Yellow Summer Perennials

Yellow Summer Perennials

By Ingrid Hoff

Hope is on the Horizon!

Did you know yellow is the international colour of hope? I did not, until very recently, but when I think about it, it makes sense to me. Yellow is a very happy colour, it’s the colour of sunshine and gold. As the temperature is going up, I start to think about the summer we have ahead of us this year and the word hope does seem fitting. I have a lot of hope for the rest of this year, for more of a return to “normal” visiting friends and family. So, what better way to inspire some hope and joy that to add the colour of it into our gardens. Luckily there is an awesome array of summer blooming perennials to fit the bill. 

In fact, it you do want to add more yellow to your garden then you should know there is a movement called Hope is Growing whose aim is to encourage people across Canada to plant a “Hope Garden,” which is a garden filled with a “sea of yellow.” If you do snap a picture, share it on social media, tag it and even enter a contest to win. For more information check out 

But even if you don’t want to join the large movement, consider planting a bit more yellow in your garden this year. As a colour it has an amazing way of bringing brightness to a dark spot in the garden and it’s just so cheerful. Even if you consider yourself more of a minimalist white person, imagine a monochromatic planting of cheerful, lemony yellow. Or a dusky sunset array of burnt-yellow that’s leaning dangerously close to orange. I dare you not to smile, it’s just so happy. 

Top 8 Yellow Summer Flowering Perennials. 

  1. Coreopsis also known as tickseed. With cheerful daisy-like flowers in a variety of yellow shades (from gold to lemon) and lacy foliage this is a great plant for any sunny to part shady spot. Low maintenance and drought resistant this is such an easy plant to grow. Enjoy three months of bloom time on clump forming plants that can grow anywhere from 15-120cm tall (6-48”).  

  1. Yarrow (Achillea sp.) has a cottage charm with flat topped flower clusters, the pollinators flock to. Plant it in full sun, or part shade (with staking as the stems will get a little tall and leggy). It is drought resistant and low maintenance, with yellow flowers ranging from bright mustard to pale butter. Blooms last all summer and into the fall. 

  1. Yellow Shasta daisies (Leucanthemum superbum) everyone knows the iconic daisy but did you know they also come in shades of subtle yellow (vibrant lemon to pale butter cream). Shastas are easy to grow, and drought resistant once established. Plant them in full sun to part shade and enjoy the show. ‘Banana Cream’ and ‘Goldfinch’ are especially dreamy cultivars. 

  1. Ligularia is one for the shade, because the sun loving gardens shouldn’t have all the fun. The colour yellow is especially good in the shade, the golden flower spikes of these plants brighten up even the darkest corner. The flowers aren’t the only benefit to this plant, the bold round to heart-shaped leaves are a glossy, dark green colour with purple undersides. Make sure to plant it somewhere that has ample moisture, and enjoy. 

  1. Rudbeckia, everybody knows a brown eyed Susan, and they range in colour from auburn golds to sunshine yellow. Plant them in full sun and well-drained soil (yep, they are drought resistant). Make sure to deadhead them regularly to keep the show going into the fall. 

  1. Echinacea, did you know that purple coneflowers also come in yellow? Well, they do and you should get some if you have a warm sunny spot for them. A low maintenance plant once established. ‘Yellow My Darling’ is a great cultivar to look out for. 

  1. Phlomis also known as Jerusalem sage is a unique looking statement plant. The tiered beak-shaped pale yellow hooded flowers rise up above silvery-green heart leaves on 60cm tall stalks. It’s architectural and striking, plant it in full sun to part shade. This is a drought tolerant award-winning plant, so run don’t walk to get one. 

  1. Yellow false indigo (Baptisia sp.) is a bold, upright clump forming specimen perennial. It boasts spikes of clustered lemony-yellow pea shaped flowers and dense vibrant green foliage. Growing to 90cm (36”) tall, it is stately. Low maintenance and drought tolerant, plant it in full sun to part shade. Beloved by pollinators and gardeners alike. 

In the words of Anne Frank, “where there is hope… there is life.” Or if you prefer in the words of Desmond Tutu “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness. Hope whispers that things will get better.” Hope is a very popular and quotable subject, for a good reason, we all need a little bit of it. So, let's get ready to have a summer filled with hope, light and life. Things are getting better, plant some yellow to celebrate, then invite loved ones over to enjoy. Let’s join the movement to move forward with hope and beauty, make summer 2021 one to remember fondly and plant some hope. 


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