Whether you have a green thumb or, well, you don’t, chances are that—with just a bit of elbow grease and a hoe—you can beautify your yard with some beautiful flowers and plants (and two trees) that don’t require a Ph.D. in botany to grow successfully.
Colin McIntyre, manager of The Greenhouse (TheGreenhouseNorman.com)—located at 1708 24th Avenue SW, near Highway 9 in Norman—shared a list of plants (and two trees) that can be set out now and that are hardy and well-suited to Oklahoma’s climate.
Reblooming Weigela: requires full sun and is heat-tolerant; makes an excellent disease-resistant replacement for dwarf crepe (or crape) myrtles and roses
Pincushion flower: a perennial that blooms profusely from spring to fall. Butterflies love it!
Salvia Greggii: a native perennial, blooms spring to fall, comes in a wide range of colors, pleasant aroma, a favorite of hummingbirds
Lysimachia “Midnight Sun”: a perennial groundcover; this new, purple, creeping Jenny takes morning sun, spreads quickly and blooms yellow in late spring/early summer
Geranium “Calliope”: an annual, the calliope geranium is a tried-and-true classic for Oklahoma, with exceptional heat resistance; it continues to bloom all summer when all other geraniums have long since given up!
Scented geraniums: an annual, scented geraniums repel mosquitoes with many more scents than citronella; they come in a variety of scents, from ginger, myrrh and peppermint, to orange, rose and chocolate, and all varieties bloom in late spring/early summer
Ipomoea “Flora Mia Nero”: an annual groundcover, this new variety of purple potato vine is covered in purple flowers all season
Ruellia: a native perennial, the ruellia blooms starting in summer and into the fall; it spreads nicely but is easily controlled (available in tall and compact varieties, they do well in containers)
Sorrel: an older, now obscure herb with a sweet, sour flavor; mixed in with a salad, it negates the need for a vinaigrette
Heuchera Coral Bells: probably the most underrated perennial for a shade garden, coral bells come in a mind-boggling array of colors; they keep their leaves in the winter, and newer varieties from brands like Proven Winners, keep their shades of orange, purple or yellow all winter, plus a fountain of airy, wispy flowers in the late spring!
Lantana: “Miss Huff,” “Pink Huff” and “Chapel Hill” are three varieties of lantana that survive the average Oklahoma winter and love the hot, baking summer sun, and they bloom from spring to fall; these form large, aromatic shrubs, and are beloved by butterflies.
Brugmansia, aka Angel’s trumpet: this is a little more unusual, but a small Angel's trumpet can grow into a 6- to 7-foot tree in a single year when planted in the ground; it seldom survives the winter, but it’s worth it because of its almost foot-long flowers (plant in a sunny spot)
Ruby Falls Redbud: a cultivated native, the Ruby Falls redbud is the perfect alternative for spaces that are too hot for a weeping Japanese maple; they have dark purple leaves all season and lovely flowers in the early spring