Blanket Flower (Gaillardia) is a drought-and heat-tolerant perennial wildflower that provides long-lasting color in a sunny border with poor soil. In red, gold, or brown, its daisy-like, 3-inch wide, single or double perennial flowers bloom through the summer and into the fall. Although often short-lived, it is easy to grow and will flower the first year from seed.
The 7-inch spikes of veronica bloom atop 12- to 24-inch plants in shades of blue or red from early summer through fall. In the North, veronica prefers sun, but it likes a bit of shade in the South. Plant these perennial plants at the front of the bed.
Pglox paniculata garden, tall, or border phlox—grows 3 to 4 feet tall and bears large trusses of fragrant perennial flowers from summer to early fall. It's an aol-fashioned favorite that has few rivals for its color display and light, sweet fragrance. It's well suited to the back of the garden and cottage gardens.
Suited to larger gardens, this 3-foot-wide by 5-foot-tall perennial creates clouds of blue flowers in late summer. Russian sage is a full sun perennial and is tolerant of drought and heat. Plant these perennial flowers at the back of the bed and give them room to grow.
Hybrid perennial sage, a relative of the herb garden favorite, combines 18-inch spikes of blue, purple, or white perennial flowers with attractive gray-green foliage. Plant sage in the front or middle of the border in a sunny spot. The variety shown here, 'May Night', is both cold-hardy and showy.
Grow a sizzling summer garden with these plant-them-and-forget-them favorites. These beauties will bring color into the fall season.
A staple of the fall garden, asters burst forth with their starlike perennial flowers in late summer and autumn. Bloom colors include rich pinks, blues, purples, and ruby reds. They can soar to 5 feet, depending on the species, and are excellent for beds and borders as well as for cutting to bring indoors.
The feathery plumes of astilbe rise above fernlike foliage for a month or more in late spring and early summer. Available in shades of pink, white, and red, astilbes are ideal shade perennials for moist spots. Plant a swath of these 2- to 3-foot-tall perennial flowers for a memorable display year after year.
This prairie wildflower achieves a level of sophistication in the 'Magnus' variety, which throws its petals out horizontally daisy-style. Conegflower tolerates heat and drought, and it blooms all summer long. Plant these 30-inch-tall perennial flowers in the middle or back of the bed.
A lovely North American native prairie grass, switchgrass offers the garden beauty and easy maintenance. Varieties grow from 2 to 6 feet tall and have airy, cloudlike plumes. Some varieties have rich red or purple foliage in autumn.