No matter how hot and dry it gets during our summers there is always one thing I can count on and that is my beloved Crape Myrtles. Or Lagerstroemia for those of you that need the Latin name, I have to admit I’ve never been one to consider that to be important. If you know it’s a crape/crepe myrtle and you know the cultivar epithet you can find the plant you’re seeking.
I love these trees. I have 13 of them in my garden and if I had the room I would put more. True they do make a mess on the patios, but that’s easily swept away before company arrives. I think the blooms are well worth the trade off for the mess they can create. I also love the beautiful green leaves and bark colors. I don’t know the name of the one below it was at the house when I bought it and has probably been there since it was built in 1971.
If you are considering putting these trees in your garden I would be right there rooting you on to do it. I do suggest you consider a little research before you buy though. With so many different colors and sizes you should be able to find the perfect one for whatever location you have in mind. This particular one is called ‘Zuni’. It only reaches about 9 feet in height. It has beautiful purple blooms and they usually last for about 100 days in my area even though the heat sometimes takes a toll as you can see in this picture.
‘Natchez’ has always been a favorite of mine and I can’t wait for it to reach its mature height of 30 feet. It will go a long way on providing me the much needed shade I want in the garden. My long term plan is to move to more lush, shade loving plants like hydrangeas, ferns and hostas in the garden. Its pretty white blooms will be with me for at least a couple of months as well.
If I judged my sizes correctly the canopy of these trees should eventually form a nice dapple shade over the garden. But I should still have pockets of sunshine for a few bright flowers for butterflies. This is ‘Tuscarora’; it can boast a height of almost 25 feet and beautiful coral pink flowers.
Last but not least is ‘Tonto’. Pretty fuchsia flowers and a nice taupe colored bark. It gets 12 to 14 feet high and starts to bloom about the last of June. Who wouldn’t love all these beautiful colors? Yet to make their appearance are the blooms of ‘Rosadao’. It should be starting its show in about another two weeks and I’ll post photos when it does. If you have a hot southern garden, then to me, these gorgeous work horses are a must have.