The best hardy perennial flowers for your garden landscaping. These plants are easy to grow, low-maintenance and beautiful!
Even though I love this time of year and the renewal that spring brings, all I can think about when I walk around our yard is that I can’t wait until summer! Right now our garden beds are bare and colorless, the grass is brown, and even when the sun shines, it all looks dismal. So…for those of you who, like me, are longing for summer, I have rounded up my list of best hardy perennial flowers, so you can at least think about being in your garden.
Because after all…thinking and planning are part of the process, and definitely part of the fun!
*Author’s note: I reside in Northwest Ohio, which is U.S. planting zone 6. This post was written in 2021, and features our yard and gardens at the Sutton Place house. I’m looking forward to making the garden beds around our new home just as beautiful.
Best Hardy Perennial Flowers
Hostas (partial to full shade)
Hostas are perfect hardy perennial flowers for any garden landscaping that’s in the shade. Their bloom time comes later in the summer, but is definitely worth the wait. You can find much more information on growing hostas by clicking this link:
Shasta Daisy (full sun preferred)
I love these for a cutting flower. I recommend Becky because it has strong stems and blooms for several weeks. They have a tendency to multiply and move around due to re-seeding. I just dig them up in the spring and plop them back where they belong. They pair beautifully in a cut arrangement with hosta, hydrangeas or phlox.
To see how to use this amazing cutting flower in your home click here: Simple Arrangements Using Garden Flowers & Herbs
Coreopsis (full sun preferred)
One of my favorites, but not widely used, is Coreopsis. I think I am emotionally attached to my coreopsis because it is the only plant that has survived from my original fence row garden plan. This batch started out as 3 little plants. I keep it in control by trimming around the perimeter of the patch in the spring. Although not really a cutting flower, I can see it from my kitchen window. Looking out to this view always lifts my spirits.
Black-eyed Susans (full sun preferred)
Another daisy-type perennial that, in my opinion, should be in every perennial garden is the Black-eyed Susan. Honestly, these plants are amazing. All they need, once established, is water and the blooms are abundant.
If you have stone borders around your garden beds, they have a tendency to sink during the winter. In late spring I always reset the rocks and flagstone. Click this link to learn more: How to Maintain a Garden Rock Border.
Clematis (full to partial sun)
Next is the climbing vine, Clematis. The plant below was started 2 years ago. Last year it only had a few blooms and I was a little worried. As you can see, I had nothing to worry about! It takes a year or so to become established and then it goes crazy. Mine is Galore and the purple pops from the wood fence.
For tips and tricks for growing clematis click here: Growing Clematis | Through the Years
Daylily (full to partial shade)
One perennial flower that has done very well for me is the Daylily. Like hosta, they die down in the fall for easy clean-up. Their blooming time is short, but the blooms are plentiful and vivid. We have split these daylilies a few times and moved some to the front yard. These are Stella D’oro, the most common variety.
Peony (full to partial sun)
A few years ago I received three peony plants as a remembrance when my father-in-law passed away. I planted them in my fence row garden and have waited patiently for blooms. Last year I had none. This year I was blessed with several blooms on each bush. These peonies are the loveliest color but I have no idea exactly what it is. It’s a very vibrant, dark pink. Peonies require no care at all. They die down in the fall and appear again in the spring. I did worry a little about all the ants they were attracting as the buds were forming. Turns out I had no reason to worry. The ants actually help the buds form. By the time they bloomed the ants were all gone. Peonies love sun but they did fine in my partial sun conditions.
Dianthus (at least 6 hours of sun)
One of the reasons I planted the pink peonies was because I knew they would exactly match the dianthus that was already there. It’s a few years old and comes up in the late spring. The blooms are so pretty and last for several weeks. Again, there is really nothing to do except sheer off the blooms when they die down…and this is only if you want to. I didn’t last year and they came back again this year better than ever. Dianthus does expand and fill in nicely. If it gets too think it’s very easy to dig up and move.
Lavender (full sun, dry conditions)
No list of hardy perennial flowers would be complete without including lavender, and even though I have not had amazing success, my lavender has refused to die! Some years it looks better than others and I think that depends on how much rain we get. Lavender likes to be dry. The picture below is from just a few weeks ago and this is the best my lavender has ever looked. The blooms are not abundant, but it looks healthy and has the most incredible scent. A few years ago I was ready to pull it completely out and now I’m glad that I didn’t. I’m hopeful that next year will bring even more blooms. There are different kinds of lavender. Mine is Hidcote English Lavender but Munstead is also a good choice. For projects and recipes that use lavender click HERE. (The lavender shortbread cookies are amazing!)
Phlox (full to partial sun)
The first phlox I ever planted is the basic white version called David. I made a mistake though and placed the plants too close together. Some of them were crowded out and I ended up with just one large plant. David has a pure white bloom and smells amazing. Mine hasn’t bloomed yet but I will be sure to share a photo on Instagram when it does. What is blooming is my Peppermint Twist. I bought these plants on a whim a few years ago at Kroger. They are sturdy and have perfect blooms. You can tell this is a hybrid because there is one lone pink flower that must have missed the memo! Like most perennials, this dies down in the fall and comes up again in the early summer. Phlox has a tendency to get mildewy at the root so I try not to overwater. They make a lovely cut flower but don’t last long. After a few days the petals start to fall off.
All of these hardy perennial flowers are easy to grow in zones 3 thru 8. If you aren’t sure what zone you are in, just click HERE. With some extra watering, I believe this collection of perennials could be grown in zones 9 and 10 as well.
I have said many times that I’m not an expert at anything. I know a little bit about a lot of things, and that includes gardening! These plants are tried and true, all-American favorites that anyone can grow. A little water, a little sun, and a prayer or two is all you need.
I hope this got you ready to get your hands dirty!