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Early Summer

Summer brings an explosion of flowering perennials, annuals and bulbs, offering a rich range of colors, heights, and flower shapes!

Early summer brings an explosion of flowering bulbs, annuals and perennials, offering a rich range of colors, heights, and flower shapes. Roses start to bloom, many continuing well into fall. Stars of the summer border, they are accompanied by a plethora of beautiful flowering shrubs, some sweetly scented, to create a colorful show and fill the garden with a spectacular palette of color and fragrance. Check out our list of heat-loving, drought tolerant flowers and browse our fabulous summer garden ideas. They will provide you with a wealth of inspiration and help you design a lovely summer garden that blooms from early season through late, and satisfies you for months on end.

Early Summer Guides


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Abelia × grandiflora 'Kaleidoscope' (Glossy Abelia)

Changing color over the seasons, Abelia × grandiflora 'Kaleidoscope' (Glossy Abelia) is a dwarf, variegated, semi-evergreen shrub. Emerging bright yellow and lime-green in spring, its glossy oval leaves turn golden yellow in summer before taking on glowing orange and fiery red hues in fall. The leaf coloration does not burn or scorch in the hottest of weather.

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Abelia × grandiflora 'Mardi Gras' (Glossy Abelia)

Changing color over the passing seasons, Abelia × grandiflora 'Mardi Gras' (Glossy Abelia) is a compact, low growing, spreading, semi-evergreen shrub. Borne on pink to red stems, its glossy oval leaves emerge bright pink in spring, mature to sparkling creamy white and green as the season progresses before taking on coppery shades in the fall.

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Abelia × grandiflora (Glossy Abelia)

Abelia × grandiflora (Glossy Abelia) is a medium-sized, rounded, semi-evergreen shrub with gracefully arching branches, densely clothed with small glossy oval, dark green leaves and clusters of pink-tinged, white, bell-shaped flowers. Slightly fragrant, the blooms are produced continuously cover a long period extending from late spring to fall. The foliage turn purplish-bronze in the fall.

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Abies alba (European Silver Fir)

Abies alba (European Silver Fir) is a large evergreen conifer of conical habit with straight stems densely clad with glossy dark green needles with silvery undersides. The seed cones, 4-6 in. long (10-15 cm), are greenish when young turning to dark brown when mature. The bark is silvery-gray with a scaly texture. Growth is very slow in early years, and then rapid as the tree matures.

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Abies amabilis 'Spreading Star' (Pacific Silver Fir)

Abies amabilis ‘Spreading Star’ is a low-growing, evergreen conifer forming a widely spreading mound adorned with thick, overlapping, horizontal to arching branches clothed in a lush foliage of fluffy, green, long needles with silvery undersides. Slow-growing, 3-4 in. per year (7-10 cm), this Pacific Silver Fir is a great choice for small gardens or rockeries.

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Abies balsamea (Hudsonia Group) 'Nana' (Balsam Fir)

Highly popular, Abies balsamea ‘Nana’ is a dwarf, aromatic, evergreen conifer of globose habit forming a broad mound with numerous short branches, adorned with a lush foliage of dark green needles radially arranged around the stems. Slow-growing, 2-3 in. per year (5-7 cm), this Balsam Fir is a great choice for small gardens or rockeries. Perfect for adding year-round color to the garden.

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Abies cephalonica 'Meyer's Dwarf' (Greek Fir)

A popular selection, Abies cephalonica 'Meyer's Dwarf' (Greek Fir) is a dwarf evergreen conifer rich of many habits. Depending on the nature of the scionwood used in propagation, this dwarf selection could present itself as a low, spreading mat of sharp, stiff, glossy dark green needles with silvery underneath. It can also be seen as an upright pyramidal tree adorned with sturdy, short branches.

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Abies cephalonica (Greek Fir)

Abies cephalonica (Greek Fir) is a large evergreen conifer of conical habit adorned with spreading, erect branches on mature trees. Sharp and stiff, the needles are glossy dark green with two blue-white bands beneath. The seed cones, 4-8 in. long (10-20 cm), are brown when ripe, and disintegrate when mature to release the seeds.

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Abies concolor 'Archer’s Dwarf' (White Fir)

Abies concolor 'Archer’s Dwarf' is a dwarf evergreen conifer of regular, conical habit adorned with slightly ascending branches clothed in soft, silvery-blue, slightly incurved needles. Slow-growing, 3-4 in. per year (7-10 cm), this White Fir is a great choice for small gardens, containers or rockeries.

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Abies concolor 'Candicans' (White Fir)

Regarded as the bluest of all conifers, Abies concolor 'Candicans' is a magnificent large evergreen conifer. Forming a dense pyramid when young, it matures to a columnar, highly symmetrical shape with handsome layered branches smothered by long, silvery-blue needles.

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Abies concolor 'Compacta' (White Fir)

A deservedly popular White Fir, Abies concolor 'Compacta' is a slow-growing dwarf evergreen conifer of great beauty. It forms a dense, compact mound of irregular, spreading shape, unless it is sheared to a conical form. Its branches are beautifully clothed with long and slender, powder-blue needles

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Abies concolor 'Hosta la Vista' (White Fir)

Abies concolor 'Hosta la Vista' is a dwarf evergreen conifer of globose habit, beautifully clothed with long, thick, slightly recurved, blue-green needles adorned with a glaucous, powdery coating. Slow-growing, 1-2 in. per year (2-5 cm), this small White Fir brightens up the garden and makes a lovely addition to small gardens, rockeries or containers.

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Abies concolor 'Piggelmee' (White Fir)

A miniature White Firm cultivar, Abies concolor 'Piggelmee' is a slow-growing dwarf evergreen conifer with a lovely pale blue foliage.

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Abies fraseri (Fraser Fir)

Abies fraseri (Fraser Fir) is a medium-sized evergreen conifer of narrow, pyramidal habit with a spire-like crown and resinous stems densely clad with flattened, short, turpentine-scented needles, shiny dark green above with two silver bands beneath. The seed cones, up to 3 in. long (7 cm), are dark purple when young turning light brown with conspicuously protruding bracts. Held upright along the branches, they create a lovely contrast against the deep green foliage.

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Abies grandis (Grand Fir)

One of the tallest firs in the world, Abies grandis (Grand Fir) is a large evergreen conifer of narrow, conical habit becoming round-topped or straggly with age. Its spreading and drooping branches are densely clad with sharp-tipped needles, shiny dark green above with two silver bands beneath. The needles are arranged in 2 distinct, flattened rows. They exude an orange aroma when crushed.

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