Landscaping & Yard CareOrnamental Plants

How to Design the Perfect Perennial Flower Garden for Summer

When you are designing a perennial flower garden make sure that you have something that is blooming all the time. Each of the seasons has specific plants and species that do better than others to produce bright brilliant colors and foliage. Think of this as watching a fireworks show. The best shows are those with continuous pops and colors. The ones that you are most likely to forget are the fireworks shows that have large gaps or time between each part of the show. This is much like a year-round garden. The time between blooms leaves the flower garden less than desirable or attractive during down times.

Yarrow likes dry conditions and lots of sun.

The following plants are my top 10 picks for a Summer perennial garden. All of them can be grown outdoors without protection and are excellent for cutting. They are all sun loving perennials, which offer a brilliance in color along with fragrance.


The Allium is part of the onion family. It will not make your eyes tear from the smell, but it could make you tear up from the beauty of the flowers. This will flower in late Spring to early Summer with big balls of tiny petals that look like a cheerleader’s pom poms. Plus, the little ground squirrels do not like the onion taste of the allium to your bulbs will survive to the next year.

Autumn Joy Sedum

This plant is also known as the Stonecrop because it seems to have the ability to grow right out of stone. The flowers look like little stalks of pinkish – red broccoli florets. The Autumn Joy Sedum has the capability to withstand, sun, dry, hot, windy, cold, snow and salt from the city’s salt trucks. The Autumn Joy Sedum is perfect for any full sun garden and is also great to grow on the border of roads if you are fortunate to live on a country road.


Catmint loves hot dry sunny weather and for that reason is another favorite to grow in the Summertime. It will be nice to you even if you forget to water it and requires minimal care each summer. The blue to lavender flowers show a nice soft color in your summer garden. Place it near the border or walkway as that way you can enjoy the wonderful fragrance of the catmint. As the name states as well, cats love catmint both dry and alive and are attracted to the scent. Plumes can reach 18 inches tall and look similar to lavender.



Coneflowers are a great and easy way to decorate the outside of your house and guarantee brilliant colors for years to come. They come is different colors such as purple, white and yellow and can grow up to 4 feet tall. The most common variety of coneflowers is the black eyed susan. They love sun and can also grow in party shaded areas.

Day Lily

You can find day lilies growing everywhere in the summer. Whether growing wild on the borders of wooded areas, in open fields or as landscaping, they add color and beauty to all landscaping and are available in multiple colors. They are easy to grow and spread over time. Average heights of the plants range from 18 inches up to 4 feet tall.

Russian Sage

Even though each stem is thin, the plant is beautiful in full bloom and requires the same simple care the coneflowers require. Just a little water each week and these plants are guaranteed to grow hearty and return for years to come. They provide a nice light purple color with an appealing fragrance that attracts onlookers and birds a like.



The Salvia has a beauty and charm, all its own which tends to bloom for most of the Summer months. It starts in late spring and will bloom to seed. A little secret to keep the Salvia blooming longer, cut the seed tops and then in a couple of weeks it starts to bloom all over again. The Salvia is a real workhorse and is a favorite of butterflies.

Shasta Daisy

The Bright Yellow centers of the flowers are contrasted nicely with the white petals. This may need a little more water than the others on the list, but still withstands the hot dry full sun conditions. They can grow up to 3 feet tall and almost 3 feet wide. They continue to grow and spread out every year and like most perennials help to make new friends out of neighbors through the gifting of fresh cuts that can propagate into new growth.

Thread leaf Coreopsis

These flowering plants are great border plants. They grow between 14 to 18 inches in height and grow as wide as 24 inches over time. They are delicate in nature with think spaghetti like stems that produce nice colors through their flowers. In the Summer they actually turn into bushes of yellow to white tinged flowers, similar in shape to daisies but about the size of a nickel. Like all perennials, they should be cut back in the Fall to help promote new growth in the Spring.


This plant will work nicely with the Cone Flowers, Black Eyed Susans and the Russian Sage. Yarrow likes the dry conditions of a sun loving garden and will thrive in multiple colors if you choose.

Samantha Michaels works for a company that offers environmentally friendly “green” products.

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