Perennial flower species, or flowers that return yearly, allow you to have a beautiful garden without replanting each year. The wide variety of perennial species allows you to choose flowers of nearly any color, size, moisture or light need. As a bonus, many perennials multiply as the years pass, providing you with opportunities to expand your plantings to new areas without purchasing more flowers.
The anemone, also known as Anemone japonica, is a white or pink flower that blooms from late summer until the first frost. The anemone grows from over a foot to almost 3 feet tall and prefers partial shade and well-drained soil. While this flower is easy to care for, it does not transplant well and should be planted only in the spring.
Aster hybrids are a tall, long-blooming flower that is perfect for mixing with smaller flowers and plants. Growing from 1 to 4 feet tall, asters bloom from midsummer until first frost and come in a wide variety of colors, from white to purples, reds and blues. The aster is a sun-loving plant that needs moist soil. Every other year, divide asters to expand your garden.
If you have a hot, dry location that needs perennial plantings, the bee-balm, or Monarda didyma, is the flower you're looking for. Growing from 1 1/2 to 2 feet tall, bee-balm blooms from July to August with white, red, pink and lavender flowers.
If you're new to gardening, it's hard to go wrong with the hardy black-eyed Susan, or Rudbeckia fulgida. Blooming in June and July, black-eyed Susan grows from 2 to 3 feet tall and features yellow-orange blossoms. Black-eyed Susan likes full sun and well-drained soil, and will self-seed, producing more plants over the years.
The bushy, colorful chrysanthemum, known also as mums or Dendranthema hybrid, brings a splash of color to your garden from July through the first frost. Varieties grow between 10 inches and 3 feet tall, and feature bright blossoms of white, purple, red, pink, yellow and orange. Chrysanthemums like sunny areas and tolerate slightly dry soil. To encourage a full, bushy plant, pinch back the tips of the plant in early summer.
For a showy garden that requires little care, daylilies are a sure bet. Also known as Hemerocallis hybrids, daylilies grow from a bit over a foot tall to 3 feet and feature showy blooms in red, yellow, pink, orange and purple from June until September. Daylilies like full sun but will tolerate partial shade and will grow in almost any type of soil, requiring little moisture. Mature daylilies can be divided and transplanted.
The petite pink, known as cottage pink or Dianthus plumarius, grows only 10 inches to a little over a foot tall but blooms bright from May to July in red, white or its namesake, pink. Easy-to-care-for pinks prefer sunny areas and like dry soil. The fragrance is enticing, as is the attractive blue-gray foliage.
The only problem with perennial sweet pea, or Lathyrus latifolius, is that this large plant grows so rapidly that it can elbow out other nearby plants. From June to August, sweet pea, which grows from 4 to 6 feet tall, sports blooms of pink, red and white. Sweet pea prefers full sun but will grow in partial shade as well, and tolerates almost any soil or watering conditions.