CREPE myrtles are smaller trees or large shrubs, depending on the variety, that thrive in summer.
They flower in a range of colours from white to pink, lavender and mauve and deep crimson.
They are as much a part of summer as the jacaranda and stand out in gardens like magnolias in early spring.
Crepe myrtles love the heat and flower for months.
They also glow in autumn.
Many varieties have attractive gold, orange or reddish-toned leaves as they develop their autumn hues before falling.
And with age comes maturity and perfection. The sinuous trunks of crepe myrtles develop a fabulous coloured bark over time and a row, or copse, of these is a site to behold, with grey to intense dark cinnamon coloured bark, depending on the variety.
The new growth in spring is often vibrant green and showy, making it a plant for all seasons and one that is quite tolerant of dry conditions once established.
Thanks very mulch
EACH season brings its own stars and those that love the heat are thriving at present.
But you can assist them to do so more by making sure you have mulch where it is needed.
Top up existing mulches that may have broken down a little, especially straw mulches, or add mulch to areas that haven't had any applied yet.
This will reduce the amount and how often you need to water and really does make a difference.
Double the joy
ANOTHER large shrub that is thriving now is the deciduous hibiscus, Hibiscus syriacus.
These are large shrubs that grow to about 3m high and 2m wide, depending on variety, and flower in white, pink and mauve in single or doubles and often with red blotches and patterns on the base of the petals.
Another attractive feature is the golden foliage in autumn before the leaves fall.
They are a very hardy shrub that really should be grown more often for screening and as a feature in the background of a border.
Give them a well-drained soil because they will not tolerate wet feet - and grow them in part or full sun.
When planting, dig in plenty of well-rotted compost and prune back hard in early spring to promote a bushy habit.