Between the smoke from wildfires and relentless heat, I’ve almost had to give up being outside. But I came up with a plan that included a list of plants that take the blistering heat, survive handsomely with less than 12 inches of rain a year, and still come out looking good season after season.
Just when you are dog tired of the dog days, Japanese anemones (Anemone hupehensis, Zones 5–8), start waving their graceful blossoms, as if shouting, “Hey, you! Look at me!” They are 2 to 4 feet tall, with blooms that range from the whitest white to a rosy deep pink, some with double petals. Tight dainty buds reminiscent of dogwood blossoms open and sway, hovering over the other foliage in the garden with an ethereal presence. ‘Queen Charlotte’, ‘Honorine Jobert’, and ‘Pamina’ are my favorite Anemone hupehensis hybrids.
Autumn asters (Symphyotrichum spp. and cvs., Zones 4–8) will light up your…
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