Are you looking to expand your perennial gardens with fresh new plants for the summer? Look no further! In the spirit of June being National Perennial Month, we’ve curated a list of our favorite perennials to give your garden beautiful color and summer interest.

Coreopsis ‘moonbeam’

Coreopsis are lacy, airy flowers that rebloom with ease in the summer heat! ‘Moonbeam’ features soft yellow blooms that are in color from late spring/early summer all the way through mid-fall! Keep them dry and hot for best results.

Geranium ‘Rozanne’

An excellent long-blooming option to get sought-after blue flowers in your garden! This stunning plant will give you color from early summer through fall. It is also a great pollinator plant while resistant to common pests and diseases.

Shasta Daisy

Shasta Daisies are a staple in the garden. These cheery white to pale yellow flowers typically bloom during the summer, but the exact time frame depends on the variety. Great for pollinators and cut flowers!

Digitalis ‘Arctic Fox Rose’

A true perennial foxglove! ‘Arctic Fox Rose’ blooms from late spring through summer and is an excellent option for attracting hummingbirds.

Lamium ‘Purple Dragon’

Lamium is the perfect plant if you’re looking for a long-blooming, groundcover option for part to full shade. ‘Purple Dragon’ shows off its magenta-purple flowers from late spring to fall and is also bee-friendly!

Fall is here which means cool weather and frosty mornings are headed our way. Unfortunately for your plants, there’s no heater or jacket that can help keep them warm, and as a result, some of your plants will begin to look a little sad once temperatures start to drop. If you’re like many gardeners, that means it’s time to hack everything back! Well…maybe not. If you have any of these plants listed below, you’ll want to avoid cutting them to the ground later this fall, or in some cases, cutting them back at all.

Show your patriotic colors this year with a fun red, white and blue themed garden or planter. This color combination looks stunning in any sized yard, and with so many different plant options, you’re sure to have a unique space that pops! Below are just a few of our favorite plants in this popular color scheme.

Red Plants


Red Fox Veronica

James Kelway Tanacetum

Crocosmia Lucifer

Trees & Shrubs

Mountain Laurel

Skookum Rhododendron

Wilgen’s Ruby Rhododendron

Tuff Stuff Red Hydrangea

Ruby Slippers Hydrangea

Miss Ruby Butterfly Bush

White Plants



Snow Hill Salvia

Peacock White Phlox

Trees & Shrubs

Hydrangea Little Quickfire

Hydrangea Incrediball

Rhododendron Cunningham White

Avalanche Andromeda

White Flowering Dogwood


Blue Plants


Veronica Venice Blue

Myosotis “Forget me not”

Blue Cross Gentiana

Trees & Shrubs

Buddleia Pugster Blue

Hydrangea Endless Summer

Fothergilla Blue Shadow

Viburnum Blue Muffin

Hydrangea Tiny Tuff Stuff

Blue Mist Shrub

Creeping phlox is a great rock garden plant and a great ground cover. It’s a native plant that is deer-resistant and required part to full sun.

At Van Wilgen’s, we carry four colors: white, purple, pink, and blue. What I love about this plant is how easy it is to grow. Just use a topsoil peat moss compost mix when planting it.

It’s a low-maintenance plant that can cover difficult areas of your landscape that also livens up a walkway or flowerbed edge. It’s a great early season pollinator plant as the bees are first waking up – its blooming serves as a wonderful early season nectar source.

Creeping phlox is good for erosion control and you can dig it up and split it every few years. There is no need to deadhead the flowers and as they go by you’ll have a nice, green mat for the fall.

Fertilize it in the spring and fall and you’ll have beautiful creeping phlox blooming again the following year.

Fertilize in spring and fall to have a great year the following year, plant tone.

As summer comes to an end, rustic autumn colors sweep in as the season’s vibrant blooms begin to fade. Keep your garden looking fresh this year with some fall flowering plants in your space! Utilize plants with late bloom times and apply Bloom Booster to ensure your flowers are reaching their maximum potential.

Here Are Our Top Flowering Plants That’ll Put on a Fall Show

Garden Mums

The color variety available for garden mums makes this one of our favorites for fall flowers. Mums can come in autumn hues of orange, gold, russet, and bronze which will keep your garden looking great all season long. Perennial Mums will last through the winter and will bloom again next year. Plant in full sun. Grows 18 inches tall.


