Summer in the Deep South can be a real beast. We decided that this year we would try to combat the effects of the intense heat. We used blue as the dominant color for the garden. The theory is that if our eyes rested on the cool color, it would feel cooler. As new offerings came into the nurseries, I bought every blue flower that came in. This is a tall order in the Deep South.We can grow huge plants with hot yellow, orange, red, even purple flowers, but plants with blue flowers tend to flag in the heat. Delphiniums bloom in February here and then poop out.
Many of the blue salvias do well though and stokesia will crank out their blue powder puffs for about a month. Hydrangeas are beloved for their blue shades and as long as you give them pelletized lime regularly, they will keep their blues in the acid southern soil. There is a new petunia called “Blue Sky”that really puts out big blue blooms. To intensify pale blues, it’s helpful to accent your plantings with blooming plants with soft golden apricot flowers. If your orange accents get too bright, it can wind up fighting your blue drifts of flowers. Purpley blues can make your truer blues pale out or even make them look dirty. Pure white flowers here and there will add sparkle to your blues.
Lastly, don’t get rid of your air conditioning.