What to plant for summer-long blooms

Grab your gloves and trowel because spring is here, and that means it’s time to beautify your yard with colorful flowers. Here in Georgia, we’re lucky enough to have a relatively mild climate that allows for a wide array of planting options, especially for perennials. If you’re looking for flowers and plants that bloom throughout the season, here are some of our top picks:

Full to part sun:

Blanket flower — Hardy, drought- and heat-tolerant. Blooms in red or gold and resembles a daisy. Phlox — Grows three to four feet tall and comes in a variety of shades from pale lavender to deep fuchsia. Coneflower — Another drought- and heat-tolerant plant. Resembles a daisy and can grow to 30 inches tall. Yarrow — Incredibly easy to grow. Fernlike foliage and flat-topped clusters of flowers in red, pink, white, or yellow. Coreopsis — Available in several varieties. Grows mounds of smaller flowers, usually yellow. Pincushion — Dainty, purple-blue blooms and fernlike foliage. Black-eyed Susan — Orange to golden yellow blooms rise about two feet high. Hardy hibiscus — Can be slow to flower, but then watch out for dinner plate-sized blooms. Daylily — Some varieties will bloom on and off all summer. Ice plant — More of a ground cover, this succulent offers vibrant purple blooms.

Part to full shade:

Veronica — Spikey, tall, blue blooms. Astilbe — More of an early summer bloomer, its tall feathery plumes are not to be missed. Hostas — Range in size from dwarf to four feet tall. Spikey, fragrant lavender blooms attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Annuals — Impatiens and begonias are great annual additions to a shady flowerbed and come in a variety of colors. If your yard or patio has a range of full sun to full shade depending on the time of day, consider planting a container garden. That way you can move plants in and out of the sun as necessary. And don’t forget to weed, deadhead, and divide to keep your plants at optimal flowering capacity.

A great resource is the Ward Lock Encyclopedia of Practical Gardening, by Anita Pereire. It covers over 4000 garden flowers, trees, and shrubs and provides advice on cultivation and garden design. You also may want to check out the Ultimate Container Gardener, by Stephanie Donaldson.

Happy planting from your friends at Coolray!

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