When planting perennials in your meadow, arrange them in drifts (clusters of three or more plants) to mimic Mother Nature’s planting schemes. This native perennial is ‘Crazy Cayenne’ Coreopsis verticillata, which opens sizzling orange flowers from spring to fall frost. Look for coreopsis varieties with blossoms in shades including red, gold, maroon, white and bicolor blends. A tough-as-nails performer, coreopsis is hardy in Zones 5-9.
This charming wildflower garden will be loved by the nectar-gatherers in your neighborhood. White shasta daisies are framed by red bee balm and red dwarf coreopsis and create a bright, cheerful planting.
Both newbies and seasoned gardeners make this mistake: crowding too many plants into a space. When plants are overcrowded, the look may be lush, but plants can’t reach their full potential. In this garden, two years after planting, the purple coneflower and yellow coreopsis had vanished, overshadowed and elbowed out by the other plants. Always read pot tags to learn how much space each plant needs to thrive. Give plants ample room to ensure the best growth.
Bee balm, also known as Oswego tea, explodes with floral fireworks in summer. The flowers attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds and make a terrific addition to the summer vase. Plants grow best in full sun to part shade with consistently moist soil. Bee balm comes in a variety of plant sizes and colors, including lavender, pink and bright purple. Rabbit- and deer-resistant plants grow 12 to 36 inches tall and 14 to 18 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9. Good vase companions for bee balm: anise hyssop, coreopsis, zinnia and garden phlox.