Kathy Albonetti sent in today’s photos.
A hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus hybrid, Zones 5–9) is covered with huge pink blooms. This group of hibiscus are hybrids of species native to eastern North America, and they give an incredible tropical look to a plant that is actually very winter hardy. They are slow to emerge in the spring, waiting until the weather has thoroughly warmed up, but then they shoot into vigorous, floriferous growth.
A vigorous clump of tiger lily (Lilium lancifolium, Zones 3–9). This species of lily is vigorous, long-lived, and easy to grow, producing masses of brown-spotted orange flowers every summer.
Angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia). This tropical shrub will often overwinter in Zone 7 after dying back to the ground. In colder climates, it can be grown in a container and overwintered cool and dry indoors.
Sometimes going by the common name of cotton rose because its leaves resemble those of a cotton plant, Hibiscus mutabilis (Zones 7–11) isn’t seen much in garden centers today but is a common sight in older gardens in the southeastern United States. It grows to over 6 feet tall and is covered with these huge double blooms, which open white in the morning and blush pink as they age.
Close-up of a freshly opened bloom on the cotton rose.
I can almost smell this hybrid lily (Lillium hybrid, Zones 5–9) through the computer screen.
An imposing tower of huge lilies in full bloom. Rich fertile soil, watering during dry spells, and protection from hungry deer are keys to spectacular lily displays like this.
Some of Kathy’s garden beds are wrapped around a beautiful barn.
Tropical-looking elephant’s ear (Colocasia esculenta, Zones 7–10 or as a tender bulb) surrounds a water feature.
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