Monday, August 11th, 2014
While the late summer humidity and heat continue to take its toll on the plants of East Tennessee, there are a couple of stand-out plants that seem to be completely unaffected by the stress – in fact, one might even say that they are actually thriving under these conditions!
Iris domestica, also commonly called ‘Leopard Lily’, is one such plant. At KBGA, we planted this perennial in late winter conditions, and even with our rough winter, this plant has continued to impress and thrive. Its foliage alone has been a remarkable statement in the garden all summer long, but now we have the added benefit of experiencing its fabulous bloom! The vibrant, orange-spotted bloom of Iris domestica appears at the tips of Iris-like blades, its dainty little flower reminding me of an orchid or Crocosmia bloom. The Leopard Lily loves full sun conditions and at 2 to 3 feet in height it makes a great mid-level perennial for any mixed perennial border.
‘Phantom’ is another plant that continues to impress in the late season garden. Unlike the newly planted Iris domestica, ‘Phantom’ has been thriving for numerous years at KBGA. This shrub began blooming about a month ago, and it is still going strong! The blooms of this paniculata are absolutely HUGE and overwhelmingly beautiful with their showy, creamy-white blooms. The only maintenance that I have found this hydrangea in need of is a heavy cut-back in the late fall to help maintain a tight shape to the plant.