Hot Gardens Newsletter:
List of previous newsletters by
Hot Nights Coming.
If you want
to add white, fragrant night-blooming plants to enjoy during
hot evenings, visit our
June 2005 newsletter
for suggestions about what to plant this Spring to enjoy
on summer nights.
They Make Scents.
Fragrant gardens are simply the best! Here are three
plants that do well in hot, dry climates and fill the desert
air with fragrance, too:
Butterfly Bush or
Summer Lilac. (Buddleja davidii).
This rangy shrub grows fast and produces fragrant,
lilac-like blooms in mid-summer. In cold winter areas
it may freeze to the ground, but will regrow and bloom
the same year. In fact, if you plant one right now, you
may have a sizeable shrub with blooms this summer in
your desert garden. One interesting variety is the
'Harlequin" with dark purple flowers and white-edged
In Spring the crabapple
produces gorgeous pink blooms and in Fall it has
rich orange color leaves. This specimen is, we
Malus ionsis, the
(Malus ionsis 'Klehms') Cars will come to
a screeching halt on the street outside your home if you
plant a flowering crabapple in your front yard. When this
tree blooms, it is covered with glorious, fragrant
double-pink flowers. The fruit is large and can be
pickled. Most crabapple trees are rounded and low-growing
to about 15 or 20 feet. Because many varieties are
susceptible to disease, ask your local nursery which one is
best for your area. But try to find a fragrant,
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The dwarf varieties of
Pittosporum make good foundation plants, but the
larger non-dwarf varieties are suitable for hedges
and lawn trees. Thetree form of pittosporum is
unbelievably fragrant when in bloom in Spring.
tobira) Many of us know this plant as either the
'Wheeler's Dwarf" or "Turner's Variegated Dwarf' varieties.
But neither produce the incredible fragrant flower clusters
that the non-dwarf Pittosporum tobira does. It can be
used as a hedge shrub or small tree and grows from 6 to 15
feet tall with very dense shade beneath. Another
member of this family is the Cape Pittosporum (P.
viridiflorum) which grows to 25 feet high, has small,
very fragrant flowers, but--alas--may not be suitable for
all hot climates. Again, ask your local nursery.
Within the last month we have heard from two gardeners who
intend to install plants that supposedly will not grow in
their locales. One is a Malaysian gardener who longs
for wisteria; the other, a Nevada gardener who has planted a
Laotian palm outdoors. With some careful soil
preparation, proper shelter and loving care, these plants
may survive. If not, at least they gave it a good try.
We have seen some unexpected success from time to time and
cheer on these experiments.