Sunny spots in the garden filled with bright blooms and foliage creates a commanding display. Grown in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colors, sun-loving flowers are a garden staple. They keep the landscape colorful during the hot and often dry days of summer. Flowers look attractive tucked into perennial beds, in containers or lining a garden path.
White coneflower (Echinacea purpurea "White Swan") is a perennial that thrives in full sun. It grows up to 3 feet tall and has a spread of 1 to 3 feet wide. White coneflowers are suitable in USDA zones 3 to 9. They have white, daisy-like petals that reach 4 1/2 inches long to surround the copper or green central cones. White coneflowers have an upright, clumping form that blooms from early summer to fall. They have a moderate growth rate and attract butterflies and birds to the garden. Hardy, white coneflowers are heat- and drought-tolerant. To promote a long blooming season, deadhead the spent flowers as soon as they are visible. White coneflowers grow best in well-drained, deep soil.
Marigold (Tagetes erecta, T. patula) is an annual flower that grows in all USDA zones. Beginning in late spring and lasting into fall, marigolds bring their clustering, bright blooms and upright clumping form to the garden. Bloom colors vary to include orange, red, brown, gold and yellow. They grow 8 to 48 inches tall and 10 to 12 inches wide. Marigolds have a moderate drought tolerance, and are ideal plants to grow in areas of the garden where moisture is limited. The deep, emerald green foliage on marigold is fern-like and deeply dissected. Marigolds thrive in full sun and well-drained soil.
Zinnia (Zinnia elegans) flowers grow in full sun only and are suitable in all USDA zones. Their cheerful blossoms range in form from single and semi-double to double. Sitting atop the tall, erect stems, the bright flower heads grow in a wide range of colors including, red, yellow, pink, orange and purple. The bushy green foliage has a clumping growth habit that creates a full look to the plant. Zinnia reaches 3 feet in height and has a spread of 1 to 3 feet. To keep zinnia blooming all summer, deadhead or remove the spent blossoms. Zinnia is drought- and deer-tolerant, creating a hardy annual garden flower. They grow best in well-drained, fertile soil.