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It can be overwhelming to walk in a well merchandised garden center and see the gorgeous blooming flowers of all colors and varieties.
But it also is true that some varieties are a better bet for survival and long lasting beauty than others. So while watering is not negotiable, choosing your plants is something you can control.
Hibiscus got a thumbs up from my experts. The plant comes in lots of colors and does great in full sun. Plus, hibiscus can tolerate shade, although the shade will minimize the flower count.
"You can hardly go wrong with lantana," Lynn said.
So many pretties.
Angelonia is a good bet with its purple, white or pink spiky flowers that bloom all summer in the sun.
sun perennial that does very well. But it blooms in late spring and early summer, so the flowers don't last all season.
and good drainage, but after that, you could be cutting flowers all summer.
12 flowers those with black thumb can't kill
Did you know that Home Depot guarantees all of its plants for one year. So save your receipts, and if your plant (or shrub or tree) dies, you can take it back for a refund. At Bates, all Adidas Hat For Women
Wave petunias also were highly recommended because of the prolific flower production and the fact that unlike other petunias, they don't have to be deadheaded.
There are not as many colorful choices for shade plants, butbegonias wax, tuberous and angel wing begonias are all good choices, according to Bates.
But if you are like me, you want your gardening efforts (and investment) to be a summer long success. You want the flowers you buy today to still be blooming and healthy a month from now and on through the sure fire heat and drought that comes with our Tennessee summers.
Stella D'Oro day lilies (a golden yellow day lily) are perennials that are easy to grow and flower off and on all summer long.
The garden experts agree that sun loving lantana is hard to beat, with a variety of colors and a low maintenance profile that allows it to do well even next to hot pavement in spots like parking lots.
If you have a trellis or a place for a climbing plant in the sun, Mandevilla is a great choice. If it's in the sun and you water it, it's "hard to mess up," Bates said.
Be ready to water in some cases once a day, and in the heat of the mid summer, maybe two times a day. The preferred method for watering is to thoroughly soak the plants when you water, instead of just dumping a cup of water on them more often.
Penta is another good sun loving success story, and it comes New Era Tampa Bay Rays in a variety of colors.
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Even the greenest gardener should know that no matter what plants you buy, you are going to have to water them religiously through the summer.
Cook said annual periwinkleis easy to grow in most any sunny location and has flowers that are white, pink or violet that bloom all summer and are "both drought and heat tolerant."
plants, except annuals, are guaranteed for a year.
Make sure your soil is properly prepared. Get a good potting mix for containers or mix potting soil or organic material in with your dirt if you are planting in the ground. David Bates, owner of Bates Nursery, said having improper soil is the biggest mistake home gardeners tend to make.
Other proven choices for shade are ferns, which love shade, and Caladiums, which are not known for their showy blooms but can add some color through their foliage in shady areas. Choose the right plants: sun loving plants for sunny spots and shade plants for the shade.
So I have been asking gardening gurus David Bates, owner of Bates Nursery; James Lynn, horticulturist at Home Depot's Cool Springs store; and UT Extension service agent David Cook to point us to some tried and true flowers to plant in our pots and flower beds.
Here are some of their recommendations:
If you want cut flowers, zinnias are a good pick. They need full sun New Era Red Sox Hat
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