A complete garden has blooms spring through summer and even sometimes in fall. May is the best time for blooms in my front yard. Mallee Pink Daffodils, Mt Hood Daffodils, Orange Brilliant Tulips and Queen of Night Tulips are all blooming. Following those mid-spring blooms are blooms from Camassia, Allium giganteum, Dwarf Korean Lilac, and a misplaced white peony. However, after those blooms finish there is a void of blooms.
Gardening and beautifying your yard is a continuous work in progress. Adding new plants is what we love about beautifying our yard. A good reason to add new plants to your garden (like we really ever need a reason) is you have a void in blooms. I know that my front yard is lacking blooms in the summer months. Your yard may also have certain weeks or months of the growing season where nothing is blooming. I designed two garden collections for Holland Bulb Farms that will help ensure you have blooms from spring through summer.
Sunny Blooms Spring through Summer Collection
This long-blooming garden collection will thrive in full sun exposure. A full sun garden is one that will get 6-8+ hours of full sun per day. This sunny perennial garden will grow best in hardiness zones 3-8 and soil that is moist but drains well.
Turkenlouis Oriental Poppy
The first bloom to appear in this collection is the Turkenlouis Oriental Poppy. The blooms are 4-6″ in diameter and a bright red-orange with black stamens in the center of the blossom. Oriental Poppies will bloom with other late spring flowers such as; allium, bearded iris, and peony. They grow 2-3′ tall with a similar spread.
Oriental Poppies require soil that drains well. Heavy and wet soils, especially in winter are detrimental to the growth and survival of these hardy perennials. Most spring-blooming bulbs go dormant a few weeks after they are done blooming. Oriental Poppies share this characteristic and go dormant for summer after blooming. Therefore, you will want to plant something that blooms in early-to-mid summer in front of the Turkenlouis Oriental Poppy.
Caesar’s Brother Siberian Iris
Early summer brings true blue blooms to your garden with Caesar’s Brother Siberian Iris. Tall grassy like leaves are attractive on Siberian Iris. But, the true blue flowers people like for cut flower gardens are the main attraction on Caesar’s Brother Siberian Iris. Maturing at 2-3′ tall with an upright growth habit the middle and back of your garden is an excellent place to plant this iris.
While it may be tempting to plant the Siberian Iris in front of the poppy, they have different soil requirements. Siberian Irises prefer soil that is moist. Drainage is important and once the iris are established they can tolerate normal to dry conditions.
Splish Splash Cranesbill
Perennials that have long bloom times are highly sought after. Splish Splash Cranesbill is a long blooming variety of hardy geranium. It has a mounding growth habit reaching 2-3′ tall. The two-tone white and purple/blue flowers appear in early summer and continue through the summer months. Following the attractive blooms, Splish Splash Cranesbill gets attractive bright red foliage in fall.
Cranesbill grows best in full sun but will also tolerate part shade; plant in well-drained soil. Once established they aren’t too picky when it comes to water requirements. However, regular water upon establishing your cranesbill is required.
Blueberry Sundae Daylily
Midsummer brings blooms from popular and easy to grow daylilies. Most daylilies put on their biggest display in the middle of summer. Blueberry Sundae Daylily is a reblooming daylily that boasts most of its blooms in mid-summer but continues to flower into late summer. This delicious daylily has creamy light peachy pink blooms that feature ruffled edges and deep blueberry accents. It grows 2-2.5′ tall with a similar spread.
With grassy leaves and a clump-forming habit, daylilies fit in many garden locations. They can be used as an accent near an object like a mailbox, garden statue, or birdbath. Daylilies also are easy to fit into a mixed perennial garden border. Being easy to grow in any ordinary soil and full sun if you need to fill a mid-summer bloom void Blueberry Sundae Daylily will hit the spot!
Fall planted allium such as Purple Sensation Allium, White Giant Allium, and Summer Drummer Allium bloom in late spring. Millennium Allium is a bit different as it is grown from roots and not a bulb. This allium will display its blooms in mid-summer. The glowing warm purple ball-shaped blooms appear above a neat and tidy mound of grassy foliage.
Millennium Allium is easy to grow and should be planted in soil that drains well. It looks nice as a front of the border plant and will help ensure you have blooms in late July and August in your sunny garden locations.
Double Flore Pleno Tiger Lily
End the summer of blooms with a roar! Double Flore Pleno Tiger Lily makes a bold statement with its tall growth habit and showy double blooms. This tall tiger lily can grow 5-6′ tall when mature. The showy blooms are orange with black spots and have double the petals of a traditional tiger lily.
