5 Hardy Summer Plants for Common Areas
Summer is upon us, and that means gardening is in full swing. For many community associations, choosing the appropriate plants to use in common areas throughout the summer is a challenge. However, selecting the right plants can save you money, energy, and time, so it's worth being strategic about it. When it comes to saving time and money, perennials (plants that come back every year) make much more sense for community associations than annuals (plants that have to be replaced every year). There is plenty of variety for every type of community common area, whether it's just your entrance or you have a pond and walking path, these lovely plants can boost your spirits.
Periwinkle, also known as Vinca minor, is a short, evergreen groundcover that produces light purple flowers throughout the spring and summer. According to some master gardeners, it's one of the most low maintenance flowering plants you could plant in your community. First, and perhaps most importantly, you won't have any weed problems with periwinkle. It grows thickly, creating a ground cover that most weeds cannot penetrate. This attractive perennial spreads quickly, so if you have a large area to cover, it's a good choice.
Also known as blue mist spirea, bluebeard is a low-growing shrub that reaches 2-3 ft in height. This perennial presents blue-colored flowers in late summer that last into fall. Bluebeard grows best in a hot, sunny space. It's heat and drought-resistant, and rarely needing watering. Bluebeard is an excellent choice for a dry-soiled area that many other plants won't thrive in.
A member of the carnation family, dianthus comes in both annual and perennial versions, so don't get confused. You want the perennial version, which has pink blooms. A long bloomer in the summer, this pretty plant produces a lot of little flowers. You won't have to check on this flower much as it needs minimal tending.
Part of the sunflower family, blanket flowers feature cheerful yellow and red blooms that resemble daisies. Blanket flower is drought-resistant and very tolerant of heat. It also adapts well to poor soil. These traits make it a good curbside flower for your community. You'll see blanket flower bloom throughout the summer into the fall.
Black-eyed Susans are a garden staple, known for their cheerful flowers and hardiness. These flowers, also called rudbeckia, can live in any type of soil, so they're a good option for any full sun or partial sun spot. Black-eyed Susans are drought tolerant, making them very easy to care for. One reason the flower is so beloved is that it self-sows and has a continued presence in the garden.
More appreciated more for their beautiful foliage, than for their flowers, hostas are an excellent choice for shady spots in the summer. These plants are easy to grow and live quite a long time. You'll have some decisions to make at the outset, as there are a great variety of colors, leaf shapes, sizes, and textures to choose from. Hostas are tolerant of humidity and temperature swings and can grow in many different climates.
If you're looking to add some height to your floral landscaping, perennial salvia is a good option. Usually deep purple or blue, the salvia plant produces tall spikes of flowers that can reach up to 3 ft tall. These long-blooming summer flowers are heat, drought, and chill tolerant and are beloved by butterflies and hummingbirds.
Whether you're looking to plant along a walkway, fill in a median, or simply create a more colorful landscape for your community, these six flowering perennials will do well throughout the hot, summer weather.