Add heat-tolerant flowers and features to your yard and enjoy their beauty all summer
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Jerusalem sage (Phlomis fruticosa)
Tall stems of these Mediterranean natives are set with widely-spaced, hooded yellow flowers. Moisture-conserving thick, typically furry or hairy leaves are lance-shaped. Pretty planted with lavender and red hot poker (Kniphofia ‘Bressingham Comet’).
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'Hot Cocoa' rose
This floribunda rose bears red blossoms.
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The sunny hues of this Mediterranean perennial complement the violet-blue spikes of catmint (Nepeta).
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'Sally Holmes' rose
A vigorous white rose, it blooms in huge clusters.
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Feather reed grass
Calamagrostis x acutiflora has a vertical growth habit and showy seed heads.
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Berberis thunbergii 'Rose Glow'
The bronzy red Japanese barberry colors up best in full sun.
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Cabernet Sauvignon grapes
A cluster from the Strombergs’ vineyards shows the seeded, pearl-size grapes in various stages of ripeness.
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Coreopsis grandiflora 'Sunray'
Like the rest of the sunflower family, these bright yellow summer flowers bloom all season long on little water.
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A pretty, midsize (2 ft.) grass explodes with showy pink to white plumes.
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Dense summer flowers cluster on sturdy stems rising above bright green leaves. Blooms start out blush-colored, aging to coppery pink, then rust as weather cools. Pretty beside asters.
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Coleonema pulchrum 'Sunset Gold' Yellow
Yellow foliage distinguishes this heathlike shrub with tiny pink flowers.
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Aster cordifolius 'Little Carlow'
Deep violet-blue summer flowers cluster atop plants that grow 3 to 4 ft. tall.
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Small-scale water features
Rustic fountains help make Mediterranean-style plantings look at home among California's golden hills. Because water is a precious resource, using it respectfully in the garden is a tradition. Something lavish would have been out of character in this drought-tolerant landscape.
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'Paprika' yarrow and 'Walker's Low' catmint edge a secluded seating area. Every drop of rain that falls in this thirsty part of the country ought to go in the land. That’s one reason gravel, vs. non-permeable paving, was used throughout the garden.
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Fine-textured plants such as grasses reflect the sun brilliantly. Because they are used extensively in this garden, the whole landscape seems to dance with light. The garden acknowledges that blond is the natural color of summer in California. The tawny flower plumes of Calamagrostis x acutiflora (feather reed grass) match the amber hues of the hills.
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In a hot climate, planted pots are hard to maintain, but empty ones look great.
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The best way to enjoy the sun is from a shaded location. These mature oaks shelter outdoor living areas. Swing seating under an oak is inviting on warm days.