Celosia brings incredible color and vibrancy to your garden. They offer flowers in different shapes and colors from the brain like cockscomb to the showy plume varieties that produce feathery flowers that look like flames or puffs of cotton candy. They bloom until the first frost. Plant in full sun. Grows up to 3 feet tall.


Daisy-like blossoms, with a resemblance to a star, will give your garden a fresh new shade of color. Blossoms in pinks, purples, blues, and whites emerge in late August to extend the beauty. Plant in full sun. Grows 5 inches tall.


These rounded, flat-faced flowers bring a variety of bright colors, and some autumn colors, to balance out your garden. Pansies are versatile and can be planted in your garden, a container, or planting beds. They bounce back after a bit of light frost, which does well in an autumn garden. Plant in partial to full sun. Grows 6-12 inches tall.

Montauk Daisies

This fall long-blooming daisy stands up to salt spray, heat, and tight planting conditions in a cottage garden setting. Grows about 3 feet tall.


Gorgeous spikes of blue or purple color. Features large, flowers that can last into the fall. Benefits from a good hard trim after flowers are finished, in order to maintain a nice tight habit.


Are you looking to expand your perennial gardens with fresh new plants for the summer? Look no further! We’ve curated a list of our Top 7 Summer Perennial Must-Haves to give your garden beautiful season-long color and interest.
  1. Perennial Hibiscus – Show-stopping dinner plate-sized blooms in red, pink, white, including varieties that mix each color on every flower. Create your own backyard tropical paradise!
  2. Coneflowers – This is THE classic native flower. It comes in lots of colors including in pink, neon pink, yellow, red, white, and even orange. Plus, it blooms on repeat.
  3. Lavender – This is a super fragrant choice for that sunny, sandy, summer beach scene with lots of long-lasting flowers.
  4. Coreopsis – A lacy, airy flower that reblooms with ease in the heat of summer. Keep them dry and hot for best results.
  5. Daylily – This indestructible rebloomer does best along roadsides, walkways, and sunny hot locales everywhere.
  6. False Sunflower – You can get tons of long-lasting color from this tall, narrow plant that loves to bake in the afternoon sun.
  7. Black-eyed Susan – These bright yellow flowers bridge the gap between summer vacation and football season. Bring the summer to a close and ring in autumn all in one great plant.
With the end of summer’s heat comes the beginning of fall’s color. I love asters and fall brings lots of them. A favorite of mine is Aster novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome.’ Nova-angliae is botanical Latin for New England where this aster is most happy. The flowers are a clear rosy-purple and the foliage is a healthy deep green. Height is close to 18 inches to 2 feet and rarely needs to be cut back to keep the plants compact. Purple Dome’s fame comes from its disease resistance, while most asters suffer from powdery mildew, Purple dome isn’t fazed by it! Purple Dome is a good color contrast to Rudbeckias and a great compliment to Sedums.
Much of the charm of Purple Dome comes from its origin. Discovered by plantsman Dick Lighty, former director of Mt. Cuba in Delaware, whose position it was to map and catalog plants of the Eastern piedmont. Always looking for outstanding plants for American gardens, Dr. Lighty found Purple Dome growing in the wilds of the eastern seaboard, in the days before we discussed GE and GMO’s and their impact on the environment. Aster Purple Dome is a great example of natural selection. And while most of my favorite plant picks are chance discoveries, Dick Lighty’s Aster Purple Dome is a classic example of finding good genetics by observing nature. Purple Dome is a simple plant that simply fits in every fall border.

Fourth of July is often used as a marker for pruning some shrubs, perennials, and annuals. Knowing when to prune is an important step in keeping your plants healthy and thriving. Now is the perfect time to prune the following :

Evergreen trees and shrubs










Mock orange


Veronica (halfway)


Bleeding Heart


Spring flowering bulbs such as daffodils

Montauk Daisy (halfway)

