Best in Bloom
The ultimate inspirational plant list. See a plant you want to add to your landscape? Repin it!
A Charming Garden With Planter's Punch
Wood Violet: The moisture-loving wildflower commonly makes itself at home in woodlands, stream banks, and well-watered lawns. Violets are self-sowing, hardy groundcovers that bloom profusely over long periods in summer and may self-seed freely. | Photo: John W Bova/Photo Researchers/Getty
Rosebay Rhododendron: Clusters of bell-shaped flowers, spotted with olive green to orange, bloom late in the season. Its glossy evergreen foliage, cold hardiness, and willingness to flower even in dense, shaded woods are much of the shrub's charm. | Photo: homeredwardprice/Magnus Maske/Wikimedia Commons
Coast Rhododendron: In mid- to late spring, compact trusses of rose, purple, or white flowers bloom. Its evergreen foliage provides a leafy backdrop year-round. Suitable for sun, it can grow to an impressive 15 feet tall and wide. | Photo: Gregory MD./Photo Researchers/Getty
Flowering Dogwood: In late spring, small clusters of pale green flowers surrounded by white or pink bracts emerge, followed by clusters of bright red fruit and showy red fall foliage. Given well-drained soil and a little shade, it makes a lovely landscape tree, reaching up to 40 feet tall. | Photo: OGphoto/E+/Getty
Red Clover: Farmers grow red clover as food for cows and other animals. Though rarely grown in garden settings, it makes an effective cover crop for the vegetable patch, where it boosts soil nitrogen during the off-season. | Photo: Evelyn Simak/GeographBot/Wikimedia Commons
Sego Lily: Native Americans and early settlers used to feast on the bulbs of these late-spring-blooming flowers, eating them roasted, boiled, or raw; and the delicate flowers, which bloom white, lavender, or yellow, still grow naturally in the Great Basin's open grasslands
Texas Bluebonnet: Water seeds only on the day of planting, and water transplants sparingly, repeating only when soil is dry an inch down. Though the Texas native (shown) is commonly deep violet, other cultivars include some intriguing non-blue colors, like cream 'Noble Maiden' and maroon-and-white 'Alamo Fire.' | Photo: Saxon Holt/Photo Botanic
Iris: Plant this sun-loving perennial in late summer, water it well, and fertilize in spring and after blooms fade. Standouts include bearded, almost-black 'Superstition' and the Siberian yellow-and-white 'Butter and Sugar' (shown). | Photo: Mark Bolton/GAP Photos
Pasque Flower: A buttercup relative that grows wild across America, especially at higher altitudes, this perennial likes dry, sandy soil and full sun and is fairly drought tolerant. It grows from seed sown in fall, blooms in shades of violet to white, and produces dramatic seed heads before going dormant in summer heat. | Photo: Ernst Kucklich
Yellow Jessamine: A fast grower but well mannered, prefers sun but still blooms in shade, and adapts to most soil conditions. | Photo: Tian Ying/Wikimedia Commons
Violet: A prolific self-seeding perennial that tolerates clay soils, it's happiest in partial sun and moist, well-drained beds. Plant it in spring or fall from seed or transplants. For variations on the violet theme, look for 'Freckles,' pale with purple speckles, or the snowy white 'Albiflora' (shown). | Photo: Tommy Tonsberg/GAP Photos
Mountain Laurel has showy pink or white flowers and typically grows as a dense, rounded shrub and prefers well-drained, acidic soil.
The Oregon grape sports canary yellow flowers in spring atop a cradle of prickly evergreen leaves. Edible berries follow and ripen to a metallic blue-black by fall.
Oklahoma Rose: Dark red, fragrant, and an impressive 5 inches across, the blooms appear in flushes throughout the growing season. Like all hybrid tea roses, 'Oklahoma' requires full sun and ample water. It can be grown in the ground or in a winter-protected container.
Scarlet Carnation: The bright flowers with a strong clove-like scent grow in full sun, and the blooms emerge in the summer. This wild species has been bred to produce many of the carnations that are suitable for cutting. For longer-lasting cut blooms, harvest when still tight or barely open.
Flowering Dogwood: Given well-drained soil and a little shade, it makes a lovely landscape tree, too, as this dogwood only reaches 20 to 40 feet tall, a perfect size for smaller yards. In late spring, small clusters of pale green flowers surrounded by white or pink bracts emerge, followed by clusters of bright red fruit.
Roses range from mini shrubs to towering vines, all requiring at least 5 to 6 hours of sun a day, well-drained soil, and good air circulation. Regional natives, heirlooms predating 1867, and new disease-resistant varieties, such as the Easy Elegance series (shown), are easiest to grow, while rugosas are the hardiest.
Yucca is seen as a symbol of sturdiness and beauty and thrives in well-drained soil under dry, hot conditions.
Violets are self-sowing, hardy groundcovers that bloom in fields, lawns, and anywhere they can find warm sunshine. The flowers are sometimes deep violet-blue but more commonly white, heavily speckled, and streaked violet-blue around the centers.
Purple Lilac blooms in late spring and early summer; its spreading habit makes it a popular choice for hedges.
Sagebrush survives where other plants can't and serves as an important source of food for grazing animals in the winter.
Goldenrod thrives in poor to moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. Despite its reputation, goldenrod is not the source of fall allergies; ragweed, which blooms at the same time, is.
Bitterroot thrives in dry, gravelly soil and from early spring to summer throws large, pink flowers on short stems close to the ground.