These annuals are sometimes called Cape Marigold, Cape Daisy and Rain Daisy. With mild winters, African Daisies can perform as perennials. The spring flowers feature daisy-like blooms in shades from white to purple. It is important to plant where sun is ample to maximize blooming. There are related hybrids with orange and yellow flowers and the plants are closely related to Gazania. It helps to dead-head spent blooms for more flowering. African Daisies are readily propagated from seeds.
Spikes of flowers in mid-spring offer dramatic forms that resemble fireworks. The foliage retains a glossy appearance with little upkeep and water throughout the season. In some areas, blue agapanthus are so heavily used along highways that home gardeners eschew them as too common. In these cases, dwarf plants and those with white, dark purple or pink flowers bring an unexpected look. Agapanthus do well in partial shade to full sun in all but the hottest summer gardens.
Tiny clusters of flowers top this low growing annual. Alyssum grow readily and come back through self-sowing. They are effective as underplantings for rose gardens and mixed in with bulbs to obscure dried foliage after tulips and or other bulbs are spent. Alyssum can also be attractively used in rock gardens, between pavers and trailing in pots. If growth gets out of hand they are easily pulled. The flowers have a sweet fragrance. White and purple are the most common colors. Yellow, pink and cream colors can also be found and are less typical.
This clumping grass-like ground cover is also known as “sea drift”. It tolerates poor soil including coastal areas. Armeria Maritima does well as an underplanding for shrubs, in rock gardens and as a border. Until blooms appear it looks very much like grass leading some to inadvertently weed it out. The spring blooms appear as puffs on short stalks. The entire plant reaches 7-8 inches in height, half of this before blooming.
This perennial shrub is also referred to as an “African Lily”. The plant features grassy sword-like evergreen foliage and attractive flowers with distinct spots. They are vigorous plants but do take some time to become established for flowering. Care needs to be taken in site selection as the plants are very unattractive if invaded by trailing ground covers and they are difficult to weed.
This perennial flowering ground cover tolerates moderate foot traffic and can serve as a lawn replacement. It is particularly attractive between paving stones and planted in drifts. Blue star creeper’s delicate blue flowers bloom repeatedly over a long season and are most abundant where sun is ample though the plants tolerate shade. Water needs are modest once established though blue star creeper is not suitable for the most severe dessert locations.
These evergreen shrubs are native to California and tolerant of very little water in the summer. They work well in gardens as hedges and as a backdrop to lower plantings. California lilacs have small clusters of fragrant and attractive flowers in the spring. California lilacs can become quite large, growing to the height of a tree and expanding to a girth of five feet. Avoid planting California Lilac if you have a problem with deer.
This flowering annual is also known as a “Spider Plant”. Stunning blooms appear on tall spikes in clusters that reach 3-4′ in height and serve as dramatic garden focal points. Pink varieties include various shades from light tones to dark. As individual flower clusters fade long seed pods serve to add further garden interest. Attractive foliage features grouped leaflets. Grows well in partial or full sun. Occasional volunteers from will emerge in planted beds.
These perennials are are often grown as annuals. Their white, yellow-orange, pink and fuchsia blooms have simple symmetrical daisy-like blooms that bring color to late summer gardens and fall gardens. White cosmos flowers are a bright and clear in color. The plants have airy fern like foliage. The plants can take the heat and do well in full sun. While the plants can manage with little water, blooming and overall appearance is best when with regular watering. Cosmos can reach 5′ in height. Mature plants benefit from support.