Painted Daisy

Butterflies are creatures of habit. Once they emerge from their cocoons, they immediately look forblooms to supply them with nectar. All butterflies prefer sunny open spaces, like meadows and prairies. Likewise, some of the most popular butterfly plants are meadow and prairie natives.
The most popular butterfly plant is Asclepias, the family of butterfly weeds and milkweeds. Many different types of adult butterflies will feed on butterfly weed blooms even though gardeners plant them, especially for Monarchs. You see, the Monarch caterpillars that feed on the milky sap of milkweed do not get eaten by other creatures. All species of Asclepias will host Monarchs, though the species A. tuberosa is one of their favorites and makes a great statement for the meadow bed and the dry perennial border.
Butterfly weeds are attractive, native perennials with compact green leaves and red to orange to yellow flowers. This year Van Wilgen’s has the cultivar A. ‘Hello Yellow’ with clear yellow flowers.
Another popular prairie native is the family of Echinaceas or the coneflowers. Coneflowers are great choices for the sunny perennial border. Their flower petals are called ray florets and they radiate from the flower’s central cone. We call them daisies and we see pinks, yellows, and reds; butterflies see bullseyes, targets that help them zero in on the flower’s nectar-rich cones. Dozens of butterflies are attracted to Echinaceas, like Skippers, Mourning Cloaks, and Swallowtails. We like the ‘Pow Wow’ Echinacea series at Van Wilgen’s with their easy culture and long-blooming season and a customer fan-favorite is the many-colored variety ‘Cheyenne Spirit.’
monarda web
A third pick is the family of Monardas, collectively known as bee balms; some of the best perennials for pollinators. Beebalm flowers attract many species of butterflies, as well as honey bees and hummingbirds. Butterflies love Monardas for their colorful and sweetly scented flowers but are not so attracted to their pungent foliage. Gardeners love Monardas for their easy culture and long bloom season. When choosing varieties, choose the darker colors, like the reds of ‘Marshall’s Delight’ or ‘Jacob Cline.’ Butterflies see these colors better. Beebalms will bloom over the course of the summer which covers many different generations of butterflies.
Butterflies are attracted to masses of flowers. Remember this when you make your selections. Always look for long-blooming varieties and plants with prolific blooms. Stop by our garden center and garden marts for these picks and even more great plants to add to your butterfly haven. We’re here to help, both you and the butterflies.

The perennial department at Van Wilgen’s lives at an interesting crossroads. We watch as the nursery yard fills up with evergreen interest, and the Greenhouse loads up on pansies, and we poke and prod our plants, waiting for the day that they too might be in bloom. Then the evergreen gives way to the spring bloomers, and the greenhouse starts whispering about veggies and herbs, and perennials…. While, we proudly display four or five perennial plants that bloom early (here’s to you, hellebores, and columbine) and continue to wait. Until now.

The perennial season is finally in full swing, and our humble department is about to go off like the fourth of July. From catmint and salvia in full bloom to coneflowers, yarrow and coreopsis just about to break open, all our favorite plants are finally arriving on the scene. Red Hot Poker? Budded. Delphinium and Heliopsis? Buds and blooms! Bellflower and Iris and Bee Balm, oh my! It’s June- the best time of year to be a perennial gardener. Come enjoy it with us.

Here are a few of Trevor’s favorite’s that look fantastic right now!

Echinacea Lemon Yellow– Sunny, lemon yellow blooms sure to brighten a summer border! A must-have for a cutting garden, this drought-tolerant perennial was bred for cold hardiness and compact form with prolific flowering over an exceptionally long season.

Gaillardia Spin Top Yellow Touch-Each plant is bathed in big, flat, solid, medium red daisies with just a touch of yellow at the tips of each petal that blooms from late May through early July.

Geranium – Johnsons’s Blue-Large, blue-violet flowers appear continuously from spring to fall above finely cut, divided leaves. Use in borders, rock gardens, and containers.

Perovskia- Crazy Blue-A compact and colorful, easy-care perennial for use as an accent, border, or mass planting. Violet-blue flower spikes arise from the lacy, gray-green aromatic foliage, adding an airy feel to the landscape. Hardy and heat tolerant, and sturdy, interlacing branches do not fall open in wind and rain. Deer and rabbit-resistant.

Delphinium – Blue Butterfly -This little beauty stands at a height of 14″ and forms compact mounds of well-branched foliage. It puts on a spectacular show from early summer to fall, with 1.5″, deep blue flowers that cover the lacy leaves. Though it is short-lived, it is worth using as edging, a bedding plant, or in containers combined with brightly colored annuals.

Will O’Hara

Perennial Manager