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In the Garden

Get down and dirty in the garden


Know Your Garden Zones

Now that we’re shaking off winter’s chill, it’s that wonderful time of year when we can get back into the garden, dig in the cool earth, breathe the fresh air, and prepare for a season of beauty and bounty. With the right tools and planning for landscape, climate and soil quality, you can create gorgeous, versatile outdoor spaces that will fill your heart with pride—and your belly with food. Whether you live in the mountains, the desert or right in the middle, use the tips in this issue to get a jump on your best gardening season yet.

Extreme Heat

Indian Summer Black-Eyed Susans 

1. ‘Indian Summer’ Black-Eyed Susan: Rudbeckia hirta ‘Indian Summer’, Zones 3 to 7

✽ Huge, golden flowers
✽ Blooms early summer to first frost
✽ Full sun
✽ Moist to average soil

Crape Myrtle 

2. Crape Myrtle: Lagerstroemia indica, Zones 8 to 10

✽ Flowering tree
✽ About 20 feet high with a spread of 20 feet
✽ Partial to full sun
✽ Average, well-drained soil

Mealy Cup Sage 

3. Mealy Cup Sage: Salvia farinacea, Zones 8 to 10

✽ Native to New Mexico/Texas
✽ Deer resistant
✽ May be perennial in warm areas
✽ Partial to full sun
✽ Blooms early summer to fall
✽ Well-drained soil

Mild Summer

Purple Coneflower 

1. Purple Coneflower: Echinacea purpurea, Zones 1 to 5

✽ Many medicinal uses
✽ Deer resistant
✽ Attracts birds, bees, butterflies
✽ Full sun
✽ Sandy, well-drained soil

Woodland Sage 

2. Woodland Sage: Salvia sylvestris, Zones 1 to 5

✽ Long bloom time
✽ Deer & rabbit resistant
✽ Attracts bees, butterflies, hummingbirds
✽ Full sun
✽ Average, well-drained soil

Butterfly Weed 

3. Butterfly Weed: Asclepias tuberosa, Zones 3 to 9

✽ Attracts butterflies
✽ Showy wildflower
✽ Blooms May to September
✽ Full sun
✽ Native to North America
✽ Drought tolerant
✽ Well-drained to dry soil

Low-Water

Faassen's Catmint 

1. Faassen’s Catmint: Nepeta × faassenii, Zones 3 to 9

✽ Low-maintenance
✽ Attracts pollinators
✽ Likes hot, dry weather
✽ Partial shade to full sun
✽ Average, well-drained soil

Desert Marigold 

2. Desert Marigold: Baileya multiradiata, Zones 8 to 10

✽ Southwest native
✽ May be perennial in warm areas
✽ Blooms early spring to midsummer
✽ Partial shade to full sun
✽ Well-drained soil

Palo Verde 

3. Palo Verde: Parkinsonia microphylla (yellow) and P. florida (blue), Zones 8 to 10

✽ Native to Southwest
✽ Blooms March to May
✽ Full sun
✽ Well-drained to dry soil

Rainy

Greenwax Golden Bamboo 

1. Greenwax Golden Bamboo: Phyllostachys viridiglaucescens, Zones 7 to 10

✽ Tall and vigorous
✽ Can be invasive; consider container planting
✽ Partial to full shade
✽ Moist, well-drained soil

Hosta 

2. Hosta: Hosta spp., Zones 3 to 9

✽ Hardy, easy-growing perennial
✽ Partial to full shade
✽ Tolerates clay soil well
✽ Moist, well-drained soil

New England Aster

3. New England Aster: Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, Zones 4 to 8

✽ Wildflower native to North America east of the Rockies
✽ Attracts butterflies
✽ Full sun
✽ Moist, rich soil

No matter where you live, consider companion planting (growing mutually beneficial plants together) to naturally discourage pests and maximize space. Learn more in our Companion Planting Guide.