Every gardener longs for a landscape full of glorious, beautiful plants that will flower all summer long, but most of us don't have the time or knowledge to carefully nurture delicate plants into blooming. Luckily, there are many hardy flowering plants that will put forth colorful blooms all summer long with only minimal care.
Annuals are flowers that last only one growing season in most zones. Plant annuals in the spring for summer blooms that will last the entire growing season. Purchase bedding annuals rather than starting them from seeds, as annuals in containers already have established root systems. Hardy annuals include all types of pansies, which can survive a late-spring frost, Cleome, which will bloom through the summer and until the first hard frost of the fall, begonias, petunias, and geraniums, which also bloom well into the fall months. Cosmos will also flower all summer and have the added bonus of attracting butterflies to your garden.
Perennials are plants that return year after year to flower and blooms in all but the coldest growing zones. Many perennials are either spring or fall blooming plants, but there are some that reach their glory in the summer, producing flowers that last all through the summer months. Marguerites (daisies) feature pink, white or yellow blossoms and can spread to a mound of three feet wide in just a few months. Trumpet vines are perennials and will bloom prolifically all summer long, putting forth bright orange or red blossoms. There are many types of daylilies of various sizes and colors, but all of them are very hardy, requiring little to no care, and all of them will bloom and spread until the cold weather of fall arrives. Verbena bonariensis is an extremely popular and hardy perennial that features large clusters of tiny purple flowers.
Shrubs are an excellent way to add impact to your landscape, whether as a purely ornamental touch or as a way to line pathways or delineate property lines. Try planting a Bluebeard shrub, which is very easy to grow and features purple stalks of flowers similar to lavender plants. Bluebeard shrubs thrive even in hot, dry conditions, although they should be watered during long periods of drought. Butterfly bushes will grow rapidly even if you try to ignore them, attracting butterflies to their large, lilac flowers. Hydrangea paniculata is a white-flowering hydrangea that is the easiest to grow of all hydrangeas, thriving in just about any type of soil. Oleander is famous for being easy to care for and features masses of blooms in colors ranging from pink to yellow that last all summer long, but it is also poisonous, so take care to plant it in a location far from children or pets.