Perennial flowers come in all sizes, shapes and colors! Everyone loves flowers and now is a great time for creating a perennial flower bed, or adding to an existing one. Perhaps adding flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds would be an idea.
Try planting Knock Out Roses, Drift Roses, Milkweed, Cigar Plant, Gazanias, Gaillardia, Salvias, Pentas, Lantana, Bush Daisies (pictured left), Plumbago, Guara and Firecracker.
If you have a lot of trees in your garden and want to add some interest or color to the shade here are some great options: Camellia japonica (blooms Dec-March), Camellia Sasanqua (blooms October to Dec); gardenias (bloom early spring to mid-summer); hydrangeas (pictured middle) – newer varieties like Nikko Blue or Endless Summer bloom on new growth so can bloom all summer long; Variegated Ginger and Stromanthe Triostar for colorful foliage along with Copperleaf plants that also have interesting color and foliage.
For ferns your choices are Coontie Fern (actually a Cycad), holly ferns, kangaroo paw fern, foxtail ferns and cast iron plants which are not ferns but will provide pretty greenery. For groundcovers try using Asiatic jasmine which comes in a variety of colors as well as oyster plants, ajuga or mondo grass or dwarf mondo grass. Beware of potential invasive plants though such as sword ferns or pathos. These plants do well in containers and could become a serious problem if planted in the ground.
At the Garden Center we frequently hear “I want to add color!” To add color to your garden, try layering in color- using cold hardy plantings with colored foliage or variegated foliage as your first layer, such as Loropetalum or Jack Frost Ligustrum. Add in flowering shrubbery like Roses, Thyrallis, Plumbago, Texas Sage, Oleanders (the list has many choices) as a second layer of plants that will bloom for months on end. Add in more color with some semi-tropical plants but in smaller quantities so when winter damaged you won’t have large areas of “burnt” plants. Some great choices are Hibiscus, Allamanda, Firebush, Jatropha, Crotons & Ti plants. Your third layer would be perennials and annuals such as some of the perennials mentioned below! Finally, add in items of interest such as bird baths, fountains, benches, statues, garden flags- whatever appeals to you and I promise your garden will be a show stopper!! Fertilize blooming plants regularly with 6-8-10 Sure Gro Bloomer.