Home Sweet Home Magazine - May 2021

5. Cosmos With blooms of gold, orange, pink, magenta, white, yellow, red and even chocolate, cosmos are an easy way to add a vibrant splash of color to any garden. An easy-to-grow annual, cosmos feature a daisy-like bloom atop a long, slender stem. Seeds germinate quickly, so plant in May or well after the last frost in your area, and you’ll be seeing blooms in no time. Cosmos love full sun and don’t need much water; just scatter seeds in well-draining soil, and the plants will support each other as they grow. A hardy, self-sufficient flower, cosmos can tolerate drought, poor soil conditions, and general neglect (though not recommended!), and will even self-sow.

USDA Hardiness: Zones 2 through 11.

6. Coneflowers Also known as echinacea , coneflowers are hardy, low-fuss perennials that bring charm and pollinators to the garden. Native to the U.S., coneflowers have a daisy-like flower with a raised center, which attracts butterflies, as well songbirds after the flower goes to seed. Most common is the echinacea purpurea , or purple varietal, but coneflowers are available in a wide range of vivid hues to add all kinds of color to your garden. Coneflowers can grow up to 2 to 4 feet in height and will produce dark green foliage as well as a prickly stem, which is where echinacea comes from— the latin word for hedgehog is echinus . These tough but pretty flowers can tolerate drought and poor soil, but they do best in well- drained soil with plenty of organic matter. For ease and low-key gardening, purchase coneflower starts from your local nursery and enjoy blooms frommidsummer through fall frost. Plant in full sun for optimal blooming.

USDA Hardiness: Zones 2 through 9

7. Daylilies A pleasantly low-maintenance perennial, daylilies are a darling of late-spring planting. These elegant beauties are incredibly easy to grow and can survive drought, uneven sunlight, and poor soil, while resisting disease and pests with ease. Though not a “true lily,” daylilies are as good as such with their gorgeous, vividly colored orange, red, pink, purple, white or yellow blooms that sit atop tall, dark green stems. Daylilies can be started from seed, but it is recommended to purchase root starts from your local nursery. Daylilies thrive in full sun and well-drained soil, and it is recommended that you water your daylilies once a week after they’ve been established. Oddly enough, daylily flowers are actually edible — sauté daylily buds in butter and garlic for a special garden treat.

USDA Hardiness: Zones 4 to 9


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