If I had to choose a favorite color for the summer garden, it would have to be blue. It has such a cool and soothing effect, particularly in plants that thrive in the hot, relentless sun. One family of plants, the salvias, has a wide selection of blue flowered cultivars that can really take the heat, so you can see why I am so enamored with them. Among my favorites is ‘May Night’, a real showstopper in my garden every summer. Its deep blue-violet flowers continue to appear week after week until the first cold days of autumn.

This salvia thrives in areas with full sun, but also performs well for me in spots that are in partial shade.