Creating Flower Beds That Bloom All Summer

The most crucial step to designing your landscape to bloom all summer is to create a plan before you buy any plants or dig a single hole. Consider sun exposure, soil quality, drainage, and available space. With careful planning and plant selection, gardeners can design their landscape to burst with color from early summer through early fall.

It is useful to photograph your summer landscape at the end of summer. This is helpful in deciding what you need to change or add. At the onset of the next growing season, visit your local nurseries or greenhouse to check the blooming periods, sun, shade or partial shade requirements of all the new plants you wish to purchase. All of the plants are labeled with this information as well as the ultimate size or height of the plant. This is very helpful in planning an interesting and well thought out landscape design ensuring continuous blossoms all season long.

Depending on the size of the garden, a selection of both perennials and annuals creates a very colorful and continually blooming garden all summer long.

Three great perennial choices to start with that bloom all summer long are:

  • Moonbeam coreopsis comes in yellow, pink and red.
  • Russian sage is lavender blue and can grow to four feet in height, but can be pruned to three feet.
  • Purple cornflower is a tall daisy-like flower in a pinkish-purple color.

There are many more perennials that add color and interest to the landscape and they include but are not limited to:

  • Daylillies
  • Black-eyed Susans
  • Phlox
  • Catmint
  • Asters
  • Bellflowers
  • Dianthus
  • Astilbe
  • Gaillardia

When selecting perennials, consider the flower color, height and blooming time of your expectations. Not all perennials have the same blooming life.

Don’t forget the annuals as they usually bloom all summer long.

  • Petunias continue to be one of most popular summer annuals and need full sun and well-drained soil. They come in various colors.
  • Impatiens bloom well in partial shade and are available in pink, red, white, salmon and occasionally in blue.
  • Marigolds are one of the easiest annuals to grow. They add a touch of orange or yellow to the landscape.
  • Zinnias come in a variety of colors.
  • Snapdragons are available in yellow, orange, pink and even red, and flower all summer and into the fall. They sometimes re-seed.
  • Ageratum, available in a delicate purple is an excellent low-growing border plant.
  • Geraniums are a popular container annual and coupled with white petunias and vinca vine make an excellent patio or window box display.

After you have chosen and planted your favorite flowers, you still have some work to do.

  • Fertilizing: Most experts say you should do this every six to eight weeks.
  • Watering: Strange as this may sound, daily watering isn’t a good idea. Experts prefer you water less frequently. They recommend that you water more heavily. Deeper watering less often helps the root system to grow stronger.
  • Mulching: This should be done right after planting full sun flowers. Mulching helps keep the moisture within your soil, helps keep weeds from growing and keeps the soil cooler.
  • Weeding: This may not be a fun activity. Weeds are unsightly and can choke the flowers.
  • Grooming: Some flowers require no grooming; others need deadheading, trimming and pinching. Follow the instructions that come with the flower.

Now that you have the basics covered, take the time to enjoy and smell your flowers.

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