Big, pretty flowers, tough and hardy, perennial, and flowers in August. When there's a bit of a lull in the perennial border, it's hard to beat coneflowers. These are always a fuss-free late summer charmer. From the original purple classic have come hundreds of stellar hybrids. They're expanding the range of colors to virtually the entire rainbow. Here are a few we recommend for their distinct colors and appeal to summer and late-season pollinators.
(Above isRuby Starconeflower which has extra-big flowers…and a couple of awards, too. )
Remember to deadhead after the main event in August-September to encourage flowering into the autumn.
GLEAMING AND GLOWING
From pure white to muted creams and ivories. Removing coneflower's traditional warm, bright colors really shows the simple elegance of these flowers. How perfect for a mid-to-late summer all-white garden with swaths of Shasta daisies, phlox, and buddleia!
Because the plant branches from the base, it also produces more flower stems!
SUNNY AND HAPPY
The garden needs saturated color when the sun goes full-on in summer (butterflies love these colors!). Mix these with other shades of reds or tone down the effect with splashes of blue, purple, or green shades. We like penstemon, veronica, and Limelight hydrangea.
Orange-red blooms that don’t fade under the direct rays of the summer sun.
WARM AND MELLOW
Why not plant something now that flows into fall’s deep, rich, harvest colors? Brown or pale melon might not be your first thought when designing a border or a container. However, the sumptuousness of these velvet-hues creates a sophistication that's pretty enviable.
Mass for garden drama. Orange-tipped petals start with a broad red-brown center.
BOLD AND BRIGHT
Siren song for pollinators and magazine-worthy when cut and massed in a large vase. Reds and deeps pinks also help bring all those green boxwood hedges and other more formal borders to life. Adding a few catmint and fine-leafed grasses enhances the look.