Flowering plants lend structure and variety to landscapes, and beauty to boot. Certain species are grown not only for their color, but for their fragrance too. Incorporate shrubs that will grow into substantial plants and put on a good show as they bloom. Include vibrant annuals in beds, and cultivate money-saving perennials that will return each year. Choose plants that bloom at different times so that your landscape is always flowering throughout the growing season.
Hydrangeas are small bushes that flower in the spring and summer and feature blooms ranging from delicate white to soft blue. Plant hydrangeas in early summer or late fall in a spot that receives morning sun and afternoon shade, or in a mostly sunny location. Grow them in well-drained soil and at the same depth as it was growing in its pot. Give the plants enough space to grow to 4 feet wide and 4 feet tall, and provide them with consistent moisture.
Peonies are generally hardy from USDA zones 2 to 8 and grow from 2 to 4 feet tall. These perennials die back in the winter. Hundreds of varieties are available, most of which are grown for their scents and hues, with round blooms appearing at the ends of tall stems. Plant them in early fall in slightly acidic soil that drains well, and in a sunny location. Place organic matter in a hole that comfortably accommodates the roots, and situate each plant so that the small red buds, or eyes, are only two inches below the surface. Allow them space to grow 3 feet tall and wide.
These perennials bloom in clusters along stems that can reach up to 6 feet tall. The flowers range in color from cherry blossom pink to deep blue. They thrive in cooler, humid climates and are incorporated into cottage gardens. Grow them in full or partial sun, in soil that drains well and in an area that is not subjected to the full brunt of wind gusts. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the pots that the young plants are growing in, and mix 2 to 4 inches of compost into the soil. Space delphiniums 1 to 3 feet apart. Apply compost annually each spring, and mulch around the bases of plants to help retain moisture.
Sunflowers are broadleaf plants that feature bright yellow blooms with dark seed centers. The dry seeds are edible. They exhibit heliotropism, meaning the flowers always follow the sun's east-to-west trajectory. "The Guinness Book of World Records" states the tallest sunflower measured just over 25 feet. The largest head ever recorded measured 32 inches. Sow seeds from 1 to 1 ½ inches deep in well-drained soil that has warmed to at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit and in full sun. Enjoy the blooms throughout the summer, and harvest the seeds when the backs of the heads turn yellow or brown. Protect the drying seeds from wildlife by covering them with brown paper bags, or drying them in a warm, dry location.