20 favorite perennial flowers
These unfussy, long-lived plants pump out beautiful foliage and flowers year after year. Plant in fall or spring when cooler temperatures help them get a healthy start
The 2-to 3-foot tall plants produce flowering shoots as long as the soil doesn’t get too hot. (Twist the shoot off at the base to keep them coming).
‘Wonder of Staffa’ is another favorite with lavender blue blossoms.
As soon as blossoms fade, shear plants back by half, or cut faded flower stems to the ground to encourage rebloom.
Plants (to 1 foot tall) make attractive, informal hedges.
The plant grows 2-feet tall; the flowers are 4 inches across. Among the many showy hybrids are ‘Orange Meadowbrite’, butter-yellow ‘Sunrise’, and reddish-orange ‘Sundown’.
We love the fresh, fruity hue of this new variety. Clip the faded blooms so the flowers will keep coming.
Chartreuse flower clusters appear in late winter or early spring (cut spent ones out at the base).
‘Baby Blue’, a hybrid from Proven Winners, has true blue flowers and grows 6 to 8 inches tall.
Ones we love: foot-tall ‘Goblin’ with deep red flowers bordered in yellow; ‘Yellow Queen’, pure yellow flowers (2 1/2 feet tall), and orange ‘Tokajer’ (3 feet tall).
‘Lady Stratheden’ has clear yellow blooms; ‘Mrs Bradshaw’ has double scarlet blooms. Both have a delicate wildflower look.
Plants reach 3 to 4 feet tall and 1 ½ feet wide. Shorter varieties such as ‘Goldilocks’ and ‘Toto’ top out at 10 inches tall.
They send up slender, wiry stems of tiny bell-shaped, pink or white blooms. But it’s the scalloped or lobed leaves we love most; they come in delicious shades of cool lime, plum, chocolate, and more.
Our current crave: ‘Southern Comfort’ from Terra Nova nurseries; its hue is rich and mellow, like its namesake.
Tall stems of these Mediterranean natives are set with widely-spaced, hooded yellow flowers. Moisture-conserving thick, typically furry or hairy leaves are lance-shaped. Pretty planted with lavender and red hot poker (Kniphofia ‘Bressingham Comet’).
Where space is tight, grow a compact form; one we can’t wait to try is Lavandula angustifolia ‘Thumbelina Leigh’, coming late this year from High Country Gardens. It stays 12 to 15 inches tall.
Pair it with blue flowered catmint.
Deep purple ‘Midnight’ and scarlet ‘Firebird’ are standouts for their vivid, south-of-the-border colors. Pink and white ‘Appleblossom’ looks fresh and springlike.
The plant grows 4 feet tall. S.e. ‘Golden Delicious’ grows 1- to 3 feet tall with fire-engine red blooms and chartreuse leaves.
Plants reach 3 to 4 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet wide.
The thistlelike blooms resemble 4th of July fireworks ― great for bouquets.
Dense flower clusters on sturdy stems rise above bright green leaves. Blooms start out blush-colored, aging to coppery pink, then rust as weather cools. Pretty beside asters.