Non-Stop Summer Color (Zone 4 – 7)

Come the dog days you may be hot, sticky, and over it, but by choosing perennials that are low-maintenance with long bloom seasons, your garden will still be happily flowering well into fall.

Here are two combinations (plus a few neutrals) to consider:

  • The first features pinks and purples that look so fresh in the slanted rays of early morning and late afternoon.
  • The second is all about reds and yellows, colors that hold up well under the bright light of direct, overhead summer sun.
  • The third is a few of the great equalizers—purple, blue, and white—that work with either color scheme, and add dimension and contrast.

Of course, this is YOUR garden, so mix-and-match for the combination that makes your heart sing. You’ll be rewarded with plentiful blooms, loads of flowers for cutting, and provide treats for all kinds of pollinators, too. And, since these are perennials, next year they’ll come back, bigger and better than ever.

Check out the companion post for warmer zones as some plants overlap (and who doesn’t love more options!)

Refreshing "Cool" Combo

Little Grapette Daylily 300x300

Little Grapette Dwarf Daylily

Strappy leaves are hard-working elements that add architecture to a border, mixed perennial bed or in pots. Mass this carefree miniature for a stunning groundcover. Full sun. Zone: 4 – 11

Balmy Pink Bee Balm 300x300

Balmy™ Pink Bee Balm

No summer border is complete without these fluffy-headed, bee-seducing stalwarts. More compact and considerably shorter; Ideal between taller plants and tidy borders.  Partial to full sun. Zone: 4 – 9

Pennisetum orientale 'Karley Rose' - Fountain Grass

Karley Rose Oriental Fountain Grass

Blowsy, rose-purple flower spikes glow when back lit by the sun. Improved variety with longer bloom season and better cold tolerance. Stunning in mass plantings. Full sun. Zone: 5 – 10

Pike Peak Penstemmon 300x300

Pikes Peak Purple® Penstemon

After delphiniums are done, you need something spiky to break up a flowering border. This one blooms for months and loves heat. Use in borders and naturalized landscapes. Full sun. Zone: 4 – 9

Sizzling "Hot" Combo

Tomato Soup Coneflower 300x300

Tomato Soup Coneflower

A fragrant coneflower! Brilliant red flowers attract birds and butterfiles well into fall. Plant in wide swaths for eye-popping in a perennial border. Full sun. Zone: 4 – 9

Little Bang Coreopsis 300x300

Lil’ Bang™ Daybreak Tickseed

This super-compact heat-lover provides a fantastic show from summer through fall. Perfect for smaller gardens, fronting borders, or in mixed containers. Full sun. Zone: 5 – 10

Red Velvet Yarrow 300x300

Red Velvet Yarrow

Drought-tolerant and beloved by butterflies, yarrows have a distinct texture and shape that helps add depth to flowering borders. Rich, velvety red flowers are the most fade resistant to date. Full sun. Zone: 3 – 9

Rudbeckia fulgida 'Early Bird Gold'

Early Bird Gold Gloriosa Daisy

New and genius! Not dependent on day length to induce flowering. Blooms early summer right through mid-fall. Wonderful in mixed borders. Partial to full sun. Zone: 4 – 10

We Fit In Everywhere

Lacy Blue Russian Sage 300x300

Lacey Blue Russian Sage

Easy-going and perfect in schemes from modern to cottage, this variety has been improved so as not flop over in the landscape! Colorful, easy care choice for accent, border or mass planting. Full sun. Zone: 4 – 10

White Buddleia 300x300

Lo & Behold® Ice Chip Summer Lilac

Fragrant flowers attract butterflies and bloom continuously from summer to fall without deadheading. Dwarf, spreading habit makes it the perfect ground-cover. Full sun. Zone: 5 – 9

Rozanne Cranesbill 300x300

Rozanne Cranesbill

When you need to add oomph but not overwhelm a color scheme, this little tumbler is ideal. Let it spread in front of borders and soften the edges of lawns and patios. Partial to full sun. Zone: 4 – 10

Royal Candles Speedwell 300x300

Royal Candles Speedwell

Spikes of vibrant, violet-blue blooms and compact habit (only 1″ tall and wide) makes this shorter veronica perfect for containers, fronts of borders, and cutting gardens. Full sun. Zone: 4 – 9

Image Credits: (top) GAP Photos/Clive Nichols

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