Summer Garden Ideas

For a burst of color during the hottest part of the year that won't wither and die, you want summer-growing flowers. Summer plants that bloom can be found in many of the botanical cultivars. You only need to pick your colors of choice to have a painted landscape full of great summer garden ideas.

Oxeye Sunflower

Oxeye sunflower, or Heliopsis helianthoides, is from the Asteraceae/Compositae, or aster/daisy, family. It is a perennial that is easy to grow, drought resistant, and good for attracting butterflies. The plant can reach 5 feet tall with 3- to 6-inch dark green leaves with 2-inch flowers summer to fall. Flowers are daisylike with 10 to 16 ray flowers. Oxeye sunflower requires a moderately fertile soil and full sun but tolerates partial shade, and good drainage. It can be propagated by seed, cuttings in the summer, or clump division.

Japanese Silver Grass

Japanese silver grass, or Miscanthus sinensis, is from the Poaceae/Gramineae, or grass, family. It is an ornamental grass perennial with interesting foliage and blooms. Depending on cultivar there are many sizes and colors. Fall will have the grass turning gold and bronze while summer will shine with flowers. It can reach 12 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Plant Japanese silver grass in full sun and provide regular watering. Cut back in the winter for better growth. This can be propagated via root clump division.

Fairy Fanflower

Fairy fanflower, or Scaevola aemula, is from the Goodeniacea, or scaevola, family. It is either an annual or a perennial depending on growth habit and it is an evergreen. A fast grower and drought resistant, this is a great container plant or for outdoor use. The plant reaches 20 inches tall and 3 feet wide with blue, white or lilac flowers 1 inch wide. Plant the fairy fanflower in full sun or light shade. Propagate the plant via softwood tip cuttings in the summer.

Lanceleaf Tickseed

Lanceleaf tickseed, or Coreopsis lanceolata, is from the Asteraceae/Compositae, or aster/daisy, family. It is a fast-growing perennial that attracts butterflies into the garden. Leaves are 6 inches long with 1.5- to 2.5-inch wide flowers on 2 feet tall stems. Flowers are yellow but can have red or brown spots. Plant the lanceleaf tickseed in full sun or partial shade with regular watering. To propagate this plant sow seeds in spring or do root division or softwood cuttings.

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Keywords: summer garden ideas, summer growing flowers, summer plants

About this Author

Tina Samuels has been a full-time freelance writer for more than 10 years, concentrating on health and gardening topics, and a writer for 20 years. She has written for "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living," and "Mature Years," as well as online content. She has one book, “A Georgia Native Plant Guide,” offered through Mercer University; others are in development.