Salvia is our “go to” sun-loving perennial. An all-season bloomer, it’s rough, tough and resilient in many conditions. Salvia is drought-tolerant, meaning it requires water less often and perfect for the weekend warriors or vacation home. Salvia tolerates winter wear and tear, so many plant it along curbing where salt and sand can take it’s toll on your plants. Available in a wide variety of colors and sizes, from 8 inches tall to even 30 inches! You’ll notice that the butterflies and bees are also extremely attracted to salvia, so don’t be surprised when you’re backyard starts to buzz!  You will also want to make sure to remove any spent blooms you see because the more you “dead-head”, the more salvia will flourish!


For those of you who are looking for a more elegant perennial, bleeding heart is a wonderful addition to any shade garden. One of the most identifiable perennials, dicentra tolerates tough New England winters and thrives in our climate come Spring.  We like to plant them en masse, or alongside shade-loving hostas and ferns for a stunning wildflower look. Unlike some other perennials, dicentra prefers the “extra love” with a rich, moist soil to grow in. While the bleeding heart only blooms throughout June in a typical spring, it is absolutely worth growing in a shadier yard for beautiful, color. You’ll look forward to it blooming year after year.


Just like the Happy Returns daylily, the Stella D’oro is an aggressive grower from the same family that works great for borders or walkways. The main difference is that that Stellas are more of a golden color while the Happy Returns is more yellow. Both are extremely resilient in a myriad of conditions and will re-bloom all summer from mid-June into the fall. You may have seen these in commercial plantings, and there’s  a reason for it! Cities all over New England rely on the Stella D’oros for their great performance and low maintenance all summer long. They can tolerate part shade but they will grow most extravagantly in full sun.


A beautiful all-season bloomer with petite, soft flowers, give your yard a touch of whimsy. It is tough and resilient, whether it is the baking sun or the partial shade, the good soil or the poor soil. One thing to be noted is that it is  a semi-aggressive spreader, making it the ultimate perennial for a great groundcover with a lot of texture and flowers.


Coreopsis is an excellent, all-purpose perennial choice for any place in your garden. Unlike some other perennials, coreopsis does great in a container garden in addition to your garden beds or foundation plantings too. Coreopsis can withstand full sun and tolerates instances of part-sun. An excellent companion plant to salvia, echinacea and more!  Available in mostly beautiful yellow hues, you will find whites, pinks and deep reds. Not surprisingly, bees love them too! Consistently blooming from the end of June into August, or sometimes even into the fall, coreopsis is a must-have in the perennial garden!

Groundcover Sedum ^

Not to be confused with summer-time annual succulents, groundcover sedum is a great choice for a stylish and structural look that comes back year after year. Sedum’s shallow, fibrous, root system makes them a perfect choice for hill plantings. You see them cropping up everywhere in roofdeck garden plantings too! Sedum is very tolerant of all conditions, especially drought. The succulent leaves take up a lot of water which makes him very drought tolerant once established. Sedum will also “creep” over large area over time and will require very little maintenance, while still adding a color punch of interesting blues, greens and yellows. We think groundcover sedum is one of the best low-key perennial choices out there!


One of the best, low-maintenance perennials to add just a little extra color to your yard! Heuchera is literally beautiful everywhere– from planting beds and walkways, to container gardens, heuchera is so versatile. Treat it as a focal point for it’s unique foliage and color, or as a neutral to enhance your flowering perennials. From lime greens to deep purples, it’s easy to match to your outdoor palette. Plus, the heuchera is semi-evergreen so it will even provide your yard with a little color in the winter. Plant in areas of sun to part-shade.


Not shockingly, this perennial is sure to put a smile on your face with a gorgeous bright yellow color. An aggressive grower, plant these in an area where you won’t mind spreading. It’s one of our favorites for border and walkway plantings. You’ll discover that the happy returns is very interchangeable with another perennial, the stella d’oro day lily. Both can be used in ultimately the same ways and are extremely similar, but once you plant either one in your garden your yard will have one “happy return”.