French hydrangeas
Ralph Anderson and Van Chaplin

French Hydrangeas

These large blossoms make a colorful statement in shrub borders. Cuttings of hydrangeas work well for flower arrangements.

Plant Tip: French hydrangeas prefer morning sun with light afternoon shade. Acid soil produces the bluest blues, while Alkaline soil turns blossoms pink.

Signet marigold
Van Chaplin

Signet Marigold

This bright citrus-smelling annual has smaller petals and grows more profusely than most bedding marigolds. The flowers will last all summer long and are excellent for window boxes, herb gardens, or the front of mixed borders.

Plant Tip: The flowers are edible and add a lemony touch to salads, pasta, and vegetable dishes.

Ralph Anderson and Laurey W. Glenn


These saucer-sized blooms, which love the heat and humidity of summer, will flower well into the first frost. The Mandevilla loves to climb and adds a tropical touch to a trellis or fence.

Plant Tip: Plant in fertile, well-drained soil and feed regularly for lots of blooms.

Morning glory vine
Ralph Anderson and Van Chaplin

Morning Glories

Add a touch of blue alongside a fence or arbor with these colorful 'Blue Dawn' late summer creeping vines. Plant in a spot you can watch easily -- they grow rapidly.

Plant Tip: Garden centers sell this selection as a potted plant rather than seeds.

Courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries


The bright orange Echinacea 'Tiki Torch' is summer's hottest new coneflower variety. Once established, the sun-loving 'Tiki Torch' tolerates heat and drought while growing to a hearty 36 inches tall.

Plant Tip: Clip off blooms as they fade, and new ones will continue growing well into fall.

Tom McWilliam


This easy-to-love, hard-to-kill succulent needs little to thrive in summer's heat. Set them in a bright, sunny location, and hold off on overwatering.

Plant Tip: If leaves turn brown or mushy, that's a sign of overwatering. Water only when the soil feels dry an inch below the soil's surface.

Ralph Anderson and Van Chaplin


These are some of the best plants to grow in hot weather. If you were late planting this spring, try some of the Landmark and Lucky Series lantanas, which bloom prolifically.

Plant Tip: 'Lucky Honey Blush' (left) has flowers that are multihued and will work well in any garden.

William Dickey


The Oriental Hybrid lilies add an elegant touch and heady scent to summer gardens. Don't let the lily intimidate you, there are just a few basics to get down before you start your planting.

Note: Be aware of the pollen-heavy lily stamens. The pollen can stain clothing.

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