Perennials – Chicago’s Favorite Flower Family

by Amanda on May 6, 2021

One of the most common things we’ve heard from buyers this year has been how excited they are to plant something. Whether full on landscaping, planters for a roof deck or pots for a terrace – it seems that many have developed a green-ish thumb during quarantine and are itching to show off their skills. The good news is that even if you’ve got zero free time on your hands, (like me), you can still have flowers the neighbors will envy.

Enter the perennial, nature’s plants for those that just don’t have time to garden. These hearty native plants bloom from Spring until Fall and with a little care, return year after year. Best of all, they come in all sizes, shapes and colors, so regardless of how much space you have – there’s a perennial right for you.

Your Chicago Home Partner team has compiled their knowledge, (and consulted the professionals at Farmer’s Market Garden Center), to provide you with an extensive list of amazing local perennials that will bring beauty to your space. Take a look below and send us a pic of your fabulous creations!

Aster – (FULL SUN ☀️ ) Aster is both whimsical and easy to grow. It needs next to no care and brings a pop of color well into the fall when most other summer blooms have faded. Choose from many varieties of aster in blooms of blue, purple, pink or white.

Sedum – (Full Sun ☀️ ) Pretty, thick succulent leaves that bloom large pink clustered flowers, sedum is the best of both worlds. Drought and freeze tolerant, it will spread as a great ground cover and also does well in borders and containers. Enjoy sedum blooms from late summer through November.

Purple Coneflowers (Full Sun ☀️) A native to the eastern United States, purple coneflowers are found in many flower gardens. Planting purple coneflower in the garden or flower bed draws bees and butterflies, ensuring that nearby plants have plenty of pollinators. The plant also provides a tall background or repeating rows of large, often 6 inches across, purple, daisy-like flowers. These flowers thrive in drought and poor soil too!

Delphinium (Full Sun ☀️ / Light Shade 🌤) Tall, true blue elegant spires of periwinkle blue blooms, delphinium is a garden classic. Not fussy and able to withstand drought conditions, this showstopper will bloom prolifically over a long period of time. Cut spent stalks down to the ground to encourage a second bloom.

Black-eyed Susan (Full Sun ☀️ / Light Shade 🌤) Dark brown, almost black centers are a sharp contrast to sunny golden petals and give this drought tolerant perennial its name. It mounds as it grows, making it a great option to fill in borders or containers. A must for any native landscape these drought-hardy flowers bloom from early summer to early Fall.

Phlox – (Full Sun ☀️ / Light Shade 🌤) Phlox will bloom dainty clusters of star-shaped purple, pink, red, white or orange flowers from late spring through summer and into fall. It will do well in partial shade, but likes at least 6 hours of sun a day. Amanda’s personal go-to favorite?

Viola – (Light Shade 🌤 / Full Shade ☁️ ) These spring bloomers tolerate some sun, but they prefer part to full shade, especially in the heat of summer. Some types are fragrant as well and come in multiple colors and varieties. Great to color up those darker parts of your yard or deck.

Coral Bells (Full Sun ☀️ / Full Shade ☁️ ) Another a fantastic addition to any landscape bed. There are many different varieties to choose from for either sun or shade. They also come in many different colors, which makes it easy to add more color without taking up too much space. Some of our favorite varieties are Pretty Pistachio (green), Wildberry (bright purple), and Caramel (caramel/orange). One extra “feature” that makes Coral Bells stand out is that they are considered semi-evergreen. Much of the foliage will stay on the plant all year round, even retaining most of its brilliant color!

Hostas (Light Shade 🌤 / Full Shade ☁️ ) A staple in any shade garden, hostas are incredibly tolerant of low sunlight areas. There are many different varieties of colors, sizes, and shapes that can add a lot of interest in an otherwise boring area of your landscaping. Hostas can be as small as 18” tall -like the ‘Dancing Queen’ hosta- or as large as 5 feet tall -like the ‘Empress Wu’ hosta! Colors range from blue, green, and yellow, to variegated combinations of blue, ivory, and green. 

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