy-plum or snow white. Strawberry Lemonade® has striking variegated foliage, with creamy white margins on green leaves, providing a nice contrast to its large, bright-pink flowers. Can’t decide which color to plant? Try Surprise Bouquet®, as it has flower spikes that are either purplish-blue, deep plum or bright white.