Shown below are seven of the top twenty perennials for your flower garden. Perennials are great because they keep reseeding themselves for years and years of visual enjoyment.
This prairie wildflower achieves a level of sophistication in the 'Magnus' variety, which throws its petals out horizontally daisy-style. Coneflower tolerates heat and drought, and it blooms all summer long. Plant this 30-inch-tall beauty in the middle or back of the bed.
This flower is an American icon. Blooming from midsummer until frost, its orange or golden yellow blooms just keep coming. The variety 'Goldsturm', shown here, tops out at about 2 feet, making it perfect for the middle or back of the bed. It loves sun and is drought-tolerant.
The fleshy leaves and bright flowers make sedum a popular perennial. It is practically foolproof, and offers spectacular color during the latter part of the growing season when most other flowers are fading. One of the best-know varieties of stone crop is 'Autumn Joy' sedum. This 18-inch-tall upright plant produces a bumper crop of rosy, flat-topped flowers that persist from late summer to frost, fading to brick red as the weather turns colder.
Often sweetly fragrant, the peony is a very long-lived plant that forms 2- to 4-foot-tall clumps in shrublike bunches. Its numerous varieties offer a wide range of colors -- almost every shade except blue -- with some bicolors, and blooming periods from late spring to early summer.
Tickseed, or coreopsis, comes in a wide range of sizes and several colors. The threadleaf varieties produce blankets of small daisy-like flowers all summer long in yellow, pink, or red, with soft, ferny foliage. (In hot areas, flower production may slow temporarily.) Grandiflora varieties (Early Sunrise) produce larger orange-yellow blooms. Give this plant a starring role in the middle of the bed.
Blanket flower (gaillardia) is a drought- and heat-tolerant perennial wildflower that provides long-lasting color in a sunny border with poor soil. In red, gold, or brown, its daisy-like, 3-inch wide, single or double flowers bloom through the summer and into the fall. Although often short-lived, it is easy to grow and will flower the first year from seed.
Phlox paniculata -- garden, tall, or border phlox -- grows 3 to 4 feet tall and bears large trusses of fragrant flowers from summer to early fall. It's an old-fashioned favorite that has few rivals for its color display and light, sweet fragrance. It's well suited to the back of the garden and cottage gardens.
You can view the other top perrenials at the following Better Homes and Garden link: