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Garden Reports and Rejoicing – July 8

Look at your landscape as the sun sets. Where does the light fall?  If there is a place on your property that is illuminated by the setting sun, you need a Cocktail Hour Garden. This is the area where plants will be backlit and you can sit with your favorite beverage and appreciate the show as you unwind in the evening. But to take full advantage of such a garden, you’ll want to populate it with a great number of cocktail hour plants.

Any plant that has flowers in shades of red, yellow, or white are perfect for such a garden. And if they have foliage in the same color range, it’s even better. Grasses are perfect cocktail hour plants because their fine foliage catches light. This is especially true for grasses that have variegated or red foliage. Panicum ‘Ruby Ribbons’ is fantastic, as is Miscanthus ‘Morning Light.’  Pink, purple, green, and blue flowers aren’t illuminated in the same way. Look for the reds, oranges and yellows. They will glow in the setting sun.


Many day lilies qualify as Cocktail Hour Plants. Here my Earlybird Cardinal is spectacular at around 6:30 PM.

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