Summer is in full swing and so is my perennial garden! Let me show you what my New England zone 5b/6a garden looks like now that it’s August.
Take a Tour of My Summer Gardens
We are in the height of Summer here in New Hampshire and my perennial gardens look so pretty! Everything has grown so much since my last garden tour in June.
The heat and sunny days we are having this year seem to make the plants very happy! Although it has been quite dry overall my garden isn’t showing many signs of stress. Last July it rained for 26 days which seemed to affect the plants more.
Grow With Me Gardening Series
This is part of the Grow With Me Gardening Series here at Cottage On Bunker Hill. I want to teach you ways of starting, maintaining, and enjoying gardening. I will share all the tips & tricks that I have learned over the years growing both vegetable and flower gardens here in the Northeast.
Shade garden in summer
My shade garden is directly outside of my kitchen so it’s the garden space that I see the most of during the day. This area gets the early morning sun and all the plants seem to thrive in the conditions.
Here’s a picture from my last tour. The hydrangeas hadn’t filled out yet and the hostas were still filling out.
The Endless Summer hydrangeas have more than doubled in size, but I don’t have many flowers this year.
My best guess is that they were affected by the weird weather we had here last November. After having a hard freeze at the end of October where everything died back followed by chilly temps there was a strange warm-up at the end of November that tricked so many plants into thinking it was Spring.
Everyone in our area had forsythias flowering and bulbs popping through. My row of hydrangeas also set buds..which I think is the reason for the lack of buds this year.
But I am happy with the few flowers that I have! They are on my must-have list for a New England garden.
My shade garden layout is a pretty simple style. The shade garden runs from my front porch to the garage door entrance.
There is a row of Endless Summer hydrangeas (4 of them) that run across the length of the garden which are about 5 feet high and about that width across.
In front of the hydrangeas, I have various shade-loving perennials and a tall obelisk with a clematis.
shade garden perennials that thrive in zone 5b and 6A:
- Coral Bells
- Lady’s Mantle
- Toad Lily
full sun perennial garden beds
On the opposite side of my front porch starts the sunny section of my garden which wraps around the house and runs down the length of the house. My house isn’t that large so it’s not as big as it sounds!!
Here’s the June view of this front corner of the garden. All of my Knock Out Roses were blooming…they are just gorgeous, aren’t they??!!
The Knock Out’s will have a second set of flowers later this season. Right now the yellow coneflower is in full bloom along with the daylilies and a Little Quick Fire hydrangea (which is a smaller variety of hydrangea)
If you have been a reader for a while then you may remember that I had a vole infestation last year throughout my gardens and they chewed up and destroyed so many of my plants. Well, those little buggas are active all winter long underground eating roots of plants.
So this year I’ve had so many “Oh, that plant is missing!” moments! Around the yellow coneflower, I also had 2 other varieties that didn’t come back.
Sadly, I think about 15 plants didn’t grow back this Spring!
If you are a new gardener or worried about growing hydrangeas then definitely start with the Little Quick Fire! They are part of the panicle hydrangea family and are very easy to grow. You can also grow them just about everywhere in the U.S.
They grow in hardiness zones 3-8. So can tolerate pretty cold climates…and even do well in most of the southern states.
Side Perennial Garden
Down the length of my house opposite the fenced-in cottage garden is a pretty perennial bed. There are tall ornamental grasses (Miscanthus Arabesque). The Phlox ‘Pink Lady’ is in full bloom next to yellow ‘Achillea Moonshine’, and a pretty daylily named ‘Moonlit Masquerade’.
No comments on the dead grass…we have had an extremely hot and dry month and everything is turning crunchy and brown!
One of my garden stunners is this hardy Hibiscus ‘Azurri Blue Satin‘. This is its fourth year in the garden and it’s finally really filling out. It’s taller than me so the taller branches are probably 6 feet now.
The flowers are just amazing! It’s hard to believe it’s a plant that I can grow in New Hampshire..doesn’t it look like it belongs in Hawaii???
adding a cottage style perennial bed
The last section of my perennial garden was just put in last year. I wanted to extend the gardens to the end of the house and create an English cottage-style garden feel down here.
After rototilling the area and then removing all the grass and granite stones…I was ready to quit…LOL
No, it was a couple of days of labor though. The soil was pretty rocky and didn’t look good for growing anything so I needed to amend the soil. I hauled in compost and then added some quality Coast of Maine planting mix (it’s a bit pricey but it helps out your soil so much!!)
Then I filled in the bed with a variety of traditional cottage garden perennials like roses, rudbeckia, sedums, achillea, and a butterfly bush.
This year I am so pleasantly surprised at just how mature the garden looks since it’s only in its second season!
One of my favorite additions was a vintage metal garden obelisk that I picked up on my visit to the Vintage Bazaar New England and also saw the same ones down at Todd Farm Flea Market for my New England readers.
If you are looking for an easy-care flowering garden shrub that is a hub for pollinators then you have to plant a butterfly bush!! They are USDA growing zones 5-9.
Have you ever seen a hummingbird moth?? I honestly don’t know if they are everywhere in the USA or not.
They are so cool to watch!! The moth has a long needle nose that drinks in the pollen and flickers around the butterfly bush just like a hummingbird. So much fun to see!
There is also a painted lady butterfly in the background.
Download my free cutting garden guide ebook!
what to grow
Cutting Garden Guide
The small apricot Drift Roses were on the sad table at my Walmart with the flowers people forgot to water. I grabbed 2 that I knew I could save and I’m happy to say with a little bit of TLC they have sprung back to life!
Thanks for taking a tour of my Summer perennial gardens! It’s such a joy to walk out there every morning to see the flowers and I’m glad I could share it with you today. You can see my latest tour of my cutting garden to see how my flowers are doing this year too.
Pin for Later
More Flower Gardening…
cottage on bunker hill
Thanks for stopping by today! Being able to share my projects, DIYs, and decorating ideas with you is amazing. Leave a comment below; I love hearing from you! Feel free to drop me a note here if you have any questions.
Kim | Shiplap and Shells says
I love seeing your summer garden and all your gorgeous perennials, Jennifer. Everything looks so beautiful my friend.
Jennifer Howard says
That means so much coming from you!!!
Gorgeous Jennifer! Happy Weekend! Laura in Colorado
Jennifer Howard says
Thanks, Laura!! So nice to see your name here!