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Perfect Flowers to Fill the Gap Between Spring and Summer in Your Chesapeake Native Garden

Flowers for sun.

blue flowers
Wild Indigo

Following the spring profusion of flowers, my garden is verdant and lush but very few native flowers are in bloom. Each year, I note this gap and think next year, I need to fix it! Yet, here it is. Lots of green; not so many flowers.

garden scene with large rock
Lots of Green

This is exactly why garden designers recommend focusing on foliage -- contrasting textures, colors and leaf shape. While flowers are fleeting, foliage is always there doing its thing during the growing season. Nevertheless, I'm looking for flowers!



Wild Indigo

Wild indigo, (Baptisia australis), sometimes called false indigo, emerges in April and by May, spikes of graceful blue flowers bloom for a couple of weeks. The flowers are beautiful but its true value is its 3 to 4 foot high silvery blue foliage that stays strong throughout our humid and hot summers. In the fall, the seed pods turn black and can be quite interesting. Wild indigo needs full sun to bloom profusely. It easily tolerates clay soil and is drought tolerant once established. One thing to remember about this plant is you can’t move it after it establishes. It grows a deep tap root system and moving it inevitably severs the roots too severely. I can say from experience its a good idea to select a location that will not eventually become shaded.



Blue Flag Iris

Blue Flag (Iris versicolor) is our native iris and does best in soils on the moist side They grow in full or dappled sun. These bloom in late spring and sword like foliage adds texture and contrast for much longer.



Blue Eyed Grass

Blue eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium) is a one to two foot high perennial has lots of tiny bright blue flowers once established. In my experience, the more sun it gets, the more flowers it yields. It is also will self seed once established.



Honeysuckle

Trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) begins flowering well before the gap but the vine will continue to flower right through it. Native honeysuckle is easy to grow, attracts hummingbirds, blooms in sun or part shade and produces bright red berries in fall. It grows quickly but not aggressively.



Wild Hydrangea

Wild hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) are shrubs with many white flowers. Flowers are just beginning to emerge on wild hydrangeas here. The buds add interest and the flowers are long lasting. While wild hydrangeas tend to do best with some shade they can grow in part sun with enough water.


Your lull in blooms between spring and summer flowers may be earlier or later depending on where you garden. It's also quite possible that you may have no gap at all where you are! Please do share if you have other ideas for filling the gap with flowers!


Happy Gardening.









5 Comments


My yarrow is looking colorful!!

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Bignonia capriolata vine is blooming now as well :)

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Phlox divaricata 'Blue Moon' is still flowering for me, as well as phlox stolonifera.

I'm getting a few stray Stylophorum flowers, and Monarda bradburiana is just starting.

Love the baptisia but not everyone has room in their garden for straight australis. I highly

recommend Baptisia australis var minor - same glorious blue spikes, only at approx 24" tall,

but still about 48" wide in a few years.

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Replying to

Great tip from a pro - thanks Barbara!

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thanks for the ideas!

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We want you to be as excited about planting Chesapeake natives as we are. “Plant This or That” gives you a native alternative to popular plants. Other posts highlight really fabulous fauna native to the Chesapeake.

Nuts for Natives, avid gardener, Baltimore City admirer, Chesapeake Bay Watershed restoration enthusiast, and public service fan.

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