Thanks to the effect of the Great Lakes, Ontario, Canada gardens experience warm, humid summer weather and cold winters with heavy snowfall. That means flowering perennials need to thrive in the moist, sunny climate while being hardy enough to survive winter. A number of perennials fit the bill, and except for day lilies, these plants require no extra care in protecting them from the cold.
Beautiful, rugged and able to survive winter, day lilies make a great plant that livens up gardens for years with little maintenance. Starting from bulbs, day lilies grow up to 4 feet tall with big bright flowers available in almost every color imaginable. Day lilies prefer well-drained soil and sun although they can grow in partial shade, too. You'll want to divide the plants every three to four years. After the first freeze in the fall, add a layer of mulch or straw over the ground to help new plants survive the cold. In the spring, work a few inches of compost into the soil to replace lost soil nutrients.
Perfect for shady areas of your garden with plenty of moisture, astilbes provide show-stopping texture in your garden. With lacy green foliage growing in large clumps, this perennial grows to 3 feet tall and features striking plumes of red, pink, lilac, white, or cream-colored blooms. While this plant requires little maintenance, it does prefer well-drained soil, requiring consistent watering all summer long. Give astilbe a layer of compost in the fall to replace lost soil nutrients; no other fertilizing is necessary.
Featuring beautiful pink-purple flowers similar to large daisies, this perennial not only looks great in gardens, but also offers an important food source for birds. Hummingbirds love to eat the nectar from the blooms, while smaller birds eat the plant’s seeds in the fall. Growing from 2 to 4 feet tall in well-drained soil, this plant prefers full sun to partial shade with weekly waterings in dry weather. Fertilize new plants in the spring with all-purpose fertilizer; otherwise, established plants do not require fertilizer.
This attractive plant features showy flowers with yellow stamens that project downward from the top of tall stems with few leaves. While wild columbine seen near meadows sports orange/red flowers, domesticated columbine comes in a variety of colors including purple, pink, red, orange and white. Hummingbirds and moths flock to the blooms to partake of their nectar. Columbines thrive in partly sunny areas with well-drained soil; make sure to consistently water them during the growing season. For healthy blooms, add a slow-release fertilizer in the spring.