Here are our selections for the month of July.  Some of these plants and flowers you might know and others might be new to you.  Let us know if you have any you want us to research.

Campanula

Campanula is an underutilized perennial that is also known as Bellflower. As the name suggests its flowers resemble the shape of a bell and come in shades of purple, blue and white. Some varieties grow only 8 inches high while others can be nearly 4 feet tall. In warmer garden zones they may not last as long as other perennials and may disappear after a few years. They require good drainage and prefer full sun. Diseases and pests are generally not a problem with slugs being the main adversary to deal with.

Brachycome

Also known as Swan River Daisy this annual produces masses of small daisylike flowers sitting on top of fernlike foliage. When in bloom Brachycome flowers can hide the foliage entirely but unfortunately they typically only bloom for up to 6 weeks. This makes them much more suitable for hanging containers where they can be replaced with other plants after they finish blooming. Brachycome is native to Australia and prefers full sun with rich sandy soil.

Cleome

Cleome is also called spider flower and grows 3 to 6 feet tall. This makes them a great plant for the rear of a garden bed and once in bloom, they will continue to flower until frost. Cleome is a prolific self-seeder so you can expect it to come back year after year. Blooms come in shades of pink, purple and white and while it prefers rich, well-drained soil it can also stand up to drought conditions as well. It prefers full sun and while they are tall the plants are sturdy and seldom require supports or staking. They are also not typically bothered by pests or diseases.

Larkspur

This annual flower is easy to grow and is closely related to Delphinium. After frost is no longer a concern in your area you can plant the seeds and you’ll have blooms that last all summer long. Larkspur prefers rich soil with full sun conditions. It does best where nights are cooler and in warmer areas of the country, they may flower better in the fall. One drawback to this plant is that most varieties require staking or some form of support. This plant is also a great choice for bouquets.

Strawflower

This may be the quintessential dried flower but it is attractive in fresh flower arrangements too. They have long stems and retain their bright colors even after being dried. Seedlings are not generally available in garden centers so it typically has to be started by planting seeds. They prefer soil that is well-drained with a sandy texture. It prefers full sun and is quite tolerant of hot, dry conditions. They require no staking and are generally free from pests or diseases. They grow 1 to 3 feet tall and come in a wide array of colors. 

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