by Lisa Watters-Lain, Arizona’s garden gal
Your yard doesn’t have to look like the Sahara Desert in order to have a low-maintenance and water- wise landscape. You can have a summer garden that is full of beautiful, colorfully flowering plants and still enjoy the benefits of xeric landscaping. These five plants will bloom year after year requiring little maintenance.
#1 Coneflower – Purple is the most well known coneflower blossom color, but its flowers also are available in a wide range of colors from white to yellow, orange to red. Whatever their colors the blossoms are favorites of butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.The seed heads attract birds in winter when they are most desperate for food. Every garden should have at least one of these strikingly beautiful perennials, planted in full, blistering sun.
#2 Rudbeckia – This tough perennial scoffs at crummy mountain soils, easily producing waves and waves of bright summer flowers. A long-time favorite, it most commonly is referred to as a Black-eyed Susan. Because it keeps on blooming no matter how hot the summer, beautiful bouquets of cut flowers can be had to the end of fall.
#3 Lavender – Nothing beats the smell of lavender carried on a breeze! The plants need hot, dry weather, and summer is the best time to add a new specimen to the garden. It grows best in soil that drains well; so raised beds, a heavily composted garden plot, and container gardens make ideal homes for this plant. Mountain lavender outshines most varieties for its fragrant bouquets, use in potpourri, and sheer beauty.
#4 Gaura – The hotter the better for this mountain wildflower. It thrives out by the mailbox, in containers, or in that flower bed by the front door. Spilling down hillsides and across meadows are additional uses for its beauty. Javalinas and deer aren’t drawn to it, yet hummingbirds love the nectar. Every yard should have at least one.
#5 Autumn Sage – This blooming beauty can be found throughout the mountains of Arizona. So bright and flexible, this knee-high flower starts blooming in May and can’t stop until the end of October! For gardens that like to encourage hummingbirds, this beauty is a must-have plant. Here at Watters, we are always growing new flower colors in addition to the traditional red. We now have bicolored, white, purple, apricot, pink, and brighter new reds. Every gardener should have at least one Autumn sage in the landscape. It’s just so tough and exceptionally attractive.
Flower Power 54 – Use this bloom booster twice a month and plants will be heavy with bigger, bolder blooms than those you’ve grown before. Created by Watters and only available here at Watters, it actually works far better than nationally developed brands like Miracle Gro. Try it and prove it to yourself.
Until next issue, I’ll be helping gardeners add touches of beauty to their yards and gardens here at Watters Garden Center.
Lisa Watters-Lain can be found throughout the week at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contacted through WattersGardenCenter.com or FB.com/WattersGardenCenter.