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Bluebeard Shrub. This shrub is a treat in late summer when it bears its airy clusters of beautiful blue blooms. It's extra-easy to grow, too, laughing off all but the worst heat and drought. As an added bonus, birds and butterflies love it. Bluebeard shrub makes a great cut flower, too. Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil Size: To 4 feet tall Zones: 5-9

Beat-The-Heat Summer Garden Plans by BH & Gardens Even as the mercury climbs, this ultraeasy garden plan looks great -- all summer long. Garden size: 5 by 10 feet

Best Early-Spring Flowers for the Midwest

flowers/flower meadow || fiori/prato in fiore || fleurs/prairie fleurie

Allium Deer-resistant, summer-blooming bulbs show off purple globelike blossoms. Look for late-blooming varieties such as Allium Millennium (shown) and Allium tuberosum. Zones: 4-9 Size: 18-36 inches tall; 12-18 inches wide.

~~Beautiful purple cosmos flowers blooming in colorful summer garden by Perl Photography~~

Bee Balm Bee balm is an old-fashioned favorite that produces flowers in shades of red to pink, lavender, and purple. It grows in heavy, clay soil, attracts hummingbirds, and is deer- and rabbit-resistant. Needs regular to ample water. Name: Monarda selections Zones: 3-9

Lupine, a favorite perennial. Many colors and re-blooms and self seeds. Lovely.