Lantana is a star of the Southwest garden. Its blooms are the colors of the Southwest: gold, rust, red, orange, and pink.
Most of the lantana in my garden are self-seeded. The variety I call the creamsickle, those with the yellow, pink, and cream flower heads, self-seed the best. Mockingbirds love their dark black berries, so they help sow the seeds throughout the garden.
On a hot day–and lantana loves the heat–you can smell the mint-like aroma of the leaves as you stroll the garden paths.
These days, when I see lantana blooming, and when my heart opens in a happy sigh, I feel grateful. During the decade of grief after my dad passed, the beauty of lantana was one of the joys I wasn’t able to take in. I would look at a lantana blossom–my heart would want to open. But then a shooting pain would quickly close it. Now that I think about it, my dad loved lantana, too. I knew I’d healed from the grief when I could look at a lantana blossom and take in the beauty, and now, lantana means to me, gratitude.