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Perennials: Early Summer Bloomers and some non-flowering

Updated on April 8, 2013

Summer flowering perennials

In the foreground coral bells in bloom
In the foreground coral bells in bloom | Source

Everyone loves garden flowers, they add color to your yard and color to your life. There's nothing like looking out the window and seeing different flowers and colors surrounding your house or yard. Birds, bees and butterflies are attracted to your flowers and add even more interest to your viewing pleasure.

For those not overly interested in planting flowers every year, God created perennials. Perennials not only bring that color to your garden but they bloom year after year with little care and attention on your part.

Wikipedia defines a perennial as a plant that lives for more than two years. That means, you plant it once and it blooms every year. It dies back in winter but when summer roles around it grows and blooms year after year. Some grow from bulbs, some from tubers and some from rhizomes but the important thing is they grow on their own. What better way to fill out your garden? It is true, some perennials only bloom for a short time but if you research and plant your garden with a variety of perennials you can have flowers all summer long with very little work.

Yarrow backing marigolds and petunias (the latter being annuals)
Yarrow backing marigolds and petunias (the latter being annuals) | Source

There are perennials suitable to most any soil conditions and any climate. There are perennials that grow in the shade and perennials that need constant sun. Like any other thing you plant it is always good to research perennials before you plant. Many perennials have a habit of spreading on their own and that little space you carved out for them may not be enough in a year or two.

There are perennials for every season from early spring through fall but I would like to concentrate on the perennials of early summer (in the Northeast climate where I live). Of course before planting perennials, or any other flower for that matter, you need to prepare the 'bed' or area you are going to locate your perennials. Pull out all weeds, outline the area, prepare your soil...add organic matter and/or mulch, make sure the soil is well drained so your flowers don't have constantly wet feet and you're ready to go.

A variety of perennials; many just starting to bloom.
A variety of perennials; many just starting to bloom. | Source

Perennials can be planted almost any time during the growing season especially now when it is easy to purchase mature plants and you don't have to 'grow your own'. Once your perennials are planted it is a good idea to mulch around them, fertilize occasionally, and make sure they get enough water. Weed as necessary and your garden is ready to go.

Which perennials are best for your garden? Of course it depends on your climate and soil so I'm going to write about perennials in the Northeast (I live in upstate NY) and the soil I use is sand (because that is what I am stuck with).

One of the longest blooming perennials (in this area) is the spiderwort. Now there are some warnings that come with the spiderwort. It is very invasive; by that I mean it will spread everywhere, whether you want it to or not. You may spend hours every year pulling it out from places you don't want it to grow. On the plus side, it will grow and prosper anywhere and it blooms from early spring through fall. It comes in various shades of purple and is really a pretty little flower.


One shade of spiderwort
One shade of spiderwort | Source
Another shade of spiderwort
Another shade of spiderwort | Source
The spiderwort plant
The spiderwort plant | Source

An interesting early summer perennial is the digitalis. They can flower anywhere from May through July with mine usually flowering in June. There are many types of digitalis with some having more dense flowers than others. Of course I don't have the ones with the dense flowers. Mine are white with very dainty bell-like flowers on long stems. Purported to be biennial (bloom every other year) and can grow to be over 5 feet tall. Mine do not, probably because they get too much sun and should be divided every three to four years. Did I mention that about perennials? They do need to be divided occasionally as they crowd themselves and reduce blooms.

Digitalis a/k/a Foxglove

Digitalis plants
Digitalis plants | Source
A closer look at the delicate flower.
A closer look at the delicate flower. | Source

A flower of interest in the garden from early spring until late fall is the coral bell also known as Heuchera. While the flowers are very 'whispy' and like all perennials, short lived, it is the plant itself that adds interest to the garden. Coral bells come in many different colors; amber, bronze, green, gold, pink, purple, and silver veined. Their color can vary depending on their location and environment. Flower colors can be from cream to red. They grow very full after a year or two and are a lovely addition to any garden. Their flowers attract bees and hummingbirds. They do like some shade but will do well in sun too. You'll know if they're getting too much sun as the leaves will 'scorch'. I've had no trouble moving these plants around any time of the season.

