Big, pretty flowers, tough and hardy, perennial, and flowers in August when there's a bit of a lull in the perennial border. It's hard to beat coneflowers for a fuss-free late summer charmer.
From the original purple classic have come hundreds of stellar hybrids expanding the range of colors to virtually the entire rainbow. Here are a few we recommend for their distinct colors and appeal to summer and late-season pollinators—see the entire story here. Remember to deadhead after the main event in August-September to encourage flowering into the autumn!
From pure white to muted creams and ivories, removing coneflower's traditional warm, bright colors really shows the simple elegance of these flowers. How perfect for a mid-to-late summer all-white garden with swaths of Shasta daisies, phlox, and buddleia!
Because the plant branches from the base, it also produces more flower stems! Perfect for beds, mixed borders and containers. Drought tolerant once established. Herbaceous perennial.
Sunny and Happy
The garden needs saturated color when the sun goes full-on in summer (butterflies love these colors!). Mix with other shades of reds or tone down the effect with splashes of blue, purple, or waves of green. We like penstemon, veronica, and Limelight hydrangea.
Fragrant! Bright orange flowers that segue seamlessly into the fall garden. Thick flower stems make them ideal for arrangements. An easy, prolific, and reliable performer. Hardy perennial.
Warm and Mellow
Why not plant something now that flows into fall's deep, rich, harvest colors? While pale melon might not might be your first thought when designing a border or a container, the velvet-hued sumptuousness creates a sophistication that's pretty enviable.
Like no other – a coneflower the exact color of a ripe cantaloupe! Fragrant, long lasting anemone-type blooms show off atop strong, non-floppy stems. (With blue hydrangeas? Wow.)
Bold and Bright
Siren song for pollinators and magazine-worthy when cut and massed in a large vase, reds and deeps pinks also help bring all those green boxwood hedges and other more formal borders to life. Adding a few catmint and fine-leafed grasses enhances the look.
By Pamela Crawford, author, Easy Patio Veggies & Herbs
Photographs by Pamela Crawford
Pamela has written a great article about mixing herbs in containers. Herbs are natural companions with different textures for interest. The herb mix of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme offers lots of flavor from a small combination loaded with textural interest.
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