Tiger Lilies are the last of the lilies to bloom in summer. Starting in mid-August blooms appear and really put on a show. Plant tiger lilies in soil that drains well. Double Flore Pleno Tiger Lily looks best when planted in the back of a perennial garden or border.
Shady Blooms Spring through Summer Collection
Shade gardens typically have dappled sun that is filtered through trees, or less than 4 hours of direct sun per day. This shade garden of perennials grows best in hardiness zones 3-8. Many of the plants in this collection require moist soil, or at minimum the ability to receive regular water.
Mid-to-late spring brings lush greenish-red foliage emerging from the earth and pink heart-shaped blooms from the classic Bleeding Hearts. These hardy perennials look nice with other shade tolerant perennials such as columbine and brunnera. Bleeding Hearts are a sure sign that spring truly has arrived in your garden.
These shade-tolerant perennials grow best in shade to partial shade but can tolerate some sun. Bleeding Hearts go dormant in the heat of summer. Planting in more shade helps to prevent early dormancy compared to planting in a sunnier location. Growing 3′ tall with a similar spread it is best to plant Bleeding Hearts in the middle or back of your planting bed. Planting shade-loving perennials like hosta in front of Bleeding Hearts will help fill the blank spot they may create mid-summer when they go dormant.
The Rocket Ligularia
Ligularia is a perennial that has both showy flowers and showy foliage. The Rocket Ligularia is known for its showy spikes of bright yellow flowers in early summer. After the blooms have faded the large round green-purple foliage remains attractive in the garden. The Rocket Ligularia will require some space to grow in your garden as it can grow up to 6′ tall.
Ligularia requires moist soil to thrive and will not survive in dry conditions. Therefore, plant The Rocket Ligularia in an area that it can receive regular and adequate amounts of water.
Fanal Red Astilbe and Bridal Veil Astilbe
This garden collection that incorporates perennials and bulbs that bloom at different times through the summer includes two astilbes. Astilbes are shade-loving perennials that have delicately textured foliage and plumes of colorful flowers. Astilbe bloom in midsummer, usually in July or August here in Wisconsin. I selected two of the most popular astilbes that are planted in perennial gardens.
Fanal Red Astilbe has deep red plumes of flowers that complement the deep green delicate foliage. Bridal Veil Astilbe has large showy plumes of pure white flowers. Different types of astilbe bloom at slightly different times. Fanal Astilbe will bloom in the early part of mid-summer while Bridal Veil Astilbe blooms in mid-to-late summer.
Astilbe are easy to maintain, and once established are low maintenance. However, they do not tolerate dry soil, especially in the heat of summer. It is crucial to plant astilbe in an area that they will be able to receive adequate water.
Snakeroot is another shade-tolerant perennial that has fancy foliage and showy flowers. Chocoholic Snakeroot has delicate and deeply dissected leaves that are bronze-purple. The color and texture of the leaves alone is enough to make this an appealing choice for your part shade garden. Towards the end of summer, you will be treated with spikes of rosy pinks clusters of flowers that resemble a bottle brush.
Chocoholic Snakeroot can grow 4-6′ tall and is best used as an accent in a shade garden. Snakeroot thrives in moist soils and should be planted in moist soil.
Rose Turtlehead produces a display of true pink blooms at the end of summer. This time of transition from summer to fall can be a time with little to nothing blooming; turtlehead are some of the last perennials to bloom during this time. It is a perennial native to many parts of the United States.
This moisture tolerant perennial grows best in a part-shade location, where it will receive dappled sunlight all day, or 3-4 hours of direct sun in the morning or afternoon. Growing 2-3′ tall with a similar spread, Rose Turtlehead can be used in the middle to back of your garden bed or border.
Fill the Void of Blooms
It is common for perennials to bloom for 2-3 weeks at most, which makes annuals a popular choice for continuous blooms for months on end. However, annuals need to be planted every year which can be expensive and time-consuming. Therefore, planning your garden to have a variety of perennials that bloom at different times is the best way to ensure a garden of blooms from spring through summer.
You can mix in annuals that have long bloom times with your perennials. Having a diverse group of plants is a good garden practice. Adding plants that are grown for their foliage, such as hosta, and elephant ears is another way to ensure color spring through summer in your garden.
Continue to make note of the times and places in your garden that you are missing in color and interest. If you are unsure of those times these two collections above will help get you off to a great start when it comes to having a complete garden of blooms from spring through summer.