The smell of sunscreen and hotdogs, the sound of children laughing, and the sweltering heat. To many people that’s Summer. To the gardener it means summer perennials. The smell of crinums and hedychiums (ginger lilies), the sight of butterfly bushes filled with blooms and butterflies, and showy cannas taking the heat with ease. Summer means there will be some great flowers for sun on display. Summer perennials come in a wide selection of plants and varieties to fill your garden with. With so many perennial flowers for sun to choose from, how do you?
Don’t look at summer perennials with preconceived notions, take off your sunglasses first. Summer may be hot, but it has more to offer than just that, as do many perennial flowers for sun. Cannas may seem old fashioned, but they come in such an array of foliage and flower colors, that they make a wonderful and showy design plant. Buddleias (butterfly bushes) are full of blooms in the summer, but they get so big that you might not think they are an option for your garden. Recently breeding has been done to introduce Buddleias in a range of sizes and colors, so even the smallest yards can take advantage of these beautiful summer perennials.
You might also think that natives can’t compare to other perennial flowers for sun. Echinaceas (Cone flowers) offer a wide variety of flower forms and colors, if these native summer perennials weren’t impressive enough, they’re also drought tolerant. Another group of drought tolerant native perennial flowers for sun are the salvias; they come in a wide variety of forms and colors to fit your needs. Spigelia marilandica is a stunning native to the south east, with bright red and yellow flowers that compare with any mass market plant.
There is no reason to have your summer garden look like everyone else’s. You can find these plants and many more unusual or hard to find plants at Plant Delights Nursery. Being like everyone else in the summer might be good when it comes to wearing a bathing suit, but it doesn’t have to be with gardening. Fill your garden with a variety of unique summer plants to show your adventurous side, instead of frightening your neighbors.