Coral Bells

These are actually known as Purple Coral Bells because of the color of their leaves
These are actually known as Purple Coral Bells because of the color of their leaves | Source
Flowers on the coral bell
Flowers on the coral bell | Source
This little coral bell (with flowers) is just getting started and is known as "Carmel" it's leaves will get a darker golden color.
This little coral bell (with flowers) is just getting started and is known as "Carmel" it's leaves will get a darker golden color. | Source

Yarrow is one of the few perennials that flower all summer long. In New Mexico it is called 'little feather' because of the shape of it's leaves. It'll grow just about anywhere in the United States. Fair warning, it too can be invasive and spread itself everywhere. It is such a delicate flower with such delicate leaves it adds a little whimsy to the garden. It does like sun though. Lots of sun produces lots of blooms.

According to;

An ounce of Yarrow sewed up in flannel and placed under the pillow before going to bed, having repeated the following words, brought a vision of the future husband or wife: 'Thou pretty herb of Venus' tree, Thy true name it is Yarrow; Now who my bosom friend must be, Pray tell thou me to-morrow.' ---(Halliwell's Popular Rhymes, etc.)


Yarrow plant
Yarrow plant | Source
Close up of Yarrow flower
Close up of Yarrow flower | Source

I've only scratched the surface of the early flowering perennials available but hope I've peaked your interest. There are also many colorful plants that may or may not flower but are a nice addition to your garden because of the color of their leaves. So many, many plants to explore!

I hope you have enjoyed this hub and maybe found something useful. Feel free to leave a comment. Thanks for stopping by.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

More interesting perennials

Full grown hosta - green with white trim
Full grown hosta - green with white trim | Source
Hosta getting ready to bloom
Hosta getting ready to bloom | Source
Full grown hosta - white with green trim
Full grown hosta - white with green trim | Source
Hosta starting it's bloom
Hosta starting it's bloom | Source
Giant green hosta
Giant green hosta | Source
A variety of Euonymus
A variety of Euonymus | Source
Small daisy plant (also self spreading but not too invasive)
Small daisy plant (also self spreading but not too invasive) | Source
Close up of small daisy on above plant
Close up of small daisy on above plant | Source
Catmint | Source


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    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Thanks Victoria. As green as my thumb is outdoors it is totally black indoors ;) I kill every plant that comes into my house. Outdoors the sun and fresh air seem to lend me a hand.

      I hope you have lots of good luck with the flowers you add.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I love your green thumb! Perennials are wonderful. The couple who lived here before planted a lot of them! I've been enjoying them but would like to add more. Really nice hub!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Glad you enjoyed Mary. We have many similar tastes..."birds of a feather", "great minds think alike" and all that stuff. Thanks for the vote and share!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      I love flowers! Perennials are just wonderful to grow. I really like your Coral Bells: I've never grown those, but would like to.

      Here in Florida, we have bulbs that go down in the Fall and appear again in the Spring like the Amaryllis; I love those.

      Voted this UP, will share and Pin to my gardening board.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Thanks for reading Shakye...hang in there you'll get some coral bells to grow. They are finicky the first year or so but once they take off there's no stopping them. I am a killer of indoor plants, I'm only allowed to have one so I can concentrate on it ;)

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      So beautiful. *sniff* I have already killed so many coral bells that my husband asked if I would rather he buy me some silk flowers to go outside. I am glad plant murder isn't a hanging crime, because I would be doomed. Still, hubs like this continue to give me inspiration. I love your landscaping too, it looks so cool and inviting with all the stones and lush plants! Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      I have to tell you sg, the spiderwort here is like a weed. It spreads everywhere! It shows up in the most unusual new places every year. I'm kind of sorry I planted it. Hostas are great, we planted them all around our 15' pool and they look terrific. Thank you for the compliment on the pictures...I want to grow up to be just like you and take beautiful pictures!

      Thanks too for the votes, share and pin.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Great choices in early blooming perennials! I have most of them here in southern Oklahoma. My spiderwort blooms very early in spring, but then dies back and just disappears until the next year. I'm sure it's due to the heat here. I have tried coral bells, but wasn't very successful, I will have to try again as yours are just beautiful! Don't you just LOVE hostas! I have many varieties as they add so much to a flower garden. Yours are big and so beautiful! You have given me so ideas for adding more blooming perennials to my flower gardens. Voting this up, useful, beautiful, interesting, sharing and pinning! Great job and beautiful pictures! :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Glad you're enjoying your perennials. If you ever decide to do the Yarrow just make sure you dead-head it...they will bloom all summer long if you do. I don't know what'll happen in your soil but here Yarrow sprouts up everywhere, almost like a weed.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 5 years ago from North-East UK

      Mary, I planted perennials about four years ago and they're still going strong - this year I got lily bulbs from a discount store and they are gorgeous - I paid £1 for them (about $1.52). They're in pots in my garden and I'm thrilled with them. I had never considered yarrow, I've only seen it growing wild but it looks very effective in your garden at the back of the border. Love Huechera, I have some of that. Great hub.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 6 years ago from New York

      Thanks so much. Glad I could help in a small way. Good luck with your garden!

