R5 Summer Fun in Westchester: Must-Have Flowers from Local Gardens and Nurseries

Looking to dress up your garden for the summer? We asked the pros what the best-dressed gardens are wearing this season.
It seems area nurseries have hydrangeas on their minds. For smaller gardens, Brian Panessa, owner of Hilltop Farms in Croton-on-Hudson, thinks the new dwarf variety, Hydrangea Forever & Ever Together, will be the “it” plant for summer. Only growing about two-and-a-half feet tall, it has double flowers that are blue or pink, depending upon the soil conditions.

Merilyn Pucillo, owner of Cooper’s Corner Nursery in New Rochelle, likes the Limelight Hydrangea, which has flowers that start out creamy white, then turn chartreuse mid-summer, and then transform once again to pink in the fall. She also likes Pinky Winky, a taller variety, with two-toned pink and white flower panicles that can reach up to 16 inches in length for a dramatic display.

Pucillo also recommends the Going Bananas Daylily, a new, beautiful, yellow variety that blooms for up to three months and is heat and drought tolerant once established. What’s a planter without petunias? Bermuda Beach Supertunia bears masses of salmon/coral pink flowers, is drought tolerant, and doesn’t need all that tedious deadheading. Superbells Yellow Chiffon is a calibrachoa hybrid, similar to petunias, that blooms from early spring all the way to first frosts, Pucillo says. It’s known for attracting hummingbirds.

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Lisa Miller, manager of Gossett Brothers Nursery in South Salem, is planning on selling plenty of Gaura Crimson Butterfly. A perennial that works well in planters, it has wine-colored foliage and loose sprays of fuchsia-pink flowers on red stems that look like a cloud of butterflies. She also likes Korean Rock Fern. “It’s green with a reddish undertone and makes a great backdrop in a planter,” she says.

Ligularia Bottle Rocket is the top choice for Jan Johnsen, co-principal of Johnsen Landscapes & Pools in Mount Kisco. This deer-resistant perennial grows about two-and-a-half feet tall and has mustard yellow flowers on chocolate brown stems rising up like a bouquet from a dense clump of foliage. Its thick, large, serrated leaves do not wilt in the heat as older varieties do.



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