How to Grow: Perennial Flower Combinations

Learn about early summer perennial flower combinations using colorful foliage and flowers to make your summer garden pop.

Recently I’ve been appreciating some perennial flower combinations in our garden. Many of these we planned to grow together, but some just happened to turn out great in spite of us.

Color is important in a flower garden but it doesn’t all have to come from the flowers. This ‘Dark Reiter’ geranium has burgundy colored foliage which contrasts well with the golden colored leaves of creeping Jenny (Lysimachia). A similar effect is seen with the ‘Rock N Low’ creeping sedum that has beautiful yellow flowers, growing in front of ‘May Night’ salvia and ‘Summer Wine’ Ninebarka. The burgundy colored ninebark leaves contrast beautifully with these other two colors.

Sedums, salvia, artemisia and poppies grow well in our full sun, exposed and dry garden. Another nice combination is the ‘Dragon’s Blood’ creeping sedum planted along the wall in front of the ”Pink Profusion’ salvia and ‘Pink Amethyst’ dwarf yarrow. I like the color combination and also the contrasting foliage of the finely cut yarrow leaves and the succulent sedum leaves.

creeping sedumFinally, Artemisia has beautiful white or silver foliage. It will eventually flower, but we like to let it sprawl around other plants creating nice color contrasts like with the ‘Dragon’s Blood’ sedum. Then there are self sowers like the California poppies that add a splash of color to the bed. We never know where they will pop up in spite of weeding many out of the garden each spring.