Summer flowers

chezronJuly 6, 2013

I normally grow natives, but I miss my summer flowers like Salvia guaranitica, Phlox paniculata, Zinnia, Gaillardia, Coreopsis, etc. I have a section with rich soil and planted with mostly native species of milkweed. i want to add nectar plants like the species above and more. Also, I want color in dry SoCal. I want a fairyland of butterflies and colorful flowers, even if it is a small area (which it is). Will the flowers of the English Borders grow here? If you have seen English gardens in summer you know what I mean. Is it just a matter of water? I imagine gophers would love these juicy plants. Do I need gopher protection for everything I plant?
Thx.

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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Grow more drought tolerant perennials such as Verbena bonariensis, Lavandula angustifolia/intermedia/stoechas, Calandrinia grandifolia, Alstroemeias, Mimulus aurantiacus and hybrids, Leonotus, other succulents such as Cotyledon orbiculata, Lobelia laxiflora and other similar heat loving more drought tolerant perennials that are either Mediterranean or subtropical. Natives such as Salvia clevelandii, Mimulus aurantiacus, Eriogonum grande rubescens, etc can give very long season color if given drip irrigation. As to gopher protection, it may be necessary depending on your conditions. There are no shortage of vividly colorful and butterfly attracting plants that could simulate an English garden look in southern California, but you will have to provide most all except true desert species with some summer irrigation; just select less water needy species.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 5:19PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

If you have gophers, you will need to trap them or protect the plants. I grow Gaillardia, Coreopsis, coneflowers, and other flowering annuals and perennials, but yes, it is expensive because they require water. That's all it takes- water. Verbena bonariensis is a great suggestion for the back of your cottage garden border. Yarrow is another great plant for butterflies and bees- I especially like the yarrows with gray foliage like Moonglow. Lamb's ears and Sea Holly attract lots of bees. Catmint is the perfect cottage garden flower. You can fill in the bare spots between your perennials with annuals like cosmos, zinnias, nasturtiums, paludosum daisies. I water for fifteen to twenty minutes two times a week with overhead sprinklers in the summer.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 2:11PM
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