BILOWZ ASSOCIATES INC. is an award winning landscape architectural design firm with a proven philosophy: "Creating Design with Harmony & Balance."
Our company blog, Annie's Gardening Corner, takes a sneak peek at how we balance our own love for everything green + a place to find inspiration, garden ideas and landscape design tips.

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Five Tips for the Heat


  1. Baby steps 
  2. Tiny tasks
  3. A straw hat
  4. Water for hydration 
  5. And one big, comfortable seat in the shade
As Louisa May Alcott reminds me this morning, “The humblest tasks get beautified if loving hands do them.” But until we get some relief, do everything slowly.
So besides that heat advisory advice, which everyone is aware of, let’s dig into some drought-tolerant plant material for your summertime garden. Sit back in your comfy chair; here’s a few of my favorites.

Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue' - It's a plant often overlooked. Its salt-tolerance makes it a fitting choice for coastal plantings and it is eye-catching for cut-flower arrangements.

Daylilies are a must-have perennial; the varieties and colors are endless. Plus, you’ll get early green foliage and extended bloom with many of your choices.  

Ornamental grasses and sedums also provide varying height and textures to a perennial bed and require little water.

The prairie mixes contain flowers such as Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed Susan), Echinacea purpurea, (Cone flower), Gaillardia aristata (Blanket Flower), Gypsophila elegans (Baby's Breath), Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William) and Asters, requiring little water and offer stunning contrast. Creating these types of drought-resistant plant combinations also establish an enticing habitat for wildlife in your garden.

Agastache 'Blue Fortune' is a member of the mint family. Its soft lavender spikes offer structure to your sunny borders plus attracts butterflies. It is a great companion to Monarda ‘Coral Reef’, (known for its bright, punchy color and compact growing habits and is a tad more tolerant to powdery mildew, which can be problematic to Monarda.) The combination list seems endless but here’s a few deemed rugged and reliable for your summer flower garden.

Regarding the veggie and fruits, stay on top of any diseases or insects (we’re in the heart of Japanese Beetles season) that can defoliate plants very quickly. Stick with the watering to plump things up and pick your bounty at the optimum time. Don’t let beautiful cukes and zucchini get bitter, seedy and too long overnight. Add additional seeds like beans or squash sets to replenish the supplies. Yikes, I went overboard. That’s more than five tips for the heat. It’s a laundry list of humble tasks for those loving hands to beautify them.  

Images by Ann Bilowz ©

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)