Summer is here and the mercury is rising. We’ve already had a couple of pretty steamy days. If you wither and your garden wilts as the temperatures rise, here are some easy care perennials that will keep your garden (and you) looking great all summer.
Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a great perennial that is a staple in many of my gardens. Bright orange heads that attract butterflies and honeybees that stand strong when many other plants droop. Great for the front of the garden getting only about 2′ tall, bright blossoms bloom from June through late August. Butterflies love this nectar rich perennial. Seed pods add interest to the fall garden.
Purple coneflower (Echinacea) is one of my favorites. With so many varieties and colors, your sure to find one well suited to your garden. From the variety ‘Butterfly Kisses’ which only reaches about 18” to native ‘Purpurea’ which can get as tall as 4′, echinacea is a must-have for summer gardens.
Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum) is another great perennial. Cheerful daisy flowers on strong stems stand up to the heat. Pure white petals surround a brilliant yellow eyes, but if you’re looking for a bit more color, try ‘Banana Creme’ which has soft yellow petals with the same stunning yellow eye. Reaching about 24” tall, this is great for the front of the perennial garden.
Salvia (Salvia) is another favorite. There are a few different varieties, but ‘May Night’ with it’s spiky purple blooms adds great color to the perennial garden. This perennial gives a show of color all season long and is naturally deer and rabbit resistant and great for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds.
Blanket Flower (Gaillardia) is tough as nails. Easy to grow this short perennial only gets to be about 10” tall but adds a bright pop of color to the front of the perennial border. ‘Arizona Sun’ is loaded with red-orange and yellow bi-color flowers. Drought resistant, deer and rabbit resistant with a long flowering season, Gaillardia is an easy-care, big-impact perennial for your summer garden.
Phlox is another great plant for big color. In the past, phlox was notorious for powdery mildew, but new varieties such as the ‘Volcano’ series have been bred to be disease resistant. This is another perennial that comes in a variety of sizes. ‘David’ had beautiful snow-white flowers and reaches 3-4′ tall, while Phlox paniculata Bambini ‘Candy Crush’ (my personal favorite!) with it’s candy stripe pink and white petals only gets to be 10”-12” tall.
Russian Sage (Perovskia) is a great perennial if you have a brown thumb. ‘Rocketman’ is my favorite, reaching 2-3′ tall and wide, it has sturdier stems and a more upright habit than most of the Perovskia varieties. Aromatic grey-green leaves cling to silver stems, while a profusion of lavender-like spikes bloom all summer long. Fragrant, deer, rabbit and drought resistant, Perovskia is a standout for the summer garden.
Images courtesy of Pride’s Corner Farms