Top plants for summer color
Add heat-tolerant flowers and features to your yard and enjoy their beauty all summer
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’).
This floribunda rose bears red blossoms.
The sunny hues of this Mediterranean perennial complement the violet-blue spikes of catmint (Nepeta).
A vigorous white rose, it blooms in huge clusters.
Calamagrostis x acutiflora has a vertical growth habit and showy seed heads.
The bronzy red Japanese barberry colors up best in full sun.
A cluster from the Strombergs’ vineyards shows the seeded, pearl-size grapes in various stages of ripeness.
Like the rest of the sunflower family, this bright yellow perennial blooms all summer on little water.
A pretty, midsize (2 ft.) grass explodes with showy pink to white plumes.
Dense flower clusters on sturdy stems rise above bright green leaves. Blooms start out blush-colored, aging to coppery pink, then rust as weather cools. Pretty beside asters.
Yellow foliage distinguishes this heathlike shrub with tiny pink flowers.
Deep violet-blue flowers cluster atop plants that grow 3 to 4 ft. tall.
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.
'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.
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.
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.