As the summer months start to sizzle and spring flowers fade, it’s time to plan and make room for perennials that come alive and bloom gloriously from now into autumn.
BLACK-EYED SUSAN (Rudbeckia)
Flowers: Black-eyed Susan, the golden highlight of mid to late summer. Create a wave of golden yellow when planted in multiples or drifts.
Mature Size: 30”+ tall and shorter, depending on variety
Bloom time: July to early October.
Light: Full or part sun.
Why we like them: They are a tough and deer-resistant group of perennials that bloom for 3+ months. Give these plants room and they will turn into a pot of gold!
Classic combinations: Drifts of Black-eyed Susan and ‘Karl Foerster’ feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’)
CONEFLOWER (Echinacea 'Raspberry Truffle'):
Flowers: The flowers emerge as a single coral pink with a chocolate cone and then develop their pom-pom center as they mature. Plants have a bushy, upright habit.
Mature Size: 28 - 30” tall
Bloom time: Mid summer to late summer
Light: Full sun
Why we like them: Coneflowers thrive in an average, well-drained soil. Unusual flower form and gorgeous color. First, the butterflies are attracted to the nectar and later, the finches love the dried seeds in the cone. Collect a new coneflower variety every year... they are available in a stunning variety of colors and heights.
Classic combinations: The daisy-shaped Coneflower flowers pair well with the clouds of the tiny, white-flowers of Calamint (Calamintha nepeta nepeta). Place the 12-inch tall, Calamint in front of taller Coneflowers or other perennials. Both are deer resistant.
ASTER (Aster x frikarti ‘Monch’): ‘Monch’ is a shrubby or mounded perennial aster with deep-green foliage and daisy-shaped flowers. Asters are one of the longest blooming perennials and come into their own in late summer—when most flowering plants are finished.
Flowers: These flowers are a classic, daisy shape—and available in many rich shades of purple, blue, magenta or white.
Mature Size: 2’-3’ tall.
Bloom time: July through September.
Light: Full sun to part shade.
Why we like them: Asters are one of the longest blooming perennials. Provide consistent moisture to keep the flowers from drying out. Pinch back in mid-summer to encourage the most blooms.
Classic combinations: Mounds of this Aster’s lavender-blue flowers with yellow centers combine well with Masterwort (Astrantia major), Coneflower (Echinacea), Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia) and Stonecrop (Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’).
Sedum 'Brilliant' (Sedum spectabile 'Brilliant' ): The popular Sedum 'Brilliant' is one of the most durable and trouble-free of all border sedums. It's an upright variety with light green foliage and pink flowers.
Flowers: Dense flower clusters of deep rose-pink flowers
Mature Height: 18-inches tall
Bloom time: July through September
Light: Full sun
Why we like them: Foliage looks good all season long. Dependable flowers in mid summer through fall. Butterflies love them, too.
Classic combinations: Pair with Prairie Dropseed grass for a beautiful contrast in texture.