Summer is the season of the outdoors, as many people head outside to enjoy warm-weather activities such as swimming, boating, hiking and rock climbing. Growing plants that look their best during the summer is a rewarding activity that adds even more color and flavor to what is considered by many to be the best season of the year.
Clustered bellflower (Campanula glomerata) is a perennial plant notable for its thick, fluffy blue flowers, which appear in late spring and last throughout the bulk of the summer. Reaching an average height of between 1 1/2 feet and 3 feet, clustered bellflower makes a good bedding or border plant in USDA zones 4A to 9A. The plant grows best in a well-drained soil with partial sun or full sun. Clustered bellflower should be watered frequently, enough to keep the soil consistently moist to the touch. The blooms of the plant work well for fresh-cut flower bouquets.
A member of the mallow family, the hollyhock (Alcea rosea) is a classic garden plant that sports a tall stalk of funnel-shaped flowers in colors ranging from white to bright pink and lavender. The spring and summer flowering plant also boasts attractive broad leaves. Hollyhocks are believed to be native to Turkey and Asia, and the plant is best cultivated in USDA zones 3 to 9. Hollyhocks require full sun to produce their best and brightest flowers, in addition to well-drained soil. They should be watered on a regular basis: more in the summer, less in the winter. Hollyhocks' height of 5 to 6 feet make the plant ideal for growing next to fences and other high structures.
A member of the leadwort family, plumbago (Plumbago auriculata), also called cape leadwort or sky flower, is a flowering shrub that exhibits clusters of "true blue" blooms throughout the spring, summer and fall. The high temperatures of summer don't phase this South African plant, and plumbago can be cultivated in USDA zones 9A all the way up to 11A. Plumbago will grow in partial or full sun in a well-drained soil. The plant is not picky about soil pH and will do fine in acidic, alkaline or neutral soils. Water the plant frequently, and enjoy it as a border or container plant. Plumbago also looks lovely as a stand-alone specimen.