7. Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia (July-September)
Black-eyed Susans are so cheery and provide color at a typically dry time in the garden, July & August. I would always have a stand of them in any garden for that reason alone. They also spread nicely – not enough to overtake anything, but just enough to fill in borders, like in my garden above.
8. Sedum (July [green buds] through October)
Not the cacti-type sedums, the perennial sedums like Autumn Joy are soft with fleshy leaves and long-blooming flower umbels that start out green and slowly change colors through pink to dark copper. They fill a great spot in the late summer-autumn garden and make good cut flowers, too.
9. Aster (August-October) and 10. Japanese Anemone (September to frost)
Most people think of autumn flowers as mainly hot colors like orange, red and yellow. These two fall blooming perennials prove that pastels can work in autumn, too. Asters are classic fall plants and come in a number of colors (including red), though the purple is my favorite, and I appreciate the texture from the needle-like foliage.
And Japanese Anemones? They will steal your heart with their happy blooms swaying in the fall breeze high above their leaves. Found mostly in pinks and whites, they make wonderful cut flowers. To be honest, the anemones take a bit more maintenance than the others on this list, since they spread pretty rapidly and have to be pulled up pretty consistently. But totally worth it.
11. Dwarf Boxwood (year-around interest)
To provide a bit of winter interest when the perennials have died down and the shrubs are sticks, boxwood is my go-to evergreen. I have planted full-sized boxwoods in some places, but they do require regular shearing so they don’t look scraggly or take over an area. Dwarf boxwoods always look great so they are perfect for any size garden bed.
Best Variety: True Dwarf English boxwood
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