Summers in Atlanta can be hot, brutally hot and with the rare exception of 2013, very dry as well. This makes gardening in the summer challenging, but not impossible. Use our tips and plant suggestions below to make your curb appeal stand out from the rest.
TIP #1 – Put the right plant in the right place.
Sounds like a no-brainer right? You’d be surprised! One of the biggest mistakes new gardeners make is not planting plants in the right location. We’re not talking about which location will “look” best, we’re talking about the right place based upon the amount of light the plant needs. If a plant needs full sun (usually defined as getting at least 6 hours of direct sunlight) and you plant it in partial shade, the plant will never reach its full potential, and may even eventually die. Likewise, if a plant is classified as needing partial shade and you plant it in full sun, you will end up drying it out and killing the plant.
TIP #2 – A little water goes a long way, act accordingly.
When it comes to watering plants, many people are surprised to learn that too much water is far worse than too little. Most plants you buy will give you information about the water needs of that particular plant. Follow accordingly and you shouldn’t have any problems. It’s usually best to water first thing in the morning (the earlier the better) so that the soil has time for the water to soak in before the heat of the day causes evaporation.
And now, a few suggestions for summer-loving bursts of color that will make you (and potential homebuyers) smile:
Few plants will produce such large, beautiful blooms while taking so little to maintain. While daylilies come in a wide variety of colors and types, my favorite is the classic, repeat-blooming Stella d’Oro (pictured below). Daylilies will thrive in full sun and only need weekly waterings during dry conditions. And to top it all off, you can divide this plant every year so that the plant thrives and you end up with more and more daylilies.
When people typically think of hydrangeas, they think of the giant, blue and and purple blooms which are usually attributed to the Nikko Blue or French hydrangeas. While those are definitely plants we love, (and have all over our own property) we are talking about a different variety, called the Limelight or commonly referred to as the full-sun hydrangea. The Limelight hydrangea has beautiful white (with a hint of green) blooms that bloom mid to late summer. Unlike most hydrangeas, the Limelight variety loves full sun and doesn’t require much water or maintenance.
Petunias are one of my absolute favorite annuals (and one of the few I buy) – and I use them everywhere I want to add some interest and a splash of color. I have found that Petunias do best in pots, as they need regular watering and this helps to manage the moisture level. This is another plant that loves full sun, so as long as you place them in the right location and give them plenty of water, you’ll enjoy plentiful blooms until first frost. Some of my favorite locations are in pots on the front stairs, as well in a large pot between garage doors. Petunias also do really well in hanging baskets.