Nothing is cheerier than the sight of daffodils and forsythia brightening our landscapes—the brilliant yellows are the perfect antidote to the long winter. But once their blooms start to fade, your garden should be planned so that every season has a time to shine. A mix of bulbs, annuals and perennials with a variety of bloom times will keep the color show going strong from spring through summer.
In addition to easy annuals that bloom all summer long—Petunias, Inpatiens, Marigolds, Geraniums, Zinnias, Yarrow, Sage and Heuchera, and others—here are a few of our favorite garden plants that ensure months of steady color:
- Irises are easy to grow and they reliably bloom from late spring into summer; Siberian Iris blooms in spring while the classic bearded iris blooms in summer. Flower colors include white, blue, purple, orange, yellow and pink.
- Alliums, ornamental members of the onion family, typically bloom from May to June and are grown for their brilliant pom-pom flowers atop stalks in a variety of heights. Take care to mix them with plants that will camouflage the leaves once they start yellowing.
- Pansies and other violas bloom from April to June and can handle light frosts and chilly winds. Some varieties tend to wilt in summer’s heat, but they might perk up again in the fall.
- The puffy, heart-shaped blooms of the Bleeding Heart start to appear in April and last through May. While it usually goes dormant after that, they can repeat bloom throughout the summer and gradually self-seed. Bonus: No pruning or deadheading is necessary.
- Peonies produce big round buds that open to large fragrant blooms and keep on flowering for decades with very little care. Different types include doubles, semi-doubles, anemone-centered and singles, available in both bright and pastel hues.
- The soft blue flowers of Nepeta, or Catmint, open in spring and continue throughout the summer. While the gray-green foliage is pretty, you scan shear back plants to encourage another flush of bloom. It tolerates hot weather and drought conditions and is a draw for bees and butterflies.
- Coneflower is a reliable summer bloomer with daisy-like flowers in purple, white, yellow, orange, burgundy and shades in between. It is s nearly pest and disease-free and makes a lovely and long-lasting cut flower. Shasta Daisy and Black-Eyed Susans are similarly pleasing choices.
- Garden and meadow Phloxare ideal in mixed borders with their large, scented blooms in white, pink, lavender, purple and red. Low-growing types such as moss pinks and creeping phlox make colorful ground covers that add color all summer long.
- While it is a technically a biennial—needing two years to bloom—once Foxglove is established, they reseed so they seem like perennials. Their tall spires are covered with a mass of bell-shaped blooms. If plants are in an open area, they may need to be staked to protect them wind gusts.
At Down to Earth Garden Center in Rockland County, our garden center is filled with perennials, flowers, shrubs and trees, with new arrivals coming in every week. The 10,000 square foot showroom has an incredible selection of contemporary, classic, traditional and transitional teak, aluminum and all-weather dining and deep-seated furniture, We are a garden center near Bergen County and located at 1040 Route 45, open 9 am – 5 pm daily and can be reached at 845-354-8500.