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Top 5 Long Blooming Perennials to Try This Summer

July 13, 2022

By Andrea Berwick CLD, Landscape Designer, Royal Botanical Gardens

I don’t know about you but when I walk into a garden center, I become overwhelmed with such joy at seeing all the plants that I want to pick up one of everything! It is at this point that I must remind myself that I only have a certain amount of garden space at home and to choose wisely. With around only 5 months of t-shirt weather out in the garden I want perennials that are long blooming and that provide bright bursts of colour. The following 5 are exceptional options that I recommend to gardeners of any skill level. Some will bloom even longer if deadheaded after the first flush.

bushy, upright clump with a profuse display of brown-eyed, golden-orange daisies
Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’

1. Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ – Black-Eyed Susan

This is a classic tried, tested and true variety that is popular for good reason. It blooms from midsummer to frost and is drought tolerant once established. They prefer full sun to part shade and are deer and rabbit resistant. Leave flower stalks in the fall for winter interest in the garden.

Can be found at the Hendrie Park and Laking Garden.

glowing violet blue, saucer-shaped flowers with distinctive white eyes and reddish-purple veining are held above mounds of deep green foliage
Geranium ‘Rozanne’

2. Geranium x ‘Rozanne’ – Cranesbill

When we learned about this cultivar in school my classmates and I would immediately belt out the chorus to ‘Roxanne’ by The Police. Slightly different name but helped us remember for testing. This geranium forms a nice mound and blooms from mid-spring to frost. They prefer full to part sun and when planted in mass they make a great groundcover.

Can be found at the Rock Garden and Hendrie Park.

buttery yellow daisy flowers with lemon yellow eyes at the ends of the stems
Coreopsis ‘Moonbeam’

3. Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbeam’ – Threadleaf Tickseed

This beauty adds fine texture to the garden and has the palest yellow flower like no other. It blooms from late spring to August. They prefer full to part sun and are tolerant of heat, humidity and drought once established. This one also makes a great groundcover on mass.

Can be found at the Rock Garden.

masses of beautiful spikes of lightly-scented sky blue flowers with purple calyces rising above the foliage
Nepeta ‘Cat’s Meow’

4. Nepeta faassenii ‘Cat’s Meow’ – Catmint

Not to be confused with catnip, catmint of any variety are long blooming typically late spring to late summer and have a mint scent when touched. They are also excellent for low maintenance gardens because they are drought tolerant once established and this particular variety keeps a dense mounding habit. They like full to part sun and if deadheaded are a repeat bloomer.

Can be found at the Rock Garden.

Tiny white flowers with the slightest hint of pink appear on long leafless stems in the spring. Leaves are heart shaped and lobed, providing a consistent ground cover.
Tiarella cordifolia, photo from NVK Nurseries

5. Tiarella cordifolia – Foam flower

This Ontario native is a great option for part to full shade gardens.  They tend to flower more profusely in dappled shade over deep shade. They bloom from early spring to summer and when planted in mass you can see how they got their common name. This perennial is also very adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions.

Can be found in the Rock Garden and Hendrie Park.

Blooms by Season

Plants of interest are ever-changing in RBG’s five cultivated garden areas and nature sanctuaries. Learn what’s blooming now or see the blooms calendar for a rough estimation of what to expect each season.