When the sun is high and hot, have no fear: You can still have a beautiful and bountiful flower garden. Mikolenko suggests planting the following perennials and annuals because of their heat- and drought-resistant characteristics.
Angelonia, Lantana, Herbs, Verbena, Tropicals like Canna Lilies, Hibiscus, and Amanda Villa
Echinacea (Coneflower, above), Heliopsis, Geraniums, Russian Sage
• “Get spring, summer, and fall bloomers planted, so you have color all season long,” she says. Make sure to check your labels and get a mixture of plants.
• Watering and mulch are the most important things. “Get on a watering schedule,” says Mikolenko. “Water in the early morning or after sundown every day. Try not to do it in the middle of the day, when it’s really hot because it will evaporate faster.” But don’t overwater, she adds. “Water the soil level rather than overhead and test the soil by touch,” notes Mikolenko. “Overwatering is the number-one reason plants die.”
• “When you’re planting, add compost, then give everything a mulch cover of at least two inches,” she recommends. “Mulch keeps the moisture levels up and the soil temperature down.”
• Keep the weeds down, she advises. This will ensure all of the moisture goes directly to the plants.