Summer is almost here and it turns out we aren’t the only ones that like to soak up the sun. Add a touch of color to your garden or spice up your landscape with easy to maintain, sun-loving perennial flowers. “Perennials” are plants that will bloom for multiple years, dying out in the colder months and growing back again from their rootstock in spring. Some even retain their foliage year-round. Plant perennials to enjoy the scenes and scents of these beauties throughout the seasons, year after year. Here’s a few of our favorites:
Phlox’s beautiful wheel-shaped petals come in a variety of styles and colors to suit any palette. Typically planted in April or May, these flowers will bloom May through October. They make great ground cover and their aromatic scent will be sure to attract birds and butterflies. Plant the Phlox bulbs at least a foot apart and be sure the ground is both loose and moist. Note: it is easier to grow Phlox from cuttings or transplants than seeds. If you are moving the plant from a pot, dig a hole roughly twice the size of the pot’s diameter and place the plant where the root ball is, even with the soil’s surface; then fill and water.
Dianthus aka “Pinks”:
Dianthus, commonly known as “Pinks”, have vibrantly hued petals and give off a spicy scent; a perfect addition to any flower bed. These flowers tend to have tight-knit spreads of foliage and come in many colors, shapes, and sizes; from miniature varieties boasting tiny colorful clusters to plants that grow up to three feet tall. Dianthus’ starry petals appear first in spring and then stay in bloom all summer long. Plant “pinks” about one foot apart and be sure to water only at the base to prevent mildew spotting. Be sure to clip dead flowers in order to keep these beauties well, beautiful and in full bloom.
Lilies add elegance to a yard or garden and their bright large petals can be seen throughout the spring, summer, and fall months. The two most popular varieties of Lilies are the Asiatic and Oriental Lilies. The Asiatic lily is the shortest, standing around two to three feet tall, and don’t give off much fragrance. The Oriental variety are famous for their pungent aroma and grows to about four feet. For the best effect, plant lilies in groups of four or five bulbs. For the biggest blooms, plant bulbs in the ground late fall before the first frost. Container-grown Lilies will thrive throughout spring and summer months.
Black-eyed Susans are among the most popular wildflowers grown in North America, and for good reason. Their glowing yellow petals often blanket open fields, leaving the passersby in awe. Given the name “Black-eyed” Susan for its dark brown-purple center, these plants are an obvious member of the sunflower family and can grow upwards of three feet tall. Their sweet nectar attracts bees, butterflies, and other insects and they bloom throughout June and well into October. Note: Black-eyed Susans tend to be territorial and will smother other nearby flowers. Its best practice to isolate them in containers or in clusters, keeping them a safe distance from other blooms.