Must-Have Flowers For Your Garden

April 5, 2015

Looking for beautiful perennials to add to your garden this year? These easy-to-grow, low-maintenance plants are a welcome addition to any garden. The following six sun-loving plants (requiring at least a half day of sun) provide bright spots of color and interest in your yard. While they can be readily mixed in with existing plantings to enhance specific areas in your garden, planting any one of them en masse makes for a striking focal point.

And…what’s even better from a beekeeper’s perspective, these plants’ flowers provide nectar and pollen—nutritious food for honey bees and other pollinators. 

By planting them in the spring, when the temperatures are cooler, you’ll allow the plants a chance to become firmly established before the blistering heat of summer arrives. While these plants are straightforward to care for, removing spent flowers will not only keep them looking tidy, but will also encourage repeat blooming.

 

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)

It’s hard not to smile when seeing a clump of Black-eyed Susan flowers—they’re like drops of sunshine in your garden. These flowers bloom later in the season and keep doing so often into early October, extending the goodness of summer just a little bit longer. With their characteristic golden petals and either dark-colored or paler centers, Black-eyed Susans compliment other late summer blooming perennials.

 

 

Blazing Star (Liatris)

Blazing Star’s pinkish-purple flowers form fuzzy spikes above its foliage, which looks like ornamental grass. These showy flowers are a mid to late summer treat and would add an attractive vertical element to your the garden. The rich nectar content of Blazing Star’s tubular flowers attracts monarch butterflies during their fall migration.

 

 

Catmint (Nepeta)

One of our all time garden favorites, Catmint is related to catnip, but is much showier with its delicate sprays of flowers and grey-green foliage. While our catmint’s blooms are white, it also comes in delicate shades of purplish-blue and pink. It literally blooms for almost the entire growing season and is extremely tolerant of hot, dry conditions.

 

 

Coneflower (Echinacea)

This hardy plant now comes in almost every color of the rainbow, but traditionalists might prefer its original purple hue. If deadheaded, Coneflowers will bloom from midsummer to fall. They are drought-tolerant and don’t attract garden pests. Butterflies love their daisy-like blooms with raised centers and the seeds in the dried flowers attract songbirds.  

 

 

Globe Thistle (Echinops)

While you might think of thistles as weeds, the Globe Thistle plant is neither weedy nor invasive. It has attractive, large purplish-blue flower balls in midsummer, which are set off nicely by its dusty greyish-green leaves. These plants seem to bloom forever, because the seed heads are as gorgeous as the flowers—so there is no need to deadhead. Globe Thistles grow very well in poor, dry soil.  

 

Lavender (Lavandula)

What is there not to like about the lovely Lavender plant? It is beautiful to look at, has an alluring aroma, and is low maintenance and drought resistant. Oh, and did I also mention that it is deer and rabbit resistant too? While there are countless varieties to choose from, ‘Hidcote’ and ‘Munstead’ are two of the most beloved and hardiest ones. Both make for wonderful cut flowers and will keep their perfume for months when harvested and dried before they are entirely open.

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