What type of perennials can I plant that will bloom at different times of the year, so I will always have something blooming from spring to fall?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Stacy in Kentucky: A well-landscaped perennial bed will provide you with blooms from early spring through the fall. This is easier in terms of flowers if you have a bed that is situated where it will receive a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight. You did not specify what growing conditions you are dealing with but you mentioned flowers, so I am going to speculate that you have more sun than shade. Let me know if this is not the case and I will give you other suggestions. Of course, numbers of plants will depend on the amount of space you have, and as a general rule we tend to plant in odd numbers for visual interest. As for early spring bloomers, daffodils (narcissus) are always a great choice. They scream spring and are planted as perennial bulbs in the fall. Those and crocus bulbs are some of the first to bloom in the early spring. Creeping phlox (Phlox subulata) and dianthus are both early spring bloomers. Later in the spring, baptisia, amsonia, perennial geraniums, peonies, and iris are all good choices. Summer bloomers include echinacea (coneflower), rudbeckia (black-eyed Susans), crocosmia, shasta daisy, perovskia (Russian sage), and coreopsis. Late summer and fall blooming choices include: solidago (goldenrod), aster, Japanese anemone, and amsonia, which blooms in the spring and is well worth planting just for its stunning fall color. These are just a few suggestions but you can visit the following publication for more planting suggestions for Kentucky gardeners: www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/ho/ho76/ho76.htm