Create a colorful bed of perennials that will look gorgeous all summer.

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No matter how hot it gets, the perennials in this simple garden plan can take all the heat that summer dishes out. (Of course, you'll still need to provide a little water whenever the soil gets dry, especially during the first season.) Big, bold dahlias and lilies form the backbone of this garden, complemented by reliable spike speedwell, penstemon, boltonia, and purple moorgrass. The result is a bed full of colorful blooms (they're perfect for cutting!) throughout the warmest months of the year.

Test Garden Tip: Before you start the actual planting, place your plants into the suggested garden plan while still in their pots to get a preview of how the bed will look. This way, it's easy to rearrange the plants as needed without extra digging.

Heat-Loving Garden Plan
Credit: Illustration by Mavis Augustine Torke

Plants for Creating the Heat-Loving Garden Plan

  • 12 Pink dahlia hybrids (4 clusters of 3 each): Zones 8-11*
  • 3 Red dahlia hybrids: Zones 8-11*
  • 3 Spike speedwell (Veronica ‘Sunny Border Blue’): Zones 4-8
  • 3 Yellow dahlia hybrids: Zones 8-11*
  • 10 Asiatic lily (2 clusters of 5 each) (Lilium ‘Landini’): Zones 4-8
  • 10 Asiatic lily (2 clusters of 5 each) (Lilium ‘Sunny Crown’): Zones 4-8
  • 2 Snowbank boltonia (Boltonia asteroides ‘Snowbank’): Zones 4-9
  • 5 Firecracker penstemon (Penstemon eatonii): Zones 4-9
  • 3 Purple moorgrass (Molinia caerulea arundinacea): Zones 4-9

* Can be dug up and stored indoors in winter climates colder than Zone 7.

If you aren't able to find the exact cultivars listed above, substitute with others that have similar colors, shapes, and sizes. And because some plants can become overly aggressive and spread out of control in certain climates, always check which species are considered invasive in your area before planting.

Get the Free Heat-Loving Garden Plan

The garden plan for this design includes an illustrated version of the planted garden, a detailed layout diagram, a list of plants for the garden as shown, and complete instructions for installing the garden. Free, one-time registration allows unlimited access to all garden plans, available as printable PDFs.

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Comments (1)

Anonymous
June 17, 2018
Be careful if you have outside cats (or inside if you bring the blooms indoors): Lilies are deadly toxic to cats.