Here are pictures of plants that still look good after the hottest summer in history. Keep this in mind for plantings next year. All of them have needed watering once a week with 100 plus temperatures. In late August, at least they still look good.
I often used this sun loving annual as an under planting in pots. Blue is a cool color for hot summer days. This client requested that they be used as a solid planting in her pots. No dead heading was required.
In the foreground is Nepeta or Catmint which we use as a feature on the edge of the four quadrants of a circle garden. The yellow Coreopsis is a July blooming perennial. The Geraniums in the pots bring in a lovely bright spot of red. Yarrow, Salvias and Veronica bloom earlier in the summer. This needs water twice a week but at least it still looks good at the end of the summer.
This tree has been hybridized in 3 colors of purple, lavender, or pink. It thrives in the American west with brutal desert conditions and no watering. It is often mistaken for a large butterfly bush. It can tend to send a lot of suckers at the base, but easy pruning can create a nice looking trunk. You get great repeat color all summer long.
Joe pye weed
This plant is not for the formal garden. Its strength is in the more expansive garden where you need a big impact. In the back border of properties it can provides privacy and encourage a wealth of butterfly and bees to come visit.
Limelight Hydrangeas and heliopsis
These hydrangeas stand high as well as hold their color in the hot sun. What else do you need with 6’ expanses of lime white and yellow?