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Showy Summer Perennials

We love perennials that come back each year in the garden. Perennials are considered to be ornamental plants that reappear for more than one growing season. This does not mean they live forever, but they do offer a repeat performance for many seasons! The term perennial is generally reserved for plants with showy flowers, excluding ornamental grasses, trees, shrubs and other woody stemmed plants. Perennials are great planted in the landscape or in containers. With so many varieties to choose from, there is one that is perfectly suited for your garden. Here's our top summer perennials...


  • Mexican Petunia (Ruellia Purple Showers) is a long blooming perennial that thrives in hot, sunny conditions. Deep green foliage with hints of burgundy provide the perfect backdrop for the scores of vibrant blue-purple flowers. Works well in combination plantings and in beds.
  • Sedum Angelina is a drought tolerant, moderate-growing groundcover with fleshy green/yellow leaves in the spring and summer and fiery orange/red foliage in the fall and winter. Angelina makes an excellent groundcover and looks great as a spiller plant in container combinations.
  • Stella D'Oro Daylilies boasts fragrant, ruffled, buttercup-yellow flowers with an apricot throat. It's blooms measure about 2-½ inches across. Stella loves the heat and thrives in containers on patios or planted together in large numbers. Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.
  • Miss Huff Lantana puts on a colorful show with vibrant yellow, pink & orange blooms. You simply can't beat lantana for summer-long blooms and heat tolerance. This easy to grow perennial attracts butterflies too. We recommend putting this in the ground and reserving 8-10 inches for it to grow.


  • Autumn Ferns are a bold and beautiful choice for shady borders and woodland gardens. Thse dwarf-growing ferns with young papery fronds display coppery-red color, maturing to deep green.
  • Hostas are hardy, easy-to-grow and care for and aren't troubled by pests. Leaf colors come in green, gold and blue to variegated and sizes range from miniature to colossal. Smaller varieties (up to 12 inches tall) make good edgers along paths or in beds; medium varieties are excellent ground-covers; and large hostas are terrific in the background or as dramatic accent plants.

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Summer's Flowering Vine


A star in the summer garden, Mandevilla loves it hot and sunny. This flowering vine, boosts beautiful flowers and dark green foliage. The hotter it is, the more this plant thrives. Once planted in full sun, Mandevilla is easy to grow and needs little more than training to grow on any type of support you choose. Whether you want to grow it up a trellis, porch post or even a mailbox this easy to care for plant adds tropical summer color wherever it is placed. We love Alice Dupont, with its trumpet-like flowers in ice pink. Each flower lasts for several days. And, looks great on an arbor, trellis or fence. Follow a regular watering schedule and feed with a general purpose fertilizer like McDonald Greenleaf.

TIP: Try this EASY trick to train the plant upward to add pizzazz to your deck or patio.

  1. Choose a sunny spot on your deck or patio that needs visual enhancement.
  2. Gather twine, cup hooks and a Mandevilla plant.
    (The above photo features the Alice Dupont variety)
  3. Use one cup hook at the base of the plant to anchor the twine. Use 3-4 pieces of twine arching out in a fan pattern and using a cup hook to secure at the top.
  4. Dig a hole deep enough to accommodate the size of your Mandevilla, so that its main stem sits slightly above the soil line. This holds true whether you're planting in a container, hanging basket or in the ground.
  5. Train your Mandevilla to climb the supporting structure. Tie stems initially with plant ties and let it twine naturally from there.

Garden Classic


Geraniums are a truly a garden classic. Did you know that two types of geraniums exist? Seed geraniums and zonal geraniums. Choosing the right type for the garden depends on several factors and there are reasons to grow both depending on personal preference and where you are going to be using them.

Garden geraniums are ideally suited for use in flower beds, where you may need many plants to fill the space. Zonal geraniums are most often used in pots and combination planters where you are looking for a “star” in the container. Here are the differences between the two:

Garden Geraniums

  • Grown from seed
  • Limited selection of colors including red, pink or white
  • Grown in a 4-inch square pot making 18 plants per tray

Zonal Geraniums

  • Grown from cuttings, allowing for consistency in the variety
  • Wide range of vibrant colors including dark red, hot pink, violet, white, tangerine and many more
  • Grown in a round pot, with 8 to 15 plants per tray
  • The name zonal comes from the dark eye zone in the leaf


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