My shady patio is a bit gaudy this year. I went wild with six varieties of impatiens. In various colors, these are the so-called "sunpatiens." They can be planted in sun or shade. They've basically replaced the old-fashioned impatiens that are subject to downy mildew. Sunpatiens are resistant to the mildew, which can kill a plant in a matter of days.
The varieties of sunpatiens I planted -- red, lavender, pink, coral, orange and apricot with variegated leaves -- combine easily with begonias, caladiums, sweet potato vine and other foliage plants. They all got off to a slow start due to the cool spring but are filling in as the summer heat continues.
"The calla lilies are in bloom again." Katherine Hepburn fans remember that iconic line. Summer calla lilies are indeed in bloom again. They differ from the classic white callas, a winter bloomer, because of their bloom schedule and the wide range of colors. Mine are yellow but there are also pink, orange, purple and maroon. They're best grown in pots. In fall, let the foliage frost and then move the whole pot to a dark, cool place for winter storage.
True lies are also blooming. The first are the Asiatic hybrids which will be followed by trumpets and Oriental hybrids. Afternoon shade helps to prolong their flowers in the heat.
Daylilies are also blooming. Though related to true lilies, daylilies differ in that they have grassy foliage and the flowers last only a day. Repeat bloomers such as yellow 'Happy Returns' have become increasingly popular, although heirlooms such as petite 'Golden Chimes' never lose their charm.
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