    • God is dead profile image

      God is dead 6 years ago

      Well, I'm also looking to build garden, This post was very helpful. Will definitely share it and thumbs up (:

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 6 years ago from New York

      Thanks Jools. I'm always cutting my Euonymus too to keep them out of the way of the flowers. so glad you enjoyed my photos.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 6 years ago from North-East UK

      Lovely photos Mary and your hostas look great. I also love yarrow and i have an Euonymus but it needs cutting back this year, it's taking over my front garden.

      Voted up, etc.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 6 years ago from New York

      Somehow Effer, your comment didn't show in my notification till just now so I'm answering you late, but then I do a lot of things late ;) Don't tell anyone but I kill houseplants. My green thumb is only an outdoor thing! Someday I'll tell you why they said MOVE OVER WORLD...SHE HAS ARRIVED ;)

      Mary your comment got lost in the shuffle too. I bet you could grow spiderwort if you wanted to. They are the most tenacious, spreadable plants I've ever seen. Nice to know you are a fellow gardener. I read your hub about that beautiful Florida tree and loved, that we can't grow here!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 6 years ago from New York

      Thanks Brenda...I think my retirement has added to the amount of flowers...this isn't even the half of them (and I live in a development on a 100x100 lot!)

      Thanks Mike. Spiderwort is lovely but shows up everywhere!

    • cleaner3 profile image

      cleaner3 6 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

      a beautiful garden, Tilli, love that spiderwort. nice colors throughout

    • brenda12lynette profile image

      brenda12lynette 6 years ago from Utah

      I love your garden! What beautiful colors to get to come home to every day!!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 6 years ago from New York

      Snowdrops I love your word "naturiffic"! That's how I feel after being in my garden.

      Moonlake my foxglove is a single variety or something 'cause it doesn't look as full or tall as most but that could be the sand. Thanks for the vote!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 6 years ago from America

      Beautiful flowers. Love the Foxglove. I can't grow it here. Your garden looks great. Voted Up.

    • snowdrops profile image

      snowdrops 6 years ago from The Second Star to the Right

      Very beautiful hub, the photos were amazing too! sounds very fresh and naturiffic!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 6 years ago from Florida

      As another flower lover, I really enoyed this Hub. We don't grow some of these beauties here in S. Fl. probably gets too hot for them. I do have Hostas and enjoy those. I'll vote this Hub UP, and will share .

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 6 years ago from New York

      Thank you Joanveronica. I appreciate you stopping by and voting!

      Billy, glad you liked them. I totally enjoy my garden. You'll have to share pictures when you get to the farm!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very lovely garden my dear! I love perennials and will have quite a few of them when we move to the farm. Thank you for the great pictures of spring in your area.

    • joanveronica profile image

      Joan Veronica Robertson 6 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Great Hub and lovely, interesting pictures! Voted up and across, also shared!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Dear Miss Glory Garden......I am in awe of your incredible green thumb.....your gardening talents.....the stunning photos you take of pretty blooms and all the great info and ideas you give me to read about.

      I think when you were born, the headlines read: MOVE OVER WORLD....SHE HAS ARRIVED! Cheers and a vote way up!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 6 years ago from New York

      Thanks Kaili. The coral bells have such dainty flower but as you probably know its the colorful leaves that make it a garden plus.

      Glad you enjoyed unknown spy. Its easy to take photos of flowers cause they don't move ;)

      ComfortB, hostas are amazing. They tolerate almost complete neglect and yet they thrive! We planted them all the way around our 15' pool and whether its sun or shade they grow!

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 6 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      Very lovely!

      I love your Hostas and Yarrows. Used to have a lot of hostas until I changed to all rock flower bed. May need to put those back in there somewhere.

      Thanks tillsontitan for sharing this. Voted up and beautiful.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Wow great write. Amazing photos!

    • Kaili Bisson profile image

      Kaili Bisson 6 years ago from Canada

      Love your coral bells and photos :-)


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