This Colorful Hot-Summer Garden Plan Is Perfect for Warmer Months

The blooming flowers in this design look sizzling, even through heat waves.

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curved border with zinnia rudbeckia and salvia
Photo: Celia Pearson

Heat and humidity are no match for this hot-summer garden plan! It features a mix of annuals and perennials, including some tropical varieties, that flourish in steamy weather. Plus, their nonstop flowers are all vibrant tones of red, pink, orange, and yellow that just seem to get brighter as temperatures climb. Multi-colored zinnias and rosy Madagascar periwinkle take center stage, while a trio of maiden grass behind them adds height and soft texture to the planting. Stunning 'Tropicanna' canna serves as a focal point with its big, bold foliage and glowing orange blooms. Red annual salvia and yellow melampodium bookend the curved bed, along with perennial black-eyed Susan and bearded iris.

Plants for Creating the Hot-Summer Garden Plan

If you aren't able to find the exact cultivars listed above, substitute with others that have similar colors, shapes, and sizes. And because some plants can become overly aggressive and spread out of control in certain climates, always check which species are considered invasive in your area before planting. For example, Miscanthus can become weedy in some areas of the country, but this is usually less problematic when planting a cultivar such as 'Morning Light' listed in this plan.

hot summer garden plan illustration
Illustration by Mavis Augustine Torke

Get the Free Hot-Summer Garden Plan

This free garden plan is available as a printable PDF that includes an illustrated version of the planted garden, a layout diagram, a list of plants for the garden as shown, and complete instructions for installing the garden.

Tips for Planting Your New Garden

Preparation is the key to creating a garden that will offer a lifetime of pleasure. Before you start plant shopping, review all garden plan materials. Then, ask yourself the following questions:

Do I have a suitable spot for this garden plan?

The layout diagram shows the rough dimensions for the plan. In general, you can enlarge or reduce the size of the garden by adding or eliminating plants, although the character of the garden may change if you alter the size dramatically.

Do I have the right growing conditions?

Check the plant list to see if the plan will do best in sun, part shade, or full shade. Be sure that the plants are suited to your USDA Hardiness Zone.

Do I need to amend my soil?

Most plants thrive in moist, but well-drained soil. If you have soil with lots of sand or clay, amend it liberally with lots of organic matter, such as compost. You may also want to do a soil test to see if you need to adjust the soil pH or add fertilizer before planting.

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