Gardening here in Texas is probably a little different than most other states, especially in the summer. There are plenty of days where the temperature gets above 100 degrees and we might go a whole month without seeing any rain. I learned a few tricks, though, to keep flowers blooming in the summer heat. I created this easy summer garden flower bed thanks to Calloway’s Nursery.
Garden flower bed: before & after
We recently moved into a new house and have been working on a lot of big projects indoors. After about a month of painting bedrooms and neglecting the great outdoors, I realized we needed to add a little curb appeal. The landscape was quickly turning into an untamed wild space. Our biggest issue was that the front of the house faces mostly south, so we needed something that wouldn’t mind a whole lot of Texas summer sun during the hottest part of the day.
When we moved in there wasn’t a defined flower bed in the front yard. The grass just crept in everywhere. It also included an eclectic range of plants: a lantana, a large shrub, a few knockout roses, and a lot of lavender. I knew right away that as lovely as the lavender smelled, it had to go. Both Hubby and Lil’ Wheezy are allergic and it was lurking just outside the front door.
By the end of our project, the small area looked great. It definitely has more curb appeal and won’t need as much attention either.
Adding a garden flower bed to your front yard is really easy to do, no matter where you live. If you’re not in Texas, the biggest difference will be the type of plants you choose. Here’s what we did.
How to add a garden flower bed
The first thing we did was dig up the plants that were in the flower bed area. Some – like the lavender – went in the compost bags. Others – like the rose bushes – were replanted somewhere that they would thrive. Next, we spent a lot of time breaking up the soil and removing the weeds, rocks, and other debris.
Hubby staked a cotton cord at either end of where our bed would run across the front of the house to ensure it was straight.
Then he dug an inch-deep trench with a shovel along the length. This is where the flower bed edging goes.
We chose inexpensive plastic edging, which is flexible. We laid it in the trench and Hubby came back and drove a nail about every four feet to hold it in place. Texas has this lovely habit of going from dry to flooding, so I didn’t want to worry about it slowly coming out.
Finally, we planted the flowers according to their tag instructions. I chose pentas, also known as Egyptian star flowers. They grow to be about two feet tall and two feet wide, so they needed to be two feet apart.
After planting the flowers, we ran a soaker hose between the flowers and the house. This has a dual purpose: watering the flowers and the foundation. We covered the bed and the hose with cedar mulch, which should discourage insects.
Texas summer-hardy flowers
We chose pentas to plant in our garden flower bed, at the recommendation of my favorite local nursery, Calloway’s. Pentas are heat-tolerant, don’t need too much water, and aren’t at risk for many pests. As a bonus, they attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Even Neil Sperry, the garden guru, recommends them.
They also suggested several other pretty flowers that can withstand Texas summers.
- Blue Daze
- Cora Vinca
- Moss Rose
- Petra Croton
I think a few of these will end up in other places around my yard. My family adores the Celosia and calls them truffula trees. And of course, the basil and beans will go in next year’s vegetable garden.
Texas summer garden tips
I’ve lived my whole life in Texas and I know trying to keep things green can be a challenge. Here are a few things that have helped my garden grow.
- Choose plants that are hardy for your local zone. All of the ones mentioned here will do well in hot climates.
- Water generously when the temperature goes up, especially over 100 degrees.
- Use a soaker hose instead of a sprinkler to avoid the water evaporating before it hits the ground.
- Water early in the morning or late at night to prevent scorching the plants. Imagine water droplets are tiny magnifying glasses for the sun.
- Mulch flower beds to keep in moisture between watering and keep the ground cooler.
I’m really happy with my front garden flower bed. Once these flowers are established, they will do well almost year-round. Pentas can bloom up to a light frost, so mine will be brilliant through fall and most of December. The whole project cost about $100 (with mulch left over for other projects) and took two hours.
Do you have any of these heat-tolerant plants in your summer garden?
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Calloway’s. All opinions are my own.