Not only do this perennial’s trumpet-shaped flowers attract hummingbirds, the species Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) is native to North America. Give this summer bloomer part shade.
These spiky blooms belong at the back of your border in full sun. They’re drought tolerant once established and bloom mid to late summer for several weeks. Trouble with deer? They usually don’t bother salvia. Pollinators such as hummingbirds love salvia!
3. Coneflower (Echinacea)
Purple coneflower (actually a light pinky purple) is the original, but today coneflowers come in almost every shade of the rainbow! They need full sun and range in height from 12 to 36 inches tall, so read the tag so you plant them accordingly in your mixed border.
Put this full-sun spring bloomer on your shopping list for fall—that’s when it’s the best time to plant. Each flower looks like a watercolor work of art, and the best part is that over time you can divide them and transplant the extras elsewhere in your garden or pass them along to a friend.
Clusters of starry blue flowers cover this plant in spring to early summer. It looks best planted in masses. It likes part to full sun.
Sedum has fleshy leaves, so it’s drought-hardy and sturdy. It comes in an astonishing number of forms. Look for low-growing or creeping types, as well as more upright varieties such as autumn joy, which make long-lasting cut flowers. Give it full sun.
This lesser-known perennial, also called false indigo, has beautiful spikes of indigo blue, pink, yellow, white, or purple-black flowers that become attractive seedpods in the fall. Pollinators like it too! Give it full sun.
Lavender blooms for weeks throughout the summer, depending on the type. Make sure you choose a variety that’s hardy to your USDA planting zone. Harvest the dried buds for teas, scones, or scented sachets.
Add these beauties to the garden for winter blooms—yes, winter! They’re also called Lenten roses because they typically bloom around Lent in mid to late winter. They prefer shade.
Here’s a perennial that’s always been a cottage garden favorite but is not as well-known these days. But it deserves a space in your garden! Its beautiful flowers bloom for a long time from early summer to early fall. Pollinators adore it, and the flowers are lovely in a cutting garden or dried.
When everything else has faded for the season, asters begin their show in late fall. They come in shades of lavender, blue, pink, and purple. Some will even survive a light frost. They need full sun, and pollinators love them!
Peonies bloom in late spring to early summer, and the plants get bigger and better every year. Give them plenty of full sun and space to grow because they don’t like being moved (they tend not to bloom the next year), and they don’t like being crowded! The ants you see are just coming to sip nectar; they don’t harm the plant.
If you want a perennial that blooms most of the summer, plant catmint! The leaves are grey-green and have a pleasantly spicy scent, while the purple spikes attract tons of pollinators. Give it full sun.
14. Bee Balm
As the name says, bees (and pollinators of all kinds!) love this plant. Its fringed flowers come in pinks, reds, and purples. Plant it in full sun in huge swaths for the best impact.
Also known as spiderwort, this perennial has pretty grassy foliage and bright purple flowers. It’s easy to grow! It doesn’t mind different kinds of soils but does best in moist, well-drained areas. Give it full sun.
The grassy foliage of this plant is attractive all season long, but the tiny ball-shaped flowers that pop up in late spring and early summer are the reason to plant this adorable perennial. Thrift likes part to full sun.
17. Lamb’s Ear
Lamb’s ear has fuzzy silver foliage and unusual pink or purple flowers on long spikes. The velvety leaves are fun to touch, because they resemble lamb’s ears, of course! It prefers full sun but can handle some shade.
This underrated perennial should be part of any shade garden. The feathery plumes come in many different colors, from pinkish white to hot pink. Butterflies love it!
You might not think of this herb as ornamental, but planted en masse, it’s quite striking! Many different varieties exist, but they’re all hardy, drought-tolerant, and don’t mind poor soil. Plant it on a hillside for erosion control. It needs full sun but will tolerate some shade.
This short-lived perennial comes in many forms, from creeping to upright. Some varieties are sweetly scented. The flowers have fringed petals and come in every color including pink, white, coral, and peach. Give it full sun.
21. Coral Bells
Coral bells, also called heuchera, has ruffled leaves and comes in an array of colors from peach to chartreuse to silver to burgundy. It’s grown mostly for its beautiful foliage, which holds its color all season long. However, the plant’s the tall, wispy flower spikes are not without merit—they might be humble, but they add texture and seasonal interest. It takes sun or shade, depending on the variety.
22. Roman Chamomile
Yes, you can make tea from these dried flowers! Make sure to plant Roman chamomile, a low-growing perennial, and not the annual, called German chamomile. It likes full sun.
Nothing says fall like mums! They’re perennial if you get them in the ground early in the season (spring through mid-summer) so that their roots can get established. If you plant them too late in fall, they may not have enough time to get settled before winter so they’re treated as annuals. Plant some in every color!