Seasons / Summer
Summer brings an explosion of flowering perennials, annuals and bulbs, 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 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.
Salvia azurea var. grandiflora (Pitcher Sage) is a clump-forming, shrubby perennial with beautiful wands of sky blue flowers, up to 12 in. long (30 cm). Blooming from midsummer to frost, the elegant flowering wands are borne on slender stems clad with long, narrow, grayish-green leaves. Hardy, this Salvia enjoys an upright habit until midsummer, but will sprawl over nearby plants when it begins to bloom.
Award-winning Abelia 'Edward Goucher' is a compact, semi-evergreen shrub with upright, gracefully arching stems bearing glossy, oval, dark green leaves with a bronze tinge when young. In midsummer, abundant clusters of lilac-pink, funnel-shaped flowers adorn the bush until fall. Their attractive bronze-tinged calyces further enrich the display and persist well after the flowers fall.
Noted for its stable variegated foliage, award-winning Abelia x grandiflora 'Hopleys' is a compact, semi-evergreen shrub with a luminous foliage of bright green leaves adorned with buttery yellow edges in spring, gradually fading to ivory-white. The glossy oval leaves are highly decorative and turn pink in the fall. In midsummer, abundant clusters of lightly-scented, lilac-tinged white flowers adorn the bush until fall.
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.
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.
Vigorous, Abelia × grandiflora 'Radiance' (Glossy Abelia) is a compact, dense, semi-evergreen shrub with vivid crimson stems contrasting the white variegated foliage. Emerging medium green with creamy yellow margins in spring, the glossy oval leaves soften to silvery-green with creamy white margins as the season progresses.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Abies koreana 'Alpin Star' (Korean Fir) is a dwarf, evergreen conifer of compact, upright, irregular habit densely clothed in incredibly dark green needles, adorned with white undersides. Slow-growing, 1-3 in. per year (2-7 cm), this Korean Fir is a great choice for small gardens, containers or rockeries.
Abies koreana 'Aurea' (Korean Fir) is a desirable evergreen conifer of globe-shaped habit when young, becoming broadly pyramidal over time. Its ascending branches boast short, bright golden-yellow needles adorned with silvery-white undersides in the spring. As the season progresses, the golden coloration takes on a softer shade, almost turning light green. Abundant purple cones are held upright along the branches, creating a lovely contrast against the foliage. A slow grower, 3-6 in. per year (7-15 cm), this golden Korean Fir makes an eye-catching specimen accent. Mature plants can tolerate full sun, but juvenile plants prefer some shade.
Abies koreana 'Blauer Eskimo' (Korean Fir) is a dwarf, evergreen conifer of globose habit adorned with short and stubby branches clothed in blue-green needles and prominent resin covered buds which are ravishing in winter. Slow-growing, 1 in. per year (2.5 cm), this Korean Fir is a great choice for small gardens, containers or rockeries and makes a lovely specimen plant when grafted onto a standard.
Abies koreana 'Green Carpet' (Korean Fir) is a dwarf, evergreen conifer forming a compact, flat, round cushion adorned with attractive fresh green needles in spring, turning dark green over the summer. Abundant purple cones are held upright along the branches, creating a lovely contrast against the foliage. Slow-growing, 2 in. per year (5 cm), this Korean Fir is a great choice for small gardens, containers or rockeries and makes a handsome groundcover.
Abies koreana 'Kohout's Ice Breaker' (Korean Fir) is a dwarf, evergreen conifer of globose habit when young, developing into a small, broadly pyramidal tree over time. Its short and stubby branches boast a ravishing foliage of strongly-curled needles showing off their silvery-white undersides, creating a striking shimmering silvery-blue effect in the garden. Slow-growing, 1-3 in. per year (2-7 cm), this Korean Fir is a great choice for small gardens, containers or rockeries.
Abies koreana 'Silberperle' (Korean Fir) is a miniature, evergreen conifer of globose habit when young, becoming a small squat conical tree over time. Its compact branches are adorned with short, slightly twisted, deep green needles which expose their silvery undersides, creating a lovely bi-color effect. Equally attractive are its resin covered buds which resemble silver pearls. Slow-growing, 2-3 in. per year (5-7 cm), this desirable Korean Fir is a great choice for small gardens, containers or rockeries.
Abies koreana 'Silver Show' (Korean Fir) is an evergreen conifer forming a compact pyramid with tightly curled needles, exposing the silvery-white undersides. Abundant purple cones are held upright along the branches, creating a lovely contrast against the bi-color foliage. A moderate grower, 6-10 in. per year (15-25 cm), this Korean Fir makes an eye-catching specimen accent.