Summer is a beautiful season in the flower garden. There's no chance of frost. The weather is warm with balmy breezes and gentle rains. Flowers that like long warm days thrive in the summer. Supplemental watering is required in hot dry areas to keep the flowers blooming. Enjoy your flower garden all summer long with a progression of blooms.
Bulbs and Corms
Begonias are shade flowers that need warm weather, but not direct hot sun. They have glossy arrow-shaped leaves and bright flowers that look like flattened roses. Colors include orange, red, yellow and white. Begonias do well in hanging baskets and pots.
Gladiolus flowers resemble orchids with ruffled petals. The flowers are on long stalks up to 4 feet high and open from the bottom of the stalk to the top. The leaves are long and strap-like. Gladiolus flowers bloom profusely in every color but true blue. Some blossoms are edged in a different color, are striped, or have throats of a contrasting color.
Annuals are in their glory in summer. Most will bloom continuously until frost, as long as they get enough water in hot weather. Sunflowers grow to 12 feet high in commercial plots. Colors include cream and burgundy, although most sunflowers are yellow.
Zinnias are another almost no-fail summer flower. They're a favorite of gardeners with children. The seeds are large enough for little hands to handle, and the seeds germinate quickly. They are a bit prone to mildew. The plants vary from 6 inches high to 3 feet high. The flowers are arranged daisy-like around a brown center. The petals can be flat, ruffled or quilled.
Portulaca has jewel-colored flowers, the size of a quarter, in bright pink, purple, yellow, orange and white. The plant has tiny leaves about 1/2 inch long that resemble the leaves of an ice plant. Birds have a tendency to eat the leaves because they contain a lot of moisture. The plant spreads to 12 inches and does well in hanging baskets and in the garden.
Roses are rampant in summer. They will stop blooming in very high temperatures, but then continue their display as soon as the temperatures drop down from 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Choose roses that are hardy in your area. Few roses will live through the winter in hardiness zones 4 and below. They require afternoon shade in zones 8 and above.
Roses have the reputation of being difficult to grow. They need full sun, rich soil and supplemental feeding. They do not tolerate wet, boggy soil. Remove aphids that can deform the flower buds with a strong spray of water from the garden hose.