Mill Pond Garden celebrates heat-loving flowers July 10

July 3, 2022

Mill Pond Garden will open to welcome visitors from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday, July 10, at 31401 Melloy Court, Lewes.

Tickets are available at

When summer heat finally arrives in the Cape Region around July 4, the crape myrtles, perennials, lilies, waterlilies, and hibiscus all break into bloom for an abundant display of flowers, joining the hydrangeas blooming since late June. A visit to see the displays is a pleasure, and also a guide to local gardeners and those new to the area on what plants do well in this region. Visitors may also see hummingbirds, butterflies, pollinators, turtles, frogs, koi, shubunkin fish, garden birds and water birds.

The epiphyte garden, featuring plants that grow in trees, is of particular beauty and notability. Other plants on display include bananas, salvias, roses, crocosmia, daylilies, colocassia, taro, monarda, mints, phlox, black-eyed susan, lavender, coleus, SunPatiens and  more.

Some of the newer cultivars increase flowers for the summer growing season. Salvia Black & Bloom is a new hybrid cultivar that blooms longer with bigger, more abundant flowers than regular salvias. It is not only a stunning electric blue, but also a hummingbird magnet, and it blooms from mid-June to mid-fall rather than just six to eight weeks. Annual salvias like Victoria are not attractive to hummingbirds and pollinators.

The crape myrtle Rhapsody in Pink is the best of three crape myrtles that are bred to start blooming in mid-June and continue almost to frost, for a total of four months.

The coleus redhead, an amazing velvety crimson color, is one of the more recently developed sun coleus series and the most vigorous grower of all, up to three feet tall and three feet wide.

The SunPatiens compact series are all-around winners for the garden, too, with no disease, stronger colors, larger flowers and more blooms than old-fashioned impatiens.

Colocassia illustris is a wonderful black-purple variation that grows big quickly, and has a velvety finish and sheen.

Finally, the Texas to Central America native Cuphea Vermillionaire, aka firecracker plant, is a vigorous annual. In a single season, it grows from a four-inch pot to a three-foot-diameter small shrub with thousands of vermillion-colored tube flowers that are adored by hummingbirds. Cuphea does well in pots, too.

Many improved hybrids and cultivars have bred-in improvements for disease resistance, color, hardiness, length of bloom and overallall performance.


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