Since I planned out my garden to achieve a "full bloom" look from late June through early August, most of my perennials were blooming in the photos. Another way I manage the "full bloom" look is using annuals that bloom all summer.
Here is a close up look at the flowers in my zone 3 garden, and what I like and dislike about them, and a 1-10 rating.
1. Creeping Baby's Breath (P) - I love the long bloom time, the non-invasive slow spread, and the airy light blossoms. This perennial blooms from mid June through early July. Overall rating (8).
2. Vera Jameson Sedum (P) - I am a sedum lover. They are for the most part non-invasive and work in almost any soils and in full sun to part sun. My only complaint is a late bloom time of this particular species. Overall rating (6).
3. Stella d'Oro Daylily (P) - This perennial received a lot of hype a few years ago in connection with it's long bloom time. I like it but I don't love it. Many daylilies are much prettier. Overall rating (6).
4. Blue Chips Bellflower (P) - Super little front of the border plant. Long bloom time, slow spreading, and few problems. Deadheading keeps its appearance neat. One of my favorites. Overall rating (10).
5. Supertunia Raspberry Blast (A) - An extremely showy supertunia hybrid. Lots of deadheading, can become leggy in late summer, but a showstopper in its prime time. Overall rating (7).
6. Asiatic Lily (P) - I love Asiatic lilies. These lilies have been in my garden so long that I don't remember the name. The only downside is the die down stems of lily bulbs can be somewhat unsightly so plant something in front of the dying foliage. Overall rating (10).
7. Purple Coneflowers (P) - A perennial I originally started from seed and later added a Magnus bedding plant. Dependable, non invasive, and beautiful. A cottage garden favorite. Overall rating (9).
8. Dropwort Filapendula (P) - This is a free plant from my cousin. Fern leaves and a profusion of small white blossoms held high above the plant stems. One bloom period is over and plant is preparing for second flowering. Overall rating (7).
9. Purple Verbena (A) - Some deadheading required, but I prefer the trailing style of verbena in the front of the border to sweet alyssum. Overall rating (8).
10. Ponytail Grass (A) - I have purchased Mexican Feather grass for the last few years. I love the swaying in the breeze, and also the dried grass in fall gardens. Here it is planted in a milk can top. Overall rating (7).
11. Tall Pink Asiatic Lilies (P) - Also some clearance priced Asiatic Lily bulbs I purchased long ago that become gorgeous blooms every year. Overall rating (10).
12. Globe Thistle (P) - I got these from a neighbor many years ago and have shared it with many a gardening friend. The slow spreading, very tall, periwinkle colored blossoms are a favorite of bees and garden admirers alike. Spreading quite slowly, I have it in three areas, digging out a new new starts for new and long time gardeners every year. Overall rating (9).
Bees love Globe Thistle. If you are trying to attract bees to your garden, Globe Thistle will do it!
13. Whirlybird Nasturium (A) - I plant either Whirlybird or Alaskas. Prolific bloomer and a show stopper. Nasturiums can be grown from seed in areas with longer growing seasons. I buy bedding plants here in Minnesota. They must be deadheaded to look their best. Overall rating (8).
14.Cushion Spurge (P) - The only plant in my cottage garden being removed next year. Why? A very early bloom time, not like the other summer perennials, and I discovered the plant had crowded my yellow Asiatic lilies this year, and they will not bloom. The plant continues to grow all summer and has shaded some lilies. Overall rating (3).
15. White Chips Bellflower (P) - A favorite in my garden just like the Blue Chips Bellflower. A little less showy than the blue. Overall rating (9)
16. Pink Moss Roses (A) - I love moss roses. I planted them in a double decker funnel planter this year (two funnels). I think they are pretty but maybe prefer last year's lantana funnel. Easy to grow, low water needs, prolific self sower can be a negative. (7).
17. Russian Sage (P) - I have a couple of Russian Sages that are in their 3rd year now. Still not robust and not in bloom yet. Overall rating (6).
18. Key Lime Coral Bells (P) - I had two of them in the border but one died. Not fabulous in my garden. Overall rating (6).
Not my photo. Dave's Garden
19. Red Verbena (A) - I love both red and purple trailing verbena in the front of my border. They are pretty reliable annuals and bloomers but occasionally after a rain, I have to deadhead hard, and they need to start the bloom process all over. Overall rating (8).
20. Diamond Frost (A) - This is the second year in a row that I have topped my step ladder with a Diamond Frost. Love it! Overall rating (9).
21. Cherry Star Superbell Calibrachoa (A) - My first shot at this showy annual. I love Calibrachoas on the ladder for consistent bloom, and prolific blooms. Overall rating (8).
22. Angelonia Angelface Blue (A) - My second year with Angelonia on the ladder. Last year's pink was a much more prolific bloomer. Overall rating (6).
23. Pincushion Flower (P) - A very old fashioned charm plant. Long blooming. May need staking. Comes in a purple or white. Pincushion flower has a very unstructured growth habit. Overall rating (6).
24. Shasta Daisy (P) - Great cottage garden plant. Long blooming, non-agressive spread, and fun for cutting. Overall rating (8).
25. Small Marguerite Daisy (A) - Small scale daisies perfect for the front of the border. Moderate deadheading needed. Overall rating (7).
26. Maltese Cross (P) - This was one of the original perennials that I started in my house from seed over ten year ago. An under-appreciated perennial. Very showy and non aggressive. Love it. Overall rating (9).
27. Dark Pink Gaura (A) - This year I planted Gaura in the same galvanized washtub with much different results. Gaura is not a reliable bloomer. Overall rating (6).
28. Alyssum (A) - Alyssum are great little front of the border annuals that are great little edging plants. Just make sure to shear them back a bit in midsummer to keep them in bloom. I like both white and purple. Overall rating (7).
29. White Astilbe (P) - Great foliage when not in bloom. Unusual blooms add a variation to the border's daisies. Overall rating (8).
30. Red Astilbe (P) - A very old perennial in my garden started over 10 years ago with a bareroot. Dependable, very few problems. Overall rating (8).
31. Gardenview Scarlet Monarda (P) - One of my very favorite perennials. Only a small portion of this perennial survived the winter but I am sure it will fill in again. As long as you keep watch on it's growing habits and dig around it every spring to control spread, it is a beautiful butterfly magnet. Overall rating (9).
32. Butterfly Marguerite Daisy (A) - A+ annual for ease of deadheading, performance, show, disease free. I could go on and on. Overall rating (10+).
33. Silver Mound (P) - Basically grown for its silvery foliage, adds contrast in the garden and is hardy and easy to grow. Overall rating (7).
34. Liatris (P) - A long lived perennial, easy to grow, non invasive. Late summer bloomer. Overall rating (7).
I actually forgot to show you the vintage lunch box planted with Gold Dust Mercardonia on the back of the step ladder. A great little annual. Overall rating (8).
When all goes perfectly, my cottage garden looks like this:
This year the perennials are blooming somewhat out of sync. Still a beautiful garden, but not perfect!
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