If your garden is showing signs of heat stress, or worse, heat exhaustion, visit the All-America Selections Display Garden at LSU AgCenter Burden Center, 4560 Essen Lane, to see a selection of plants that thrive during our extreme summer growing conditions.
Peppers (Cajun Bell, Mariachi and Holy Mole), eggplants (Fairy Tale, Gretel and Hansel) and Thai basil (Siam Queen) have been producing bountiful crops throughout the summer and are expected to continue into the fall, while the squash (Eight Ball and Sunburst) and melons (Lambkin, New Queen and Shiny Boy) have already peaked. The planting beds are updated with new varieties with the changing seasons so there is always something flowering or producing a crop every month of the year.
The backbones for diehard summer color include plantings of rudbeckia (Indian Summer and Goldsturm), zinnia (Double Zahara Mix), angelonia (Serena), verbena (Homestead Carpet Red), vinca (First Kiss Blueberry and Pacifica Burgundy Halo), sunflower (Soraya) and echinacea (PowWow Wild Berry).
Showplace foliage plants that add flair to warm-season landscapes are alternanthera (True Yellow and Ruby Dream), hibiscus acetosella (Red Shield), ornamental pepper (Black Pearl) and ornamental sweet potato (Illusion Emerald Lace and Illusion Midnight Lace).
Refresh “burnt out” garden spots by planting cuphea (Plum Mist), heliotropium (Azure Skies), penta (Butterfly), portulaca (Yubi), begonia (Dragon Wing), bulbine, carex (Sparkler), salvia (Mexican Sage and Pineapple Sage), sanchezia, pseuderanthemum (Chocolate Soldier) and manihot (Variegated Cassava).
So, if you find yourself out and about, go visit the AAS Display Garden for ideas. Walk the paths between garden plots and jot down notes about what you might want to plant. Soon, the garden will be planted with cool-season ornamentals and vegetables, like ornamental kales, snapdragons, pansies and violas, dianthus and parsley and cilantro, just to name a few selections. Visit often to enjoy the changes in the garden.
Don’t throw away used nursery containers and pots. Recycle them. The Botanic Garden, 7950 Independence Blvd., asks that you collect any size used nursery containers and drop them off by the storage shed to the left of the parking lot. They are used to propagate plants for the plant sale and for the garden. All sizes are accepted.
Plant sale, gardening expo
The Baton Rouge Botanic Garden Foundation Board, Friends of the Botanic Garden and BREC invite the public to the 12th annual Summer Plant Sale and Gardening Expo from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Botanic Garden.
Botanic Garden members and vendors will be available in the sales areas to discuss the basics of selecting, growing and maintaining their plants.
Botanic Garden volunteers will have gingers, daylilies, begonias, culinary herbs, garden vegetables, Louisiana iris and other plants and shrubs. The vendors and what they will be offering for sale include: Coyote Creek Nursery — native plants, perennials and shrubs; Green Hand Nursery — herbs, vegetables, trees, perennials and some annuals; Fronderosa Nursery — ferns, butterfly plants and other plants; and Gingerwood Nursery — gingers.
Because these plants are all grown locally, buyers can be assured the plants will do well in the Baton Rouge area.
The Botanic Garden is being built and maintained by plant societies and individual volunteers working together with BREC. All proceeds go to development of the Botanic Garden.
For more information about joining the project, contact James Jeansonne, foundation president, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About our plant societies
Baton Rouge is a green city, made possible in part, by our local garden retailers, professional landscape industry, gardening enthusiasts, great homeowners, garden clubs and plant societies. The city boasts plant societies for those who want to learn more about a particular plant, and meet others who share similar interests.
All societies welcome attendance. Most meet on a monthly basis at the Baton Rouge Botanic Garden Center, 7950 Independence Blvd.
The meeting schedule follows:
•?Hibiscus Society, 6:30 p.m., first Wednesday.
•Rose Society, 7 p.m., second Wednesday.
•Bromeliad Society, 7 p.m., second Thursday.
•Bonsai Society, 7 p.m., third Tuesday.
•Orchid Society, 7 p.m., third Wednesday.
•Baton Rouge Garden Club, 9 a.m., third Friday.
•Herb Society, 7 p.m., fourth Thursday.
Always check the group’s schedule before attending, because some groups do not meet in the summer. Call the Baton Rouge Botanic Garden Center, (225) 928-2270, or the East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, (225) 231-3750), for contact information for each society.
Got a gardening question? Write to Bob Souvestre, horticulturist with the LSU AgCenter, at Burden Center, 4560 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70809, or email to email@example.com, or call Master Gardeners at (225)763-3990.