There is nothing like taking a walk through the garden on a summers’ day, overlooking masses of bright colours and feeling the gentle warm breeze. For many of us, our garden offers a place of peace and tranquility that we can retreat to after a long hard day of work.
Since we want to spend as much time relaxing in our gardens as we can, picking perennials that offer the longest blooming periods will give us the maximum amount of colour and enjoyment. Here is a list of five of the toughest, longest blooming perennials I use often when designing. Please click the picture above for examples of each.
### 1. Russian Sage
*Flower period:* Early July to mid-September
*Attributes:* This upright perennial serves as an excellent backdrop in the garden and has silver green leaves with purple flowers. When planted in mass, it looks like a puff of silver-purple smoke from a distance.
They are tolerant to drought and poor soils, requires full sun.
### 2. Black- Eyed Susan
*Flower period:* Late July to frost
*Attributes:* This native species to North America offers bright yellow blooms. The cultivar ‘Goldsturm’ has become increasingly popular due to its ability to tolerate heat and humidity.
They require full to part sun and look great partnered with Russian Sage.
### 3. Showy Stonecrop
*Flower period:* Mid-July to October
*Attributes:* This is one of the lowest maintenance perennials you can find! It is tolerant to drought and poor soils and almost maintenance free. The most popular cultivar is ‘Autumn Joy’ which has flowers that start off pink and mature to deep bronze red.
It thrives in full sun, looks great along walkways and pairs well with grasses.
### 4. Threadleaf Coreopsis
*Flower period:* June to October (dead-head for maximum flowering)
*Attributes:* This perennial can easily compete with annuals for their bright colour and length of time they bloom. Coreopsis mainly comes in shades of yellow and look best along the front of a garden border. One of my favourite cultivars is ‘Moonbeam’ which has pale yellow blooms and partners well with ‘Rozanne’ Geranium.
They require full to part sun.
### 5. Cranesbill
*Flower period:* May to October (varieties vary)
*Attributes:* Perennial geraniums have low, mounding forms which make them suitable for the front of plant borders and come in various sizes and colours. They are generally commended for their heat and cold tolerance. One of the most popular varieties is ‘Rozanne’ because like Coreopsis, this plant will bloom almost the entire season. It has deep purple flowers and has been named the perennial of the century!
I hope you have been enjoying spending time in your garden so far this summer, especially since we have had a relatively cool one thus far. If there is a perennial in your garden that sticks out as a top bloomer, please share it with us on our f[Facebook](https://www.facebook.com/GeldermanLandscapeServices) page.
Until next time,
*Post contributed by Andrea Weddum, Landscape Designer*