A Red White and Blue guide to long, dry summer days
red white blue
By SCMG Bill Klausing
In addition to some dry season color, a well-planned summer habitat will encourage hummingbirds, butterflies, and plenty of native bees to visit your garden. Included below are many of our own Sonoma Superstars; most of these are moderate to extreme drought tolerant, and those pesky deer will avoid the majority as well.
Crocosmia x. 'Lucifer' brings a brilliant spray of red blooms, almost a personal fireworks display for your garden. A member of the Iris family, it has narrow sword-shaped leaves, and will tolerate moderate drought. Propagation can be done by dividing corms; Crocosmia can be a bit invasive if given enough water. Zauschneria californica (Epilobium), commonly called California Fuschia, has small silver gray leaves typical of many low water users. 'Calistoga' grows low to the ground and has bright red tubular flowers popular with hummingbirds, and will multiply via underground runners. Salvia microphylla can also be a great source of red in your July garden; 'Royal Bumble' is a pure deep red and 'Hot Lips' will give you a lovely red and white combination.
It is often said that true blues are rare in the garden space; but plentiful options for a bit of blue in varying hues do exist. Ceratostigma plumbaginoides and Ceratostigma griffithii both have a cerulean blue blossom which will show itself midsummer. Salvia guaranitica, referred to as black and blue saliva, is moderately drought tolerant and blooms a true blue on tall dark stems. Vitex agnus-castus, commonly called the Chaste Tree, has