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Best Perennial Plants for Summer Color

Summer is here and it's time to plant and enjoy the beautiful flowers that blossom during the heat of the season. A perennial plant is one that remains in the ground for two or more years and ultimately gives a garden its character. Most perennials spread readily, filling out gardens and providing a show of color year after year.

Perennial plants come in many colors. The colors selected will greatly affect the overall look of your garden. For example, orange and red are stimulating colors that will attract attention. Yellows are warm and refreshing. Blues are cool with the most appeal in the warm summer months. White is a neutral and peaceful color that helps other colors blend together. Normally, it is best not to have more than two or three dominating colors at one time.

Many perennials have a distinct bloom period, which lasts anywhere from one week to a month or two. To some gardeners, this may seem like a drawback, since each plant does not flower all summer. However, if planned properly, a perennial garden can have blooming flowers all summer long. Most perennial gardens change with the seasons. For example, you can enjoy pretty Columbines in the spring, vibrant Peonies in the early summer, and wonderful Black-eyed Susans in the late summer ? all in the same garden. One of the finest joys of planting a perennial garden is watching the plants and blooms change with the different seasons.

While there are hundreds of perennial plants available, here are some that flower the best in the warm summer months (June-August).

? Bearded or German Iris (various colors)

? Bellflower (white, blue)

? Butterfly Weed (orange)

? Cardinal Flower (red)

? Coral-bells (pink, red, white)

? Coreopsis (yellow)

? Corydalis (yellow)

? Cupid's Dart (Blue)

? English Daisy (pink, white)

? European Columbine (various colors)

? Fernleaf Yarrow (yellow)

? Foxglove (various colors)

? Foxtail Lily (pink, yellow, white)

? Harebell (blue, violet, white)

? Hollyhock (various colors)

? Italian Aster (purple)

? Oriental Poppy (red, orange, pink)

? Peony (red, pink, white, yellow)

? Phlox (white, pink, red, lavender)

? Purple Coneflower (purple)

? Red Valerian (red)

? Rose Mallow (white, pink, rose)

? Sea Holly (gray)

? Shasta Daisy (white)

? Spiderwort (purple)

? Sweet William (various colors)

? Yellow Foxglove (yellow)

Here are five steps to planting a successful perennial garden:

1. Choose a site that gets partial to full sun. Although there are some perennials that will grow in full shade, you will have a much larger selection of plants to choose from if your garden receives partial sun.

2. Choose the best plants for your garden. Check the USDA Zone rating and pick the plants that adapted to growing in your region.

3. Prepare the soil. It is important to prepare the soil since the perennial plants will be occupying the same space for a couple of years or more. Most perennials enjoy a moderately rich, loose soil with plenty of organic matter.

4. Follow planting instructions that come with the plant.

5. Be diligent about watering the new plants. Typically, a deep watering once a week is better than a daily sprinkle.

To get your perennial garden started, follow the above steps and make a trip to your local nursery. Take your time and familiarize yourself with as many of choices as possible before selecting plants. Be sure to find out what USDA Zone you live in and select the perennial plants that are best suited to your region and your garden.

Happy planting!

Lesley Dietschy is a freelance writer and the creator/editor of the Home Decor Exchange website. Please visit the website for home and garden decor resources, articles, decorating pictures, a shopping marketplace, free craft projects, and more.

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