Now that our gardens are in, planted and thriving – they are, aren’t they? – it’s a great time to look for new additions to add long-lasting blooms and lots of summer colour to our beds and borders. There’s always room for some new plants, and if there’s not, perhaps it’s time to replace an under-performing plant that doesn’t provide much satisfaction with one of these reliable summer perennials. I’ve got most of these in my garden and I wouldn’t be without them.
Garden phlox (Phlox paniculata) is an absolute mainstay of my garden. It began flowering just before the Canada Day weekend and it will flower all summer. With deadheading and a little feeding, it will continue its display well past Labour Day. Great colours, from deep purple (looks great on a hot summer day) and shades of red to white, pink and my current favourite, a pink-and-white striped flower. Garden phlox has a bad rep for getting powdery mildew disease on the leaves. But there are newer varieties, such as “David” that are mildew-resistant.
Shasta daisy: These sunny, cheerful plants are also tough as nails and provide great colour throughout the summer. Plant a group of three, five or seven of these and you’ll have a delightful swath of them in no time.
Perennial Salvia: Deadhead or shear these back once or twice during the summer and you’ll have their blue–purple flowers through summer. I like the elegant lines of this as well at the great colour.
Yarrow is great for bringing long-lasting colour into a hot dry part of the garden. I like the traditional yellow, but white and now red varieties are available. Very low maintenance.
Lavender used to be unreliable in our winters, but tougher varieties are now available and the sight and scent of this family of plants are wonderful. They’re a herb plant that bring a touch of class to my garden.
Coneflower: Here’s a native plant that is long-lasting, low maintenance, drought-tolerant and resistant to bugs and diseases. And it looks terrific in the late-July and August garden. Even in hot afternoon sun, it will bloom all summer with little watering. It even thrives in poor soil. What’s not to love about it?
Moonbeam Coreopsis: has lovely “Threadleaf” foliage, is drought-tolerant, grows quickly into a nice bushy form – and it is a long-blooming perennial with bright flowers that cheer up any garden.
Here are some other reliable long-blooming perennials to consider for your garden: Butterfly Bush, Black-Eyed Susan, Autumn Joy sedum, (comes into flower in late summer but has nice, showy buds from mid-July), catmint (not to be confused with catnip), Speedwell or veronica with deep blue flowers spikes, and, finally, the hot (no pun intended) perennial in gardens this summer, Red Hot Poker.
Satellite staff can guide you to these plants and give you more information and planting advice.
Bye for now.