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Heather's Helpful Hint

The Best Perennials for Summer
July 14, 2011

Some of the best perennials for Eastern Pennsylvania gardens bloom in summer. Most perennials bloom for three to six weeks and then rest, storing up nutrients for winter survival and the following year's flowers. Many of our most beautiful perennials are at their best now through September. Here are a few of our favorites here at Waterloo Gardens:
 
Coneflowers produce some of the most spectacular summer flowers. The common purple coneflower was all that we had in years past but now more and more varieties have been developed and we have yellow, orange, red, pink, white, and lime green flowers. There are very tall and rather short varieties, some with single drooping blooms and other with upright blossoms with elongated petals, even double flowering cultivars. In short, there is something for everyone!

Russian Sage is a tall perennial with upright silvery fine foliage and sky blue flowers, very rugged, and drought tolerant. Little Spires is the shorter cultivar but still grows over two feet high. It looks spectacular when planted en masse.

Crocosmia is one of the most beautiful hot colored perennials for your summer garden. Flowers bloom in shades of fiery red and bright gold and form a wide clump within a year or two.
 
Coreopsis varieties add interest in both foliage and flower. Some cultivars have fine fern-like foliage while other have a wider leaf. In addition to yellow and gold flowers there are now pink and red varieties. Personally I love the newer selections like Jethro Tull (fluted flowers) and Galaxy (rich lemony colored blooms).

Gaillardia has daisy-like flowers but uncommonly pretty colors of red, orange, and gold. Look for "Oranges and Lemons" as well as the new Gallo series.

All of these perennials as well as many others like helianthemum, heliopsis, agastache, and shasta daisies combine well with ornamental grasses and lend interest to your garden right into the fall. Visit us each week for new selections of color and do not be afraid to plant! As long as you plant in amended soil and have a watering plan you will be successful.

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