My Favorite Sun-Loving Summer Perennials

Ah, summer! It’s my favorite season and I love basking in all its goodness. From sunny days with cool breezes, to sounds of birds singing and the splash of my pond’s waterfall, to the gloriousness of plants and flowers. Today I’m sharing some of my favorite summer perennials for both shady and sunny areas. These are all flowers I’ve grown for years and meet my criteria for ease of care and sturdiness of growth.

A colourful flower border with Lysimachia, coreopsis and Lupins


Sun-Loving Summer Perennials

Shasta Daisies
Daisies were were my mother’s favorite flower so I have to have them in my garden. I love when these pretty petals are planted in masses to make an impressive border. They grow in clumps to a height of two to three feet. Deadhead them to increase bloom longevity. Shasta daisies make great cut flowers for indoor arrangements. Separate daisies once every few years.

Shasta Daisies in the Garden


Also known as echinacea, this flower is almost impossible to kill. It can withstand drought conditions and comes in a variety of heights and colors. You can deadhead spent flowers to increase blooms, but let them go to seed closer to fall and you’ll enjoy new flowers the next year. Not to mention, birds like to eat their seeds.

Pink Coneflowers


Coneflower with Bee


If you want to attract pollinators to your garden, be sure to add hyssop. Bumble bees love this pretty plant that’s super easy to grow. Hyssop is a member of the mint family and is mentioned several times in the Bible for its ceremonial use in cleansing. It’s best planted in full sun but will tolerate partial shade.

Anise hyssop - summer perennials


Also known as tickseed, this perennial is a perfect choice for adding a shot of yellow to your flower beds. If you’re looking for a drought tolerant flowering perennial that has a long blooming season, coreopsis is a great choice. I deadhead spent flowers to keep this beauty looking fresh throughout the summer months. You can use it in cut floral arrangements, too.

Yellow Coreopsis, also known as tickseed


Be still my heart! I absolutely adore lavender any time, any place. Last year I planted lavender in the rock garden surrounding my pond and it’s doing fabulously. It prefers at least 6 hours of direct sun. Brush up against it and you’ll enjoy its wonderful fragrance. Most lavender grows anywhere from one to three feet tall in a bushy formation. I love this plant so much that I plan to dig out sod just to make room for more of it.

lavender flowers


Yarrow is another plant from my list of favorite summer perennials that are easy to grow and can tolerate drought conditions. Butterflies love this dainty plant that comes in white, pink, red, and yellow. It’s also pest resistant, can be dried, or cut for flower arrangements.

A large planting of white yarrow,


If you’re in search of an easy-to-grow vining flower, clematis is an excellent choice. You’ll find them in an array of colors and flower heads. Some bloom in spring, some in summer, and then there’s my favorite Sweet Autumn variety that produces highly fragrant blooms in the fall.

Purple clematis on an arbor


Nelly Moser, Clematis


Pink Clematis on Trellis


Salvia is a mainstay for many gardeners and you’ll often see this charmer used as a border plant. I have a border of them in my front yard. Their purple blooms pop against the yellow backdrop of my house. Salvia loves full sun and can tolerate periods of drought. When their blooms start to fade and they begin to fall over, trim them back a couple of inches. The plant won’t look so sloppy, and quite frequently will bloom again!

Purple salvia used as border in front of yellow farmhouse


Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna' Balkan Clary in a Country Cottage Garden


Ornamental Onion
I clearly remember the day when I was walking through the local nursery and saw this beautiful plant being enjoyed by bumble bees and butterflies. I was so impressed with its magnetic power that I took a few plants home with me. They come in a range of sizes and although they aren’t meant for cooking, their spherical flowers add whimsy to any sunny garden space.

Summer blossom of chives allium plant in garden


Alium, or ornamental onion - summer perennials


It’s always hard to name a few favorite summer perennials, but I enjoy all of the above for their beauty, easy care, and attraction to butterflies and bumble bees. What are some of your favorites?



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