Early flowering perennials begin in May and early June and flower intensely until the beginning of July when the late flowering perennials begin and continue into late fall. I find there is often a lull in the border as the early perennials wind down and set seed and the late flowering perennials begin to do there thing. So last year, I planted three plants that add a punch of color to the borders between the two stages.
Allium spaerocephalon– drumstick alliums have a crimson purple bottlebrush flower that spike above the surrounding plants adding a rocket of color and lots of texture. Drumstick alliums are small bulbs that are planted in the fall. The other plant that flowers for a long time is the annual poppy Papaver somniferum ‘Lauren’s grape.’ The purple- opium poppy reaches a height of 24″-40″ and rises above its pale lettuce- like green foliage. I throw the seeds into the border when the last snow melts- early April in my part of upstate New York. I now want to experiment with a few more colors of poppies and plan to add next year Papaver somniferum -Black Peony and a pale lilac colored poppy. Depending on your color schemes there’s a large variety of poppy colors to chose from. The third plant I added is the Asiatic lily – Landini which is the closest to a black lily available. I planted twenty five bulbs randomly through the border and the rich dark color punctuates the border adding contrast to all the other plantings. The randomness of the three plantings adds a wilder more painterly look to the garden. I am very pleased with the result.