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Sweet-scented delicate blossoms appear in spring. Named after the goddess of the rainbow, iris color choices are enormous. Varieties include repeat bloomers and variegated foliage. Plant the rhizomes roughly a foot apart, leaving the top half of the rhizome above ground. USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 9
Balloon flower: Named for the shape of its buds, this long-lived perennial blooms from mid to late summer. Blue is its most common color, but white and pink selections can also be found. Balloon flower prefers moist, well-drained soil. Once established, it's virtually maintenance free. Don't divide; the fibrous root system can be tricky to transplant. USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 8
Black-eyed Susan. The sunny-yellow, easy disposition of this drought-tolerant perennial(Rudbeckia sp.) makes it a good choice for a dry, low-maintenance garden bed. After a few waterings to get the plants established, they'll be there for many summers to come. Hardy in USDA Zones 3 to 10.
Maltese Cross The fiery flowers of Maltese cross (Lychnis chalcedonica) appear on 2- to 4-foot stems in early summer. Sow in sun or part shade in moist, well-drained soil, and cut back after flowering to encourage re-bloom. The flowers may also attract hummingbirds.