Shrubs and Perennials for a Colorful Summer Landscape | Platt Hill Nursery | Blog & Advice

Your garden doesn’t have to stop blooming after the spring. In fact, many shrubs, biennials and perennials flower all throughout the summer. Take advantage of them to create an ever-blooming garden that’s brimming with color! 


Radiant Summer Shrubs


The hydrangea’s crowning features are their massive flower heads. They’re sure to impress with their immense globes of pink, lavender, blue and white. Hydrangeas are the queen of summer bloomers. Ranging in size from 2FT tall & 2FT wide, all the way to 7FT x 7FT, you can find any hydrangea suitable for your space. Pro tip: the sun loving hydrangeas (look for plants that say paniculata, or arborscens) are very low maintenance, and reliable bloomers. Additionally, do hydrangeas need full sun? Yes.

Rose of Sharon

This shrub is not a rose at all, but a member of the Mallow family and a cousin of the Hibiscus. Like its relatives, it unfurls immaculate blossoms of white, purple, or pink hue, often with a characteristic red center and long stamen. Many varieties reach a height of 10-12 feet and a spread of 6-8 feet, making them an excellent privacy shrub, though they will dazzle you with summer color anywhere in your landscape.




Butterfly Bush

This compact shrub, at 5 feet high and 4 feet wide, displays hot pink, purple or red spikes of flowers in mid- to late summer. True to its name, it attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds late in the season when other blossoms are winding down. It’s also called the Summer Lilac, a testament to its timeless beauty.





Sometimes it’s good to be reminded of the obvious. We’ve already posted a whole blog on our favorite roses, but it never hurts to mention them again. Their wide range of peach, red, purple, golden, cream, and multicolored petals keep blooming throughout the warm months. You can find a rose for any personality; many breeds are cold hardy, resistant to disease, and low maintenance too!  


Vibrant Summer Perennials 

Garden Phlox

The word phlox is Greek for flame, a telling sign of its intense color. Their long flowering season begins in mid-July and lingers on into September. You’ll find them in every shade of pink, magenta, or fuschia that you can imagine, sometimes with bright scarlet or soothing lavender hues. The German plantsman, Karl Foerster, who first bred many of today’s varieties, said that a garden without phlox is not only a mistake, but “a sin against summer.”


This low maintenance, drought-tolerant perennial is smothered in multicolored blossoms for most of the hot months. They display a yellow flower, with an inner burgundy ring and golden center, reaching heights and spreads of 12-15 inches. With dense leaves close to the ground, they make an excellent plant along pathways or anywhere in your garden.





This hardy, low-maintenance lily is a surefire for beginners and pros alike. Their blossoms open daily every morning and fade in a day or two. But with more than a dozen blossoms on each stem, the constant blooming lasts for several weeks. They’ll reach a height and spread of 12-18 inches, with long, slender green leaves, and yellow, peach, cream, or pink flowers.   


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Check out our online catalog to see the selections we carry. Contact us to see what we have in store or stop by our locations in Carpentersville and Bloomingdale to view all of the colorful possibilities that await your summer landscape!

Platt Hill Nursery is Chicago’s premier garden center and nursery.