April 17 2015
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The Top Ten Hearty, Colorful Blooms for Your Garden

Throughout the northeastern region of the country (zones 2b to 7), you have a wide variety of blooms to choose from if you wish to add hearty, long lasting color to your garden. Here are our Top 10 Favorites. Save this list for when you may want to add some color to your landscape!

1.Blanket Flower
Blanket flower (gaillardia) is a drought- and heat-tolerant perennial wildflower that provides long-lasting color in a sunny border with poor soil. With robust shades of red, gold, or brown, its daisy-like, 3-inch wide, single or double perennial flowers bloom through the summer and well into the fall. Although often short-lived, it is easy to grow and will flower the first year from seed.

2.Veronica
This is a 7-inch spike of a bloom atop 12- to 24-inch plants that grown into rich shades of blue or red from early summer through to fall. In the North, Veronica prefers sun, but it likes a bit of shade in the South. Plant these perennial flowers at the front of your beds.

3.Tall Garden Phlox
Phlox paniculata grows into tall or border blooms of 3 to 4 feet while bearing large trusses of fragrant perennial flowers from summer to the early part of fall. It is a traditional favorite with few rivals for the color it displays. It is ideal for the back of the garden and is often seen around cottages.

4.Russian Sage
Ideal for larger gardens, this 3-foot-wide by 5-foot-tall perennial creates various shades of blue flowers in late summer. It likes the sun, and tolerates dry or drought conditions and heat. Plant these perennial flowers at the back of your garden bed and give it room to grow.

5. Perennial Sage
This is a hybrid relative and an herb garden favorite that develops into 18-inch spikes of blue, purple, or white perennial flowers with attractive gray-green foliage. It thrives in the sun so plant it in the front or middle of the border in a sunny spot.

6. Asters
A long-time staple of any garden, asters burst with a star-like flower in late summer and autumn. The colors range from rich hues of pinks, blues, purples, and ruby reds. They can get up to 5 feet depending on the species and are excellent for beds and/or borders. They are also great cutting flowers for decorating with inside your home.

7. Astilbe
This is a plume of feathery like foliage that rises above fern-like foliage for an average of 1-2 months in late spring and well into early summer. The species are available in tones of pink, white and red. Astilbe is perfect for shady, moist spots. Plant these 2 to 3 foot-tall perennial flowers for a memorable display year after year.

8. Purple Coneflower
This is a prairie wildflower that adds a level of sophistication and is in the ‘Magnus’ variety, which throws its petals out horizontally daisy-style. Coneflowers tolerate heat and drought, and bloom all summer long. Like the name implies, you will get richly tones shades of purple which grow up to 30-inch-tall. These are well positioned in the middle or back of the garden bad.

9. Switchgrass
To tone down the use of color or add something that enhances the color scheme you are creating in your garden without detracting from the central theme, you can add some lovely North American native prairie grass known as “Switchgrass”. It is a beautiful, low maintenance compliment with varieties, which grow from 2 to 6 feet tall and add abundant airy, cloud-like plumes. But, if you wish to use some that may also add color you can ask for the varieties that offer rich red or purple foliage in autumn.

10. Yarrow
Lastly, this classic is ideal for a freshman or more experienced gardener because it can be grown with very little effort. Yarrow is an amazing perennial that is hardy throughout most of the United States and can withstand heat, drought, and cold. These perennial flowers offer every garden a ferny, gray-green or dark green, spicy-scented foliage and showy, flat-topped clusters of flowers in pink, red, white, or yellow appearing from late spring through summer to early fall.

As the cold weather moves in, you can sit by the fire and make notes, planning out your beautiful blooms for when the snow melts!