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Cool Colored Perennials for Hot Dry Sunny Spots
Juxtapositions can be a lot of fun - and in fact, are often quite beautiful in terms of design. Texture opposites like the feathered, wispy foliage of a feathery fern next to the thick substantial foliage of hostas are a natural pair - for example. Color can come into play too. Using plants with general hues that are opposite of each other- blues and oranges, yellows and purples, pinks and greens, really excite the eye. Silvers offer a wide range of juxtapositions too. You’ll often see annual dusty miller planted with red salvias in well-planned annual beds and baskets. It catches your eye because it’s natural opposites- juxtaposition. You can get even more creative than that- and you’ll impress your neighbors and even more seasoned gardeners with this fun play on the norms. Instead of planting typical, warm colored perennials in your hot and dry sunny bed (many perennials that do well in this locale are usually warm in their color palettes), take some time to find cool blooming perennials for these hot spaces. You see what we did there?
This may also be very important based on the color scheme of your home. Don’t ever assume you’re limited to one color range based on your growing location. There are many more options than you may realize. Cool colored homes in hot warm places can have a landscape that is also in tune with its façade. And of course, the opposite is true too.
Lavender is the first plant that comes to the front of this theme. It’s the perfect plant for hot and dry places with good drainage. It always does best in these areas, where it develops the best scent. We carry several cultivars of many sizes. ‘Munstead’ is a great, economical lavender that would do just fine in the back of a smaller border, or in the middle of a larger one.
Salvias are another option, and will replace lavenders if you can’t grow them in your location. Tall spikes of cool blues and purples make them beautifully cool in a hot spot. We love ‘May Night Salvia’. Watch the hummingbirds visit salvias all summer long!
Another cool colored customer that likes it hot and sunny - a native wildflower called Baptisia. This beautiful and long lived large perennial should be more well-known and planted in landscapes everywhere. Also known as Blue False Indigo, this strong and tough plant can replace finicky lupines easily and is a wonderful naturalization plant. Lots of animals depend on it- even some rarer butterfly species such as sulphurs and duskywings.
Finally, white is always a good choice in any border. But in a hot one with cool flowers, use white to add some sparkle. A fun and really easy going Shasta Daisy like ‘Crazy Daisy’ will add just enough sparkle to the cool colors of your sun border. We love the fun curly blooms on this fun little daisy, and you will too.