Category Archives: Gardening

13 Heat-Proof Annuals

OK. So I’m cheating. I’ve not done a post all summer long. It’s been a busy one, between work, Newcomers and Master Gardeners, I’ve had chunks of time that were committed. Then I spent a month away on vacation via Niagara Falls and a nice visit to Woodstock Vermont, one of my favorite towns. And daughter got her own apartment. So recent time has gone to the above plus giving TLC to yard and reclaiming my house, bit by bit.

The result is that garden has been somewhat neglected and my chronicling has been a disaster. BUT!!! I did find this great list of plants on the HGTV website. I hope they don’t nail me for copyright infringement. This site is for my own personal use and this list must not be lost!

13 Heat-Proof Annuals

Meet some annuals that don’t miss a beat when summer sizzles.


All of these heat-proof annuals are recognized as Dallas Arboretum Plant Trials’ Flameproof Plants or Florida Favorites by Floridian and Proven Winner new plant hunter Dr. Rick Schoellhorn. Sun tolerant impatiens, known as SunPatiens, bring on the color all summer long. Choose from a dozen different flower hues, including white, red and orange. This photo shows Impatiens x hybrida SunPatiens ‘Vigorous Magenta.’ Site in full sun to part shade. SunPatiens is a Dallas Arborteum Flameproof Plant.

Snow Princess Sweet Alyssum

The name says snow, but this sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima) is a sunbathing beauty. Plants tolerate heat and humidity—just keep them fed and watered. Use Snow Princess in the landscape or extra-large containers. It needs too much water to stage a strong show in a small pot. Snow Princess is a Dallas Arborteum Flameproof Plant and is one of Dr. Rick Schoellhorn’s Florida Favorites.

‘Serenita Mix’ Angelonia

Also known as summer snapdragon, angelonia creates a beautiful display that deer- and rabbit-resistant. The mix includes flowers in shades of pink, white and purple. Plants flower steadily through summer heat without deadheading. ‘Serenita Pink’ angelonia was a 2014 All-America Selections winner. The ‘Mix’ is a Dallas Arborteum Flameproof Plant and is one of Dr. Rick Schoellhorn’s Florida Favorites.

‘Blue Print’ Scaevola

Fan flower (Scaevola aemula) boasts a tough-as-nails constitution that takes on heat and wins every time. An Australian native, scaevola has succulent-like leaves and beautiful lavender-blue blooms. You can also find scaevola with flowers in pink and white. This is a Dallas Arborteum Flameproof Plant.

Flambe Chrysocephalum

Combine low-maintenance with non-stop flowers, and you get Flambe chrysocephalum. This trooper hails from Tazmania and Australia and pairs bright yellow flowers with gray-green leaves that shrug off insects and diseases. Plants tolerate 30°F, so you can count on them to add color to the fall garden. Flambe is a Dallas Arborteum Flameproof Plant and is one of Dr. Rick Schoellhorn’s Florida Favorites.

‘Aztec Sunset’ Mexican Zinnia

Capture the colors of sunset with the multicolored blossoms of ‘Aztec Sunset’. Mexican zinnia (Zinnia haageana) has narrow leaves that help it survive heat, drought and humidity without missing a blooming beat. Flowers explode in shades of gold, red, burgundy, orange, pink and white. Many blossoms offer bicolored petals. Plants grow 6 to 10 inches tall and make a great annual ground cover. This zinnia is a Dallas Arborteum Flameproof Plant and a 2007 Fleuorselect gold medal winner.

Dragon Wing Red Begonia

Turn up the color in shade with the red blossoms and glossy green leaves of Dragon Wing Red begonia. Plants have a graceful cascading growth pattern that looks stunning in pots. In the ground, Dragon Wing begonias forms a knee-high mound of strong summer color. Site it in part to full shade. This begonia is a Dallas Arborteum Flameproof Plant.

Euphorbia Hybrids

For sheer summer staying power, it’s hard to top euphorbia hybrids. This group of plants pumps out white blooms non-stop through the season, adding sparkle to containers or in-ground planting beds. Site it in full sun to part shade. The variety shown is ‘Glitz’, the first euphorbia you can grow from seed. Look for other hybrids, including ‘Diamond Frost.’ This is a Dallas Arborteum Flameproof Plant and one of Dr. Rick Schoellhorn’s Florida Favorites.

