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Spruce up your garden with summer color

Summer is here and the weather is really heating up. Don’t let the heat stop you from adding a little bit of extra color to your landscape. Your local nurseries still have a good selection of colorful bedding plants that will thrive in whatever weather this summer throws at them.

Here are a few excellent summer bedding plants for you to enjoy until frost:

• Angelonia is still rather new to gardeners. It is heat tolerant and produces a fairly tall, shrubby plant perfect for the middle or back of flower beds. Flower production is nearly continuous and the blooms come in shades of purple, lavender, white, pink and rose.

• Blue Daze is a low growing, shrubby bedding plant that loves summer heat and sun. It is insect and disease resistant. The grayish foliage and clear blue flowers add a cool note to the garden. 

• Wishbone Flower is a versatile and very reliable plant that does well in full sun to part shade. This virtually foolproof annual will provide a tremendous display of blue, purple, lavender, rose, pink or white flowers.

• Pentas stay in constant bloom all summer and fall, with flowers in shades of white, pink, rose lavender and red. Pentas are irresistible to butterflies.

• Lantana is one of the few plants that combine heat tolerance, ease of care and constant blooming. There are many varieties available including dwarf forms that stay under 2 feet. My favorite is the Bandana series.

Don’t let the heat of July and August do your garden in. Make a trip to your local garden center for a few of these great, heat-loving plant selections.

Rebecca Bates is an MSU Extension-Lincoln County agent, and can be reached at 601-835-3460 or by e-mail at rebecca.bates@msstate.edu.