#1 Coneflower - Purple is the most well known coneflower blossom color, but its flowers also are available in a wide range of colors from white to yellow, orange to red. Whatever their colors the blossoms are favorites of butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.The seed heads attract birds in winter when they are most desperate for food. Every garden should have at least one of these strikingly beautiful perennials, planted in full, blistering sun.
#2 Rudbeckia - This tough perennial scoffs at crummy mountain soils, easily producing waves and waves of bright summer flowers. A long-time favorite, it most commonly is referred to as a Black-eyed Susan. Because it keeps on blooming no matter how hot the summer, beautiful bouquets of cut flowers can be had to the end of fall.
#3 Lavender - Nothing beats the smell of lavender carried on a breeze! The plants need hot, dry weather, and summer is the best time to add a new specimen to the garden. It grows best in soil that drains well; so raised beds, a heavily composted garden plot, and container gardens make ideal homes for this plant. Mountain lavender outshines most varieties for its fragrant bouquets, use in potpourri, and sheer beauty.
#4 Gaura – The hotter the better for this mountain wildflower. It thrives out by the mailbox, in containers, or in that flower bed by the front door. Spilling down hillsides and across meadows are additional uses for its beauty. Javalinas and deer aren't drawn to it, yet hummingbirds love the nectar. Every yard should have at least one.
#5 Autumn Sage - This blooming beauty can be found throughout the mountains of Arizona. So bright and flexible, this knee-high flower starts blooming in May and can't stop until the end of October! For gardens that like to encourage hummingbirds, this beauty is a must-have plant. Here at Watters, we are always growing new flower colors in addition to the traditional red. We now have bicolored, white, purple, apricot, pink, and brighter new reds. Every gardener should have at least one Autumn sage in the landscape. It's just so tough and exceptionally attractive.
Flower Power 54 - Use this bloom booster twice a month and plants will be heavy with bigger, bolder blooms than those you've grown before. Created by Watters and only available here at Watters, it actually works far better than nationally developed brands like Miracle Gro. Try it and prove it to yourself.
Until next issue, I'll be helping gardeners add touches of beauty to their yards and gardens here at Watters Garden Center.
August Garden Classes
Aug 5 – Herbs from Garden to Table – Summer is the ideal time to add herbs to the garden. Special guest instructor Deborah Maranville, chef, and owner of Natural Healing Garden, knows her herbs and uses them to create health-centered food choices that focus on utilizing local produce and delicious organic food. Join Deborah for a tantalizing cooking demonstration that will focus on the best techniques to get the herbs from your garden to spice up your cooking.Aug 12 - Creatures of the Night The Benefits of Attracting Owls and Bats
Paul and Anne Schnell from Arizona's Raptor Experience will share effective methods of attracting owls and bats to your yard and the amazing benefits they provide. Four species of live owls will be featured in the presentation. Bring your camera and curiosity! Free to the public, but we will be asking for a 'free will donation' to support more of AZ Raptor's programs.
Aug 19 - Secret Gardens with Hedges & Privacy Screens Tired of looking at the neighbor's RV? This class shows off the best, fastest growing plants to fill in your privacy screens! You can screen unsightly neighbors, enhance your view, or block pesky traffic and cut noise and light pollution. Experts will be on hand to help individuals with unique situations.
Aug 26 - Ground Covers, Vines & Erosion Control Soften that rock look with these easy to grow alternatives to a grass lawn that can take the summer heat. These fast-growing plants stay low & tight with less care. Learn which evergreen shrubs, herbs and vines soften all that rock, keep soil from eroding, and stay cool in summer while looking great. A few plants go a long way when students know which plants to use locally.