Perennial Favorites For The Summer Garden

‘Route 66’ coreopsis

If someone was to create the Garden Performance Hall of Fame for summer flowering perennials, I would nominate this list of ten (10). I have had experience growing many of them in my Northeast Tennessee garden (USDA hardiness zone 6-b). In a few instances, I have selected a variety that grows in friends’ or a nearby arboretum or botanical garden.

‘Zagreb’ Coreopsis (C. verticillata)– awesome lemon yellow small daisy like flowers on this mounding long blooming perennial. Other favorites are Uptick® series; ‘Route 66’. If you want something different, try tall growing (4-6 feet high) C. triptera ‘Gold Standard’ which blooms from August into October.

Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum)– lots of pure white daisy flowers on 2-4 feet sturdy stems. Favorite cultivars: ‘Snowcap’; ‘Becky’; ‘Whoops-A-Daisy’.

Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) – Unique silvery contrasting foliage with long lasting summer to fall dusty blue flowers. ‘Denim N Blue’; ‘Little Spire’.

‘May Night’ (Mainacht) Salvia (S. nemorosa)– deep blue flower spikes in spring; prune (deadhead) the entire plant down to a 4-6 inch mounded shape and feed with a nitrogen-based fertilizer to promote new growth and re-bloom within 4-5 weeks. Other favorites: ‘East Friesland’; ‘Caradonna’.

Garden Phlox  (Phlox paniculata)– some great disease resistant varieties are available such as ‘David’, ‘Jeana’, ‘Glamour Girl’.

Echinacea collection at Kingwood Center

Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) – summer full of colorful blooms will fill your garden. Favorites include: PowWow® Wild Berry series, Sombrero® series, Cheyenne Spirit’, ‘White Swan’.

Black eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida) – ‘Goldstrum’, ‘Little Goldstar’

Daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.)– so many great varieties – ‘Happy Returns’, Fooled Me’, ‘Hyperion’, ‘Strawberry Candy’, ‘Red Volunteer’ are all- time personal favorites.

Sedums (Sedum spp.) – late summer to fall blooming varieties such as ‘Autumn Joy’; ‘Autumn Fire’; ‘Matrona’; and lots more.

Coral Bells (Heuchera x) – wonderful accent plant for foliage color; favorites include ‘Caramel’, ‘Citronelle’, ‘Sweet Tea’, and many more.

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