"Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves"...Dorothy Parker



Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Wonder of the Ordinary ~ Lantana

August is a difficult time in my Southern California garden, the constant heat and intense sun of summer not only cuts down on flower production, but also leaches out color from most of those hardy plants that do continue to bloom; sometimes I wonder how anything manages to survive at all.

But there is one wonderful exception and that is lantana, verbenacanase. Many gardeners look down their noses at this very common plant. But if you want something to add color and interest in a variety of ways through the dog days of summer, this is the plant for you.

It comes in several hybrids and forms. Here in a dry, semi-shady spot in a front sitting area is in one of my favorites: each flower sports a combination of light yellow and pink.



 In the gravel garden this bright yellow lantana is growing happily with succulents, I find they have very similar watering needs, always a good thing in a garden.



Out in front curbside this orange lantana scrambles up the rock wall, adding softness and color, even on the hottest days. This plant is very robust and need lots of pruning to be kept in check but I think it is worth the effort as it blooms year around.

Lantana is one of the plants I remember from my childhood, I love it's spicy fragrance and it always seems to have little brown butterflies hoovering around which I have always found fascinating.



There is a place for exotic, new plant introductions in the garden, and trying new plants is one of the fun things about gardening but  there is also a place for the common and ordinary plants that have earned their spot through dependability and performance. One of those in my opinion is lantana!

19 comments:

  1. Personally, I love lantana not just for their color and adaptability, but because butterflies are attracted to them, which you mentioned. Lovely photos!

    ReplyDelete
  2. oh my, can you believe I'm allergic to it! I get an instant rash if I touch it. For me, it's admire from a distance.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love lantana!!! Your photos are so gorgeous, too. xox

    ReplyDelete
  4. I wonder if it will grow on the Island. I'm off to google to find out, as I love the look of it and would like to add it. Thanks for the introduction.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hello Adrienne:
    We do so agree. One should never despise plants in a garden for being 'common' for they do, without fail, help to secure the bones and may always be relied upon. August is a difficult month in most gardens and we can well imagine it being particularly so in California. However, what you show of your garden looks lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Gorgeous photos, and all good to learn. Very lovely , indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lovely Adrienne and that image of the chair with those wispy plants is a delight!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I should definitely plant some of this, since my front yard receives such intense heat!

    ReplyDelete
  9. My grandmother grew Lantana and I grow it too .
    It makes me smile !!!!
    Dottie

    ReplyDelete
  10. I agree. Lantana is one of my favorites!

    Hugs,
    Donna

    ReplyDelete
  11. Lovely. I'm going to check these out for our driveway. Thanks for sharing this lovely plant. Yvonne

    ReplyDelete
  12. I had never seen it before becoming a gardener ten years ago, so to me, it was very exotic! I love how many little flowers make up (what looks like) a big flower. Wonderful post :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello fellow Californian!

    Popped in from Time Travel Thursday.

    thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow, it's always such pleasure to get a chance to "stroll" through you garden! I can only wish mine could ever look as lush and lovely as that!!! Just beautiful!!!


    Hugs,
    Jessie

    ReplyDelete
  15. Your pictures of your garden are just beautiful! I am completely unfamiliar with lantana, but am very impressed. I wonder if I could over-winter it indoors?

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am in western PA and I use Lantana every year as one of my annuals! I LOVE it! Yours are beautiful! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Adrienne, we missed you at the summer meeting of Compulsives. We got a tour of the new Celebration Garden (formerly the Sunset Garden) and there are masses of a beautiful new lantana hybrid planted there that everyone loved called 'Carolina Cream'. It's perfect creamy ivory color is just perfect as the space is often used for weddings. Check it out the next time you are at the Arboretum. Cheers, Robin

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love lantana!!! One of my favorites - I can't imagine considering it common or ordinary. They sell it here in Ohio, but it has never grown for me. When I visited my brother in San Diego, it was growing as hedges and I was so amazed. I think it much prefers your climate over ours. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    Cindy

    ReplyDelete

If you enjoyed this post and you would like to see more please sign up to be a follower.