Our favorite Summer blooms to cut and bring into your home!
That Southern heat is winding down and we know Fall is coming because we already have one hurricane under our belts this season! This summer was filled with some record breaking heat indexes, and we can definitely confirm that. Even just walking out to your car around here can make you feel like you are melting into an actual puddle! Ally & I though - being the tried & true southern girls that we are - are eternally cold ALL THE TIME, so the sweltering heat doesn’t get to either of us so much. Plus, we are spoiled being this close to the coast and have endless bodies of saltwater in case we are in need of an instant cool down.
Just like there are some weirdos like us who aren’t too bothered by heat, there are also some flowers and plants out there that thrive in the blasting sun. Here are a few examples of summer flowers and plants that we love to cut from our own gardens and that you easily grow yourself! You may even already have some of these in your yard already!
The Southern Magnolia (magnolia grandiflora) - the southern magnolia is a magical bloom that anyone can get their hands on. My mom used to pick magnolia blooms and float them in low bowls in the kitchen to invite that intoxicating scent into our home. They typically do not last longer than a day off the branch but you can mix some freshly squeezed lemon juice with some cool tap water in a spritz bottle and give the bloom a little mist to extend its life.
Limelight hydrangea (panicle hydrangea) - Hydrangeas are a southern staple and you can find them blooming in a variety of colors and styles almost everywhere in the country. One of our very favorites is the limelight! It grows super fast and can get up to 8 feet by its third year. The blooms have about a 6-8 inch spread on average and are a bright citrus green that makes you think of key lime pie. One of the best parts about the limelight is that it blooms for months throughout the summer, ensuring that you always have some large flowers to pop in a vase for a dinner party or to place by your bedside. In the fall the blooms will begin to fade into hues of pink, taupe, and red and dry perfectly right on the stem. The limelight is literally the bloom that keeps on giving! Limelights will bloom best when planted in partial to full sun in an area that is going to receive plenty of water. Make sure the plant has plenty of space on all sides to spread its limbs out wide!
Elephant ears (Alocasia or Colocasia)- Elephant ears come in lots of colors and sizes. Black magic, mojito and the giant upright macrorrhiza just to name a few, are varieties that will come back year after year! If you are thinking of planting elephant ear bulbs then you will want to find a mostly sunny spot with soil that stays pretty wet. Just one or two stems of these bad boys can make such a huge impact anywhere in your house, and the vase life is super long! In the late fall and winter the stems will die down and the plant will go dormant until the following year.
Hosta- Every southern garden needs at least a few hostas! These shade loving perennials provide large round leaves to supplement any in-home arrangement, as well as the sweetest little blooms which usually land somewhere on the white to purple color spectrum. Depending on the variety the leaves can be bright green, emerald green, variegated, matte, shiny, ribbed and so on. You have so many options with a hosta, so plant a few different ones and see which types thrive the best in your yard and cut away!
Swamp Sunflower (Helianthus angustofolia) - This flower is actually native to North Carolina!There are so many great things about this water loving plant, but a big bonus is that it blooms for sooo long.They will usually begin blooming in July and bloom well into October. The bright yellow blooms stand 5 to 6 feet tall and radiate warm endless summer vibes. They will multiply and grow in huge clumps, so be prepared for their slightly invasive personalities. This is the perfect flower to cut large handfuls of and bring to a friend who needs a pick me up!
Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus africanus)- Agapanthus is such a fun and easy plant to grow. It is in the amaryllis family (another amazing spring bloomer that we love and use in our designs often) and usually blooms for a few weeks somewhere between the beginning and middle part of summer. It’s electric blue globe-like flowers stand tall and proud and will remind you of a large onion bloom. They are so lovely, but their beauty is fleeting so enjoy them while they last. Cut the stems down low near the foliage at a sharp angle when you are ready to enjoy them inside.
It is so difficult to not go on and on, and honestly the plants mentioned here are just the very tip of the iceberg. We are so incredibly fortunate to be able to import blooms from all over the globe when we are deep in the throes of weddings season, but summertime in the southeast really reminds us of what a truly special corner of the world this is.
We would love to hear about some of your favorite flowers to grow or cut from in the comments below!