‘Fireworks’ Gomphrena

Prepare for explosive color when you tuck this bloomer into your beds and containers. ‘Fireworks’ performs best in full sun, where plants grow 3 to 4 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide. Flowerheads reach golf ball size and stand atop tall stems that sway in the breeze. It’s a butterfly favorite and blooms through heat and humidity. This is a Dallas Arborteum Flameproof Plant.

‘Luscious’ Lantana

If you have an appetite for colorful flowers, you want ‘Luscious’ lantana in your garden. Perfect for pots or planting beds, this lantana is blanketed with blooms all season long. This lantana doesn’t set seed, which means more flowers and no concern for its invasive potential. Plants thrive in full sun, high heat and humidity. ‘Luscious’ is a Dallas Arborteum Flameproof Plant and is one of Dr. Rick Schoellhorn’s Florida Favorites.

‘Duet Rose ‘n Yellow’ Moss Rose

Tough and beautiful, moss rose (Portulaca oleracea) boasts a carefree, low maintenance personality. ‘Duet Rose ‘n Yellow’ brings two-tone blossoms to hot, sun-drenched spaces. Pretty pink petals have gold marks along the edges. Plants spread to 24 inches, making this  a good choice for pot, hanging baskets or planting beds. ‘Duet’ purslane is a Dallas Arborteum Flameproof Plant.

‘Purple Flash’ Ornamental Pepper

This ornamental pepper boasts 60 mph color with its distinctive purple, white, green and black leaves. Marble size fruits start glossy black and ripen to a fiery red. Use ‘Purple Flash’ in planting beds to create drifts of color, or tuck into containers for a smaller display. A host of ornamental peppers, including ‘Purple Flash’, are Dallas Arborteum Flameproof Plants.

Raspberry Blast Supertunia

Clear pink flowers with raspberry bursts along the edges cover this supertunia all season long. This heat loving plant is a low grower. Place it near the edges of containers or in the front of flower beds for greatest impact. Supertunias in general and Raspberry Blast in particular are some of Dr. Rick Schoellhorn’s Florida Favorites. He suggests fall planting in Florida to give plants time to bulk up over winter and stage a strong show the following year.

My Trees

Everytime I start a new post, the first word wants to be “So…” So, I got an offer in the mail from the Arbor Day Foundation. Make a $10.00 donation and we’ll sent you 10 trees plus 2 crepe myrtles. What a deal! I bit.

My trees arrived mid March. All twelve of them were in a plastic pouch that was about six inches by thirty inches. Hmmm… When I opened them, I found 12 sticks with different colored paint on each.

Now, I live on a a property that is about 40′ by 125’… that is 5000 sq ft. and that include where the house sits. That doesn’t leave much room for trees. I was most interested in the two crepe myrtles. The rest was up for grabs.

So I planted all the little sticks, not holding out much hope that any of them would live. As it turns out, all but one of them seem to be doing great! The one apparent casualty was trampled or somehow snapped in two. This includes the two Sargent Crab apples are incredible survivors. They were accidentally rototilled after I forgot that the two crepe myrtles were listed as +2 and not included in the “ten trees.” Crab apples are still in pots but doing well.

Map Legend

1. Red Bud

2. Red Bud

3. Washington Hawthorn

4. Washington Hawthorn

5. White Dogwood

6. Crape-myrtle

 7. White Dogwood

 8. Crape-myrtle

 9. White Dogwood

10. American Redbud

11. Sargent Crabapple

12. Sargent Crabapple

Ornamental Grasses… a Work in progress

I’ve always admired lovely grasses blowing in soft wind. They are beautiful. I think my initial attraction started as a small child walking in grassy fields an loving how the soft wispy seed heads brushed against my legs… so soft. That being said, I’ve never tried growing an ornamental grass. They can hide a multitude of sins and I now have sins to hide. Continue reading Ornamental Grasses… a Work in progress