The Washington Post writes that this summer is the hottest in New Hampshire history, and I believe it, since two summers here have proved that this is not the New Hampshire of my youth . As I write this- it is over 90, and tomorrow will be 95. I have no air conditioning, and my garden is dependent on well water. A precarious situation in a drought, which we are now in.
When I visited my first New Hampshire garden center my first spring back, I was surprised to see lantanas in the annuals section, for surely it was not hot enough here for such a heat lover. Now, planning for next summer, I intend to limit the pink snapdragons, and to make room for “Miss Huff”, a lantana that can spread 3 feet in a summer. Here are two photos of her in the Nashville garden.
Miss Huff combines all my favorite sunset colors, and she will help me rout the excess pink I have in too many places. The pink Fireworks gomphrena, asters, and phlox can stay, but the pink cleome will not be invited back. Not just because they are pink, but because they shrivel in August and look awful. Exception will be made for the Coral Porterweed, native to Jamaica, shown here on the left in the Nashville garden-
The plant on the right is Celosia “Purple Flamingo”, and I will scour the earth to find seed for next spring.
The image above is of a first year plant in my garden here. It will come inside for the winter, and by next August should be shrub-sized.
Tender perennials do hesitate in chilly early June, but with the long, long days of the New England summer they grow fast. I grow them because they bloom all season, and they keep up appearances, a virtue in August when so much of a garden looks tired.
My next post, which I will get to later this week, will be about the fall garden, and a book about that season that has had more influence on my gardening than any other.
Plant Delights Nursery mails out Miss Huff. Almost Eden, in Louisiana, will send you Porterweeds and tender salvias.