Adding Color to the Mid-Summer Border

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.


August border

Asiatic lily Landini and Drumstick alliums in July Border

Papaver somniferum ‘Lauren’s grape’

Mid summer border

Asiatic lily Landini with Salvia amethyst

Lauren’s grape poppy with Betty Corning Clematis

This entry was posted in Design Ideas, Perennials, The Flowering Border and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Adding Color to the Mid-Summer Border

  1. I love the Lauren’s Grape, the alliums and lilies, and the ‘Amethyst’ salvia. I especially like the way you have used a thread of purple to stitch the whole garden tapestry together. Bravo!

  2. Don Statham says:

    Thanks Deirdre, it’s been a long time coming.

  3. KAREN FAUSCH says:

    That clematis is spectacular! Lovely photos.

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