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DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

What flowers can I plant in my garden that will last all summer? (Cool climates, please.)

Asked by DarlingRhadamanthus (11203 points ) March 28th, 2011

Every summer I vow to plant flowers and have a cottage garden. The summer gets here and I get busy and my garden is ignored. I’d like it to be different this year. Can you help with suggestions?

I live in the UK…rainy, damp and only a few weeks of heat during the summer. I really would love some colorful easy to grow perennials. I think of an old fashioned cottage garden with hollyhocks when I think of “cottage garden”. The areas I can use do get direct sunlight for part of the day. I know I want to plant some sunflowers for the bees and birds…as they loved the few stray ones that were in the garden last year.

1. Must live in damp clime.
2. Must attract the three “B“s…birds, butterflies, bees.
3. Must be easy to maintain/grow. (No super fussy plants).
4. Must be able to have some direct sunlight.
5. Must be colorful.
6. I’d like plants of different heights.
7. Must be fast growing…so I can enjoy the plants this year…not have to wait a few seasons!

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

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17 Answers

chyna's avatar

I’ve had good luck with impatiens in all different kinds of weather, sun, shade etc. They come in all colors and last until fall. Picture

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I was going to suggest hollyhock. I am most fond of my crocosmia. I live in Ohio, so the climate is all over the place, but this thrives in full/excessive sun or partial sun. It doesn’t flower for extremely long periods of time, but it does have this tall, full foliage that’s just gorgeous even without flowers. It also attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. Stella D’oro are also hardy and flower for a long time.

gailcalled's avatar

Here’s a lot of information; read and plan ahead. http://www.countryfarm-lifestyles.com/cottage-garden.html

Do you live in a cottage? Are there neighbors with gorgeous gardens? Most gardeners LOVE to talk about gardening and share plants. What they grow will also give you an idea of what might be happy in your area.

How big is the area?
What is the soil like now?
How much energy and money do you have?
Annuals will give you a lovely instant garden but are expensive.
Perennials take several years to establish themselves but they are then yours for a long time. You can fill in the interstices with annuals (or some vegetables).

laureth's avatar

The only flower I really plant is nasturtium. They’re pretty low maintenance, and – they’re edible!

creative1's avatar

Something that grows well but is a little taller than the regular impatien’s and look like open roses are the double flowering impatien see the link for picture. http://www.multifloragreenhouses.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=plants.plantDetail&plant_id=604

El_Cadejo's avatar

How cold are we talking?

You may be able to grow passion flowers. Theyre incredibly easy to maintain and as long as you keep em wet they grow quite fast.

You do have to take em inside for the winter though but as long as you have a little lamp they’ll be fine.

Edit: did some reading, the actinia passion flower can survive frost.

Coloma's avatar

Cosmos bloom all summer, ( keep them deadheaded ) and incorporate the 3 ‘B’s”.
They love direct sun and heat but do well with less.

I planted some white Cosmos last summer and they were out of control, 6–7 feet tall, scads of blooms from July through September/Oct.

boffin's avatar

Primrose….
http://www.thegardenhelper.com/primrose.html
Were in Coastal Northern California, Wet and shady.
Primrose seem to grow flower and thrive year round here.

rooeytoo's avatar

The original big zinnias and snapdragons are my favorite, they go all summer and I think will do okay as long as they get some sun.

jonsblond's avatar

The butterfly bush has everything you are looking for.

They grow very quickly, attract butterflies and hummingbirds, are brightly colored and easy to care for. I’ve always had luck with these plants, and they smell beautiful too.

susanc's avatar

Snapdragons are fabulous because if you cut the flowers off they’ll make new ones for months. Agree with @rooeytoo on that one. Roses are good for the same reason. They want to get diseases but you can search out disease-resistant varieties, one of which, a classic, is the species rosa rugosa, which is a pre-hybridized ancestor rose. It comes in white or dark pink, is unkillable and smells like paradise. Also it can grow very big or you can cut it back. Last but not least, iris, which only bloom in spring, are long-lived and dramatic, and deserve some of your love.

creative1's avatar

The bleeding heart is a pernnial and my mother grows them, we are from Massachusetts and lives on a lake so I know the can handle cooler climates. They water their plants every morning and evening because their sprinkler system takes the water from the lake they are able to do this. A picture of this is http://home.howstuffworks.com/define-bleeding-heart.htm
What ends up happening is they also reseed themselves all over so she sometimes digs them up and gives plants away.

They are a taller plant and they grow in a clumping like a bush. They attact lots of hummingbirds.

Blueroses's avatar

There are many pretty varieties of Salvia in different heights. They pretty much take care of themselves.
I like lavenders also for low maintenance and great fragrance.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Wow…Thank you soooooooooo much for all the great responses! I so appreciate the time everyone took to share! I hope others will benefit from these great suggestions!

Lurve coming to all of you! And lots of lovely summer blooms to all!

RareDenver's avatar

@DarlingRhadamanthus I’ve already sent this question to my wife and we’re hitting the garden centre this weekend.

gailcalled's avatar

@DarlingRhadamanthus: First, establish what growing zone you are in, then snoop around the neighborhood for examples of English cottage gardens that flourish in your neck of the woods.

Gertrude Jekyll and drool over her designs. They can be simplfied and copied.

Annuals will give you a burst of color for this summer. If you are planning for the future, you’ll want perennials (hollyhocks, delphiniums, roses, lupines, lilies, foxgloves, poppies, irises, spring bulbs, asters, etc).

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