Bright sunny lawns and large open spaces that do not get the benefit of any shade from trees or buildings do not have to be devoid of color. Perennial plants that love the sun work as borders and ground covers and fill containers with bright splashes of color in spaces with six or more hours of sunshine a day.
Italian bugloss (Anchusa azurea "Loddon Royalist") grows from 31 to 35 inches tall and 18 to 23 inches wide. The plant produces hairy, light-green leaves and small clusters of blue bell-shaped flowers that bloom from late spring through early summer. The plant likes cool summer temperatures and is a favorite food source for bees and butterflies but is not a favorite of the local deer population. Plant Italian bugloss in full sun and a soil that is moist and well-drained. The plant is hardy in USDA zones 3 to 9.
Pink turtlehead (Chelone obliqua) grows from 20 to 35 inches tall and 18 to 23 inches wide. The plant features deep green leaves and bright pink flowers growing in long clusters that bloom from late summer through mid fall and will attract butterflies to the garden. Plant pink turtlehead in full sun or partial shade and a soil that is moist to wet. The plant does well planted by a stream or garden pond. Pink turtlehead is hardy in USDA zones 3 to 9.
Blue dragonhead (Dracocephalum argunense "Fuji Blue") grows from 8 to 12 inches tall and about the same in width. The needle-like leaves form a short mound with taller spikes of violet-blue, tube-shaped flowers that bloom throughout the summer. Plant blue dragonhead in full sun or partial shade and a soil that is moist to dry. The plant is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9.
Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum) grows from 6 to8 inches tall and 8 to 12 inches wide. The plant does well in rock gardens and produces low-growing, silver-gray leaves and woolly white flowers growing in clusters in early and mid summer. Plant edelweiss in full sun and a soil that is moist to dry. The plant is hardy in USDA zones 2 to 9.
Painted daisy (Tanacetum coccineum "James Kelway") grows from 18 to 29 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide. The leaves are bright green and resemble those of a fern. The flowers have crimson red petals with yellow centers and grow singly at the top of the stems. Plant painted daisy in full sun and a moist soil. The plant is hardy in USDA zones 2 to 9.