August is often a tough time in the garden, here on Nantucket. Weeks of hot, humid and windy weather can really take a toll on the flowers we work so hard to grow. Who wants to be out deadheading and staking Cosmos, when you could be at the beach, anyway? Get your flower fix from Nantucket’s Native Garden! The magnificent show of Rose Mallow’s tropical-looking flowers along the islands wetland areas is more than enough for me! If you haven’t seen the mass of pink flowers next to the Bamboo Forest on Madaket road, slow down on the way to the Landfill this Sunday, you won’t be disappointed!
We sell a wide range of Hardy Hibiscus here at the Nursery. The enormous dinner plate-sized flowers are a customer favorite. There are white, red, pink, and even bicolor selections! New gardeners are surprised that such a show-stopping flower is incredibly easy to grow. Plant it in full sun in evenly moist, somewhat fertile soil, you won’t be disappointed each August.
A few points to remember when growing Hardy Hibiscus:
•New shoots from Rose Mallow are very late to show in the garden. When you cut them back in the winter, leave the spent stalks a foot tall, so that you know where they are, and don’t trample them as you work in the garden early in the season.
•These are plants that naturally grow next to wet areas. If they dry out, they will lose leaves in a hurry. Keep them evenly moist!
•If you find your plants tend to get leggy or only produce a few shoots each year, give them a light pinch early in the season and they will branch out and have even more flowers for you.