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We love yarrow because it's beautiful and tough. In fact, this is one of the most maintenance-free perennials you can grow: It resists heat, drought, deer, and rabbits.
It's also a blooming machine, producing flat-topped clusters of yellow, orange, red, pink, or white flowers throughout the summer.
Fill your late-summer and fall garden with cheery anemone blooms. The vigorous plants bear clusters of silky, shallow-cupped white, rose, or pink flowers with green buttonlike centers, surrounded by a halo of yellow stamens.
Lilies such as 'Star Gazer' are some of the most popular flowers at florist shops. Their star-shaped blooms appear in a number of shades, from pink and red to orange, yellow, and bicolors. Many, especially Oriental lily varieties, are exceedingly fragrant.
Test Garden Tip: Extend the show by growing different varieties. Asiatic lilies, for example, bloom in early to midsummer; Oriental hybrids bloom in late summer and fall.
Clustered bellflower produces showy, five-petaled, bell-shaped flowers that come in shades of blue, purple, and pink. They usually bloom for several weeks in summer and make excellent cut flowers, lasting for a week or more in the vase.
Like yarrow, coreopsis is an easy-to-grow wildflower with colorful blooms held atop long slender stems. It's not very picky about soil, tolerating poor, shallow, chalky, or dry soils. It blooms usually in yellows and golds, with daisylike 2-inch flowers. 'Early Sunrise' is a favorite.
Bearded iris (also called German iris) provides a striking vertical accent with its stiff sword-shaped leaves. Flower colors run the rainbow from deep burgundy red to pastel pinks and yellows, to every shade of blue and violet and appear in late spring.
Test Garden Tip: Look for reblooming iris varieties -- they put on a spring show and often repeat again in fall!
A North American prairie native, blazing star bears spikes of white, rose, or purple flowers that attract butterflies. It's an excellent plant to add vertical accent to the perennial garden, and the blooms are ideal for cutting and drying.
Often sweetly fragrant, peony is a very long-lived plant that forms 2- to 4-foot-tall clumps in shrublike bunches. Its numerous varieties offer a wide range of colors, and blooming periods from late spring to early summer.
Garden phlox grows 3 to 4 feet tall and bears large trusses of fragrant flowers from summer to early fall. It's an old-fashioned favorite that has few rivals for its color display and light, sweet fragrance. It's well suited to the back of the garden and cottage gardens.
Salvia is a wonderfully long bloomer. It starts flowering in early summer and continues through early autumn if you keep cutting the faded flowers off. It's also one of the most carefree perennials you pick for your garden.
Fill your homegrown bouquets with lady's mantle's frothy, chartreuse blooms. This easy-care plant blooms in early summer and seems to go well with everything.
Bee balm is the perfect companion for obedient plant. The flowers look great together in the garden and in the vase. This perennial offers colorful clusters of red, pink, lavender, violet, or white flowers in summer. It's a favorite of hummingbirds.
We love it for its lovely summertime flowers, but gooseneck loosestrife is a fast spreader -- so be sure to plant this beauty where it has room to form a large colony.
Use obedient plant's pink or white spikes to create drama and form in your bouquets. This easy-growing wildflower earned its moniker because you can bend and twist the individual flowers to face different directions.
Add an exotic touch to your favorite arrangements with crocosmia. This gladiolus relative bears clusters of bold red, orange, or yellow flowers that always seem to be the center of attention.
Blanketflower is a heat- and drought-tolerant wildflower that provides long-lasting color in a sunny border with poor soil. Its daisylike, 3-inch wide, single or double flowers bloom through the summer and into the fall.
Veronica is an easy-to-grow, long-lived plant that comes in a variety of sizes from low-growing groundcovers to taller types that are ideal for cutting. Deadhead it diligently and it may be one of the longest-blooming perennials in your garden.
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