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A colorful planting area with perennial flowers to bloom all summer

How to Make a Colorful Flowerbed with Perennial Flowers That Blooms All Summer in Full Sun

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Ninnu sent her following question to the Viherpiha garden magazine:

"Our main planting area is in full sun. Which perennial flowers could I plant to enjoy the splendor of color all summer?" - Ninnu

What a great question! I can already feel the energy of vibrant colors in my bones!

Why did I get this question to answer? In the magazine, there is a column where garden and horticulture experts answer the reader's questions. My particular area is garden design. So let's get started!


Tips for Brightly Colored Flowerbed Full of Perennials

1. For the main planting area full of perennials, I would recommend choosing long- or late-flowering species that will become even more gorgeous towards autumn.

2. You can get the brightest and most vibrant color for your flowerbed by combining complementary colors such as blue and orange and complementing them with the tertiaries - the colors between the primary colors. And maybe with a hint of a primary color like yellow.

3. It would be best to have a range of perennials from low-growing to tall flowering plants. I would place tallest perennial flowers in the background and plant perennials around 16 to 26 inches / 40 to 65 centimeters in height in the middle. Mix them a little bit to create some softness and natural feeling for the area. For the front of the border, you could choose low-growing plants that stay pretty and neat all summer.


Dwarf orange aven (Geum coccineum)


Creating a Combination of Flowering Perennials from Early Summer to Fall

The perennials I recommend here thrive in a sunny planting area with a free-draining growing medium.


Front of the border:

It would be a good idea to start choosing the plants first for the front of the border. Good options would be plants like dwarf orange avens (Geum coccineum) blooming in early summer, early and mid-summer flowering catmint (Nepeta x faassenii), and the impressive sedum 'Autumn Joy' (Hylotelephium 'Herbstfreude') blooming well into autumn.


At the middle:

You could plant the middle area with yellow, mounding cushion spurge (Euphorbia polychroma), nepal cinquefoil (Potentilla nepalensis), and all summer flowering hardy salvia (Salvia x sylvestris) varieties.


Back of the Flowerbed:

The cheerful sneezeweed 'Rubinswerg' (Helenium autumnale) and blue globe-thistle (Echinops bannaticus) would suit the background.


Catmint (Nepeta x faassenii)

Cushion spurge (Euphorbia polychroma)

Sneezeweed 'Rubinswerg' (Helenium autumnale)


Lengthen the Season with Colorful Flowering Bulbs

The brilliance of color begins in early spring when you plant royal blue-purple dwarf irises (Iris reticulata) and crocuses (Crocus vernus) between perennials.

You could add some tulips (Tulipa) like 'Princess Irene' cultivar in the middle of the flowerbed. Tulips are so fun to play with, so choose the cultivars or even combinations you like most in the suitable color range. 


Dwarf iris (Iris reticulata)


Lastly, plant some tiger lilies (Lilium lancifolium) between perennials in the planting area's back. In this way, you'll enjoy the glory of color from spring to autumn.



PS. Thank you for reading! You can send me your comments HERE or join the conversation in my Instagram profile @gardendesignstories.


The Viherpiha garden magazine published the original version of the reader's question and my answer in their February 2021 issue. Viherpiha is an inspiring and trusted garden magazine with the most extensive circulation in the Nordic countries.






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