Preparing For August Blooms: Top Midwestern Perennials

A list of the plants that carry my garden through the tough days of August.

coneflowers

Photo: Rachlin Susan, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Flowering coneflowers.

At the end of a hot dry summer last year I was asked to talk to a group about my top 10 perennials for Midwestern gardens.

It only occurred to me later that the flowers I always love the best are the ones that are, at that very moment, blooming well in my garden. For example, in high summer I have completely forgotten how I feel about daffodils in March.

Also, since that sad day for me when deer discovered my garden, I now adore any plant that deer distain.

And so last August my list consisted of heat-, drought- and deer-resistant flowering plants:

butterfly weed
helianthus
heliopsis
dianthus
surprise lilies
Russian sage
perennial hibiscus
coreopsis
coneflowers

For the favorite shrub I would chose crape myrtle.

The deer ate the sedum, malva, phlox, hostas and daylilies, which bumped those from my list.

I nearly added yarrow, black-eyed Susans, shasta daisies and globe thistle, but they were all best in July.

Those were the plants that carried my garden through the tough days last August. If you don’t have them, plant the ones on my list now. Then you will be assured of a great show this year when August rolls around.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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