This year has been the oddest many of us can remember! Cold snap June 8, rainy and cool most of June, warmed up a bit in July, rainy and cool now in early August. It would be great if the weather would make up its mind.
The All America Selections Display garden is definitely telling us which are the star performers in this high and dry climate. Those showing off are the ‘Summer Jewel’ salvia varieties Red and Pink, ‘Glamour Red’ kale (as usual), and Osteospermum ‘Akila Daisy White’ (loves sunny cool weather). Most of the other annuals in the garden have behaved quite badly. Zinnias, marigolds, vinca, ornamental peppers, and angelonia have been all but stationary, not growing much at all and certainly not flowering. (Of course the gangs of rabbits in the neighborhood don’t help matters.) Canna ‘South Pacific Scarlet’ is holding its own but the large leaves got beaten up last week with heavy rain. A few flower buds are finally showing up though.
As far as perennials go, two of our favorites, Gaillardia ‘Mesa Yellow’ and ‘Arizona Apricot’ are blooming away, but it is their second season in this spot. First year perennials blooming are the Penstemon ‘Arabesque’ and Gaura ‘Sparkle White’. Neither of the Echinacea (‘Powwow Wild Berry’ and ‘Cheyenne Spirit’) is faring well this season.