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Blanket flower is a bushy annual that produces red or yellow (or red and yellow) flowers over a long season. The blooms are daisy-shaped with a dark purple central disk. Growing to about 18 inches tall, this native of central and southern U.S. and Mexico is nice in a meadow, cut flower garden, border, or rock garden.
A native of South Africa, summer hyacinth sends up spikes of lovely white flowers in late summer amidst dark green, strap-like foliage, when many other perennials are done blooming. The tall spikes are fragrant and especially dramatic planted with darker foliage or flowers.
This gardenia cultivar features a very tight, upright form that is perfect for smaller gardens. It also boasts increased cold tolerance while maintaining the lustrous dark green foliage and abundant fragrant blooms you’ve come to expect from this genus.
This North American wildflower is a bushy, clump-forming, vase-shaped perennial with lance-shaped or spoon-shaped, toothed leaves on slender, wand-like stems. Leaves may be occasionally spotted with maroon. Loose panicles of 4-petaled white flowers open only a few at a time and fade slowly to pink, blooming from late spring to early autumn.
The large blooms of this perennial are a spectacular violet-blue with a white throat and darker venation on plants 1 to 2 feet tall and wide. The attractive foliage weaves itself through neighboring plants. Grow in borders, containers, or rock or cottage gardens. 'Rozanne' is most effective en masse.
This popular perennial is grown for its blue or lavender-blue, saucer-shaped flowers that bloom for many weeks. It is useful in borders, rock gardens, and containers. It quickly reaches about 18 inches tall and 2 or 3 feet wide.
'Wargrave Pink' is a vigorous perennial suitable for groundcover. The notched, funnel-shaped, salmon-pink flowers bloom all season.
This beautiful, mounded, dwarf perennial has gray-green leaves (grayer than the species) and large, purplish pink flowers with purple veins and eyes.
This plant bears rich medium blue to violet-blue flowers from 1.5 to 2.5 inches wide in early summer, and blooms sporadically throughout the summer.
Thick rhizomes and stout, sprawling stems guarantee this hardy geranium survivor status. It forms dense mats of foliage in no time, making a perfect large-scale groundcover. The foliage is aromatic, particularly when touched, and transforms to red in fall. The magenta-pink flowers are conspicuously veined. 'Bevan's Variety' grows to slightly more than a foot tall with indefinite spread.
This upright plant bears cupped flowers 1.5 inches across in variable hues of pale to bright pink from late spring to midsummer.
This attractive groundcover blooms all summer and is tolerant of diverse habitats. It has glossy leaves and notched, 1.25-inch lilac-pink flowers with darker veins.
Deeply cut plum-purple leaves emerge in spring and stay true to color throughout the season. Lavender-blue flowers bloom beginning in late spring. 'Midnight Reiter' grows to only about 6 or 8 inches tall and twice as wide. More shade causes the foliage to be greener.
A profusion of delicate, magenta-pink, upward-facing blossoms cover this plant over a long period. The leaves are deeply divided and add texture to the plant's rounded form.
A profusion of delicate pink, upward-facing blossoms cover this plant over a long period. The leaves are deeply divided and add texture to the plant's rounded form.
This prairie native bears nodding, pinkish-maroon flowers in spring, followed by seed heads that resemble wisps of cotton candy and connote the plant's common name. The upright, ferny foliage is beautiful, and can be evergreen in mild climates.
A glad for people who would normally never grow them, 'Atom' is about half the size of regular varieties, growing to at most 3 feet tall. This 1946 classic blends easily into perennial borders, and it won't get lost because its flowers are blazing red cooled by a thin, silvery edge.
This 3-foot-tall, small-flowered perennial glad was originally collected from an abandoned home site in North Carolina. Pure yellow with a wildflowery grace, it seems to be a form of a wild South African glad introduced about 1900 as Gladiolus primulinus.
Introduced in 1940, 'Dauntless' grows to 4 feet tall and has pale pink flowers with deep pink/red throats.
This 3- to 4-foot-tall glad has luminous deep purplish-rose flowers. It dates from 1959 and is called 'Fidelio' after Beethoven's joyous opera.
Q&A Ground covers to avoid
by Nancy Ondra
Planting Ground Covers
Proper spacing and regular care are the best ways to create a lush, weed-free carpet
by Mary Hirshfeld
Flowering Ground Covers
To blanket an area small or large, these are the perennials to pick
by Nancy Ondra
Great Plants for a Fall Cutting Garden
Rely on colorful, long-stemmed plants to keep your vases filled as the season winds down
by Suzanne McIntire
Dividing a ground cover
by Liana Mackey
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