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Easy and undemanding, veronicas catch the eye in sunny gardens over many months. Some have mats with loose clusters of saucer-shaped flowers, while others group their star or tubular flowers into erect tight spikes. A few veronicas bring elusive blue to the garden, but more often the flowers are purplish or violet blue, rosy pink, or white. Provide full sun and average well-drained soil. Regular deadheading extends bloom time.
Part Sun, Sun
Under 6 inches to 8 feet
8 inches or indefinitely wide, depending on variety
more varieties for Veronica
Crater Lake Blue veronica
(Veronica austriaca 'Crater Lake Blue') bears deep blue flowers in early summer on 18-inch-tall plants. Zones 6-8.
Georgia Blue veronica
(Veronica 'Georgia Blue') develops large mats of toothed purple-tinged foliage. Racemes of small saucer-shaped white-eyed deep blue flowers bloom from early spring into summer. It grows 12 inches tall and is hardy in Zones 6-8.
Giles Van Hees veronica
(Veronica 'Giles Van Hees') has lance-shaped foliage and dense spikes of bright pink flowers in summer. It grows 6 inches tall and is hardy in Zones 4-8.
(Veronica spicata 'Icicle') bears pure white flowers on spikes to 2 feet tall. Zones 3-8.
(Veronica 'Purpleicious') shows off rich lavender-purple flowers throughout the summer and into fall. It grows 2 feet tall. Zones 4-8.
Sunny Border Blue veronica
(Veronica 'Sunny Border Blue') is one of the best upright veronicas for sunny gardens. With glossy, dark green crumpled leaves and 7-inch-long spires of violet flowers from early summer on, it is outstanding. It grows to 2 feet tall and is hardy in Zones 4-8.
Waterperry Blue veronica
(Veronica 'Waterperry Blue') is a groundcover type with sky-blue flowers in spring. It grows 6 inches tall and is hardy in Zones 4-8.
plant Veronica with
One of the longest bloomers in the garden, coreopsis produces (usually) sunny yellow daisylike flowers that attract butterflies. Coreopsis, depending on the variety, also bears golden-yellow, pale yellow, pink, or bicolor flowers. It will bloom from early to midsummer or longer as long as it's deadheaded.
Lady's mantle looks great in the garden and in a vase. Its scalloped leaves catch rain or drewdrops, making them look dusted with jewels. The chartreuse flowers appear in playful, frothy clusters above the foliage. Lady's mantle is ideal for softening the edge of a shaded path or creating a groundcover in dappled shade.
There are hundreds of different types of salvias, commonly called sage, but they all tend to share beautiful, tall flower spikes and attractive, often gray-green leaves. Countless sages (including the herb used in cooking) are available to decorate ornamental gardens, and new selections appear annually. They are valued for their very long season of bloom, right up until frost. Not all not hardy in cold climates, but they are easy to grow as annuals. On square stems, clothed with often-aromatic leaves, sages carry dense or loose spires of tubular flowers in bright blues, violets, yellow, pinks, and red that mix well with other perennials in beds and borders. Provide full sun or very light shade, in well-drained average soil.