Unusual Summer Perennials
These little-known plants can help pull any gardener out of a planting rut.
Agastache spp are easy to grow in well-draining soil with full sun or light shade and they're drought-tolerant. They bloom from June to October and their bright, tubular flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Both the flowers and the leaves are very fragrant when brushed or crushed. Varieties include Cana, Pink Panther, Summer Luster, Mexicana, Summer Breeze and Tutti Frutti. Good matches for Agastaches include any number of ornamental grasses, yarrows, Salvia, Gaura, Echinacea, and different varieties of lavender.
Ornamental oregano will bloom all summer and into fall. It likes well-draining soil and full sun. It grows really well in containers and looks particularly great growing out of a chimney flue. It has sprawling clumps of small, dark green leaves and tiny, violet-red flowers. 'Kent Beauty' is the common variety and it's quite showy. Other varieties: 'Hopley's Purple,' 'Showy Pink' and woolly Oregano.
Stachys officinalis will tolerate many conditions. It grows best in partial shade but it's not fussy about soil or water. It will produce attractive, tight clumps of rich green leaves and tubular flowers with 30-inch stems. This typically blooms from mid June through July. Ornamental oregano really looks great on its own in a container or alongside any other container plantings.
Astilbes like moist, well-draining soil. Astilbe tacqueti superba will tolerate more sun than others. It grows to 4 feet tall and flowers in late summer. Astilbe chinensis pumilla grows as a groundcover. It produces 12-inch spikes of rosy purple flowers in mid July. Astilbes will fit right in with coralbells, columbines and hardy geraniums. Stachys look great along a shaded border, planted with columbines and hellebores.
Flowering Bulbs for Fall Planting
Plant these bulbs in fall for a glorious show of color in your spring or summer garden.
Foolproof Color for the Summer Garden
Brighten your summer garden with these colorful winning plants.
Learn about several plant varieties and the planting information for each zone.
Forcing Flowering Woody Branches Indoors
Extend the season by forcing branches from spring-blooming trees and shrubs to flower indoors.
Forcing Bulbs Indoors
Force spring-blooming bulbs indoors so you can enjoy their beauty ahead of schedule.
Winter-Hardy Tropical Plants
Many of the plants that project the tropical look aren't winter hardy below 15 to 20 degrees (USDA Zone 8). But many of these plants make excellent houseplants and can be overwintered in the home, spending summers in your garden.
Growing Food Through the Cold Season
Your garden doesn't have to stop producing just because the cold weather has arrived.
Plants with Fall Interest: Keep the Color Coming
Extend the gardening season with this list of herbaceous perennials, shrubs and trees with autumn interest.
Flavorful Herbs Enhance Summer Dishes
Herbs fresh from the garden add layers of taste to both cooked and raw foods.
Barking Up the Right Tree
The beauty of unclothed deciduous trees includes one of their most overlooked but dramatic features: the bark. Especially in winter, the many colors, textures and patterns of bark in selected species seem to take on a whole new beauty.
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- Spring Home Maintenance Guide
- Spring Colors for the Garden
- Keeping Lawn and Garden Tools in Shape
- Flowering Bulbs Planted in Spring
- Quick-Growing Spring and Fall Vegetables