The story behind plants for a Carefree Summer
August is not a month when you want to spend a lot of time gardening. A lot of people are on holiday, it’s often very hot, and those who are at home will not be in the mood for intensive work in the garden. That is why this month the focus is on plants that can look after themselves when the temperatures rise: Agave, Eucalyptus, Aeonium and jade plant (Crassula). Agave, Aeonium and jade plant are succulents that store moisture in their leaves, whilst eucalyptus can cope pretty well with heat and drought thanks to its oil-bearing properties. Together they provide an attractive grey-green palette for a sun-soaked summer mood that fits better with ‘enjoying the garden’ than ‘working in the garden’.
Agave grows in Central and North America, eucalyptus comes from Australia, the jade plant originates from South Africa and Aeonium is native to the Canary Islands.
The range of plants for a Carefree Summertime is extensive. There are many different species and cultivars of each genus that can be used as a garden plant.
Agave americana (Agave) features well-established cultivars like ‘Aureovariegata’ and ‘Argenteomarginata’, but also new smaller varieties such as A. stricta, A ‘Dhaka Zulu’ of ‘Amigo Jambo’.
Eucalyptus (gumtree) is offered in various species that differ in terms of hardiness and speed of growth. The most common is E. gunnii ‘Azura’.
Aeonium is offered in a few species. A. arborescens ‘Atropurpureum’ is the best-known, particularly because of its attractive dark reddish purple rosettes to which the cultivar name refers.
Jade plant comes in many different cultivars. The small succulent leaves are characteristic. The most common are Crassula ovata, Crassula ‘Horntree’, C. ‘Sunset’ and Crassula ‘Golum’.
What to look for when buying plants for a Carefree Summer
• The pot size, height and size of the rosette must be in proportion
• The leaves must be sufficiently thick, sturdy and not feel wilted.
• The plants must be free of pests and diseases. There can sometimes be mealybug or aphids on the plant, in the rosettes or on the leaves. This is hard to combat at the point of sale or at the consumer.
Sales and display tips
Create a summery display in the form of a small patio and present the plants for a Carefree Summer in simple terracotta pots. The mood can be quite laid-back: not so much Mediterranean sophistication as understated and rugged. Using pots provides clarity, the plants’ stylised leaves provide calm. Which is just what you need when it’s sizzling hot.
Care tips for customers
• All the plants for a Carefree Summer can tolerate full sun.
• The soil must be well-draining. Don't place saucers under the pots.
• Water sparingly. The soil can be left to dry out between waterings.
• Agave, Aeonium and jade plant preferred to overwinter indoors, whilst eucalyptus can tolerate a couple of degrees of frost.
Images of Plants for a Carefree Summer
You can download and use the images below free of charge if you credit Thejoyofplants.co.uk.
Plants for a Carefree Summer poster
You can download the poster using the link below:
Carefree Summer Poster UK A3