Tuesday, June 30, 2015

9 Easy Summer Flowers

These garden beauties thrive in summer heat and bloom nearly nonstop into fall.

These daisy-like flowers are available in lavender, pink, or white. Three varieties we like: A. cordifolius 'Cape Cod' (Sunset climate zones 1-10, 14-21), A. c. 'Little Carlow' (zones 1-10, 14-21), and A. novi-belgii 'Melody' (zones 1-24).

Coreopsis (C. grandiflora)
Fluffy, golden yellow blooms atop tall stems. 'Sunray' is a dense, compact selection with double and semidouble flowers. Zones 2-24, H1, H2.

Bold blooms in a range of vibrant colors grow from tuberous roots. We planted pink and coral decorative dahlias and a red-and-yellow, cactus-flowered variety. Provide light shade in hot areas. Zones 1-24.

Gloriosa Daisy
DaisyDeep golden petals radiate from chocolate centers on 2- to 4-inch-wide flowers. Plants reach 3 to 4 feet tall and 1 ½ feet wide. Shorter varieties such as ‘Goldilocks’ and ‘Toto’ top out at 10 inches tall.

Guara (G. linheimeri)
White flowers cluster like butterflies atop tall spikes on these airy 2½- to 4-foot-tall plants. Selected forms include 'Siskiyou Pink' (to 2 feet tall), with rose-pink flowers and 'Whirling Butterflies' (to 3 feet tall), with white flowers.

"Moonshine" Yarrow
One of the most carefree and generous bloomers, yarrow has tight clusters of deep yellow flowers on 2-foot tall plants. Pair it with blue flowered catmint.

Penstemon (P. gloxinioides)
These bushy plants are fairly short lived, but to make up for it, they produce lots of trumpet-shaped blooms over a long period. Deep purple ‘Midnight’ and scarlet ‘Firebird’ are standouts for their vivid, south-of-the-border colors. Pink and white ‘Appleblossom’ looks fresh and springlike.

Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Daisy flowers of rosy purple with knobby orange-brown centers, which resemble small beehives, atop clumps of bristly oblong leaves. Grows to 4 feet tall. Zones A2, A3, 1-24.

Purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum'Rubrum')
Feathery, rose-colored plumes fade to beige atop clumps of reddish brown foliage. Grown as an annual in cold climates, it is especially pretty beside gloriosa daisies or purple coneflower. Zones 8-24.

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