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Summer colors for Philadelphia gardeners

Perennial carnations are available in a variety of petal colors and markings.
Perennial carnations are available in a variety of petal colors and markings.
L Conlin

Philadelphia is in summer mode. Barbeques are roaring, shorts are back in the wardrobe, and eagerly awaited vacations are around the corner.

Greenhouse growers, farmers and gardeners are in full speed ahead mode. The sound of lawnmowers carries around neighborhoods on weekends and during weekday evening hours. Lines of customers with carts full of plants and gardening accessories wait for checkout at garden centers. Farm stands and flower farms are prepared for visitors, eager to make a colorful splash in their landscapes. Flower lovers are in their element. A wide palette awaits them.

Colors in the garden bring energy to flower beds during the steamy days of summer. Purple, red, pink, orange, yellow and blue can happily share space with each other, as they nestle among varying shades of green.

Soils around the Philadelphia area range all the way from oxygen-sparse heavy clay to nutrient-poor sand, but there are hundreds of choices to suit each soil type. Annuals, perennials and shrubs blooming in an astounding array of shades are widely available from local vendors.

Below are just a few of the popular plants that Philadelphia area residents can select to create their own unique summer garden.


  • begonia
  • petunia
  • impatiens
  • celosia
  • zinnia
  • sweet william
  • cleome
  • annual geranium
  • osteospermum
  • torenia
  • verbena
  • lantana
  • snapdragon
  • vinca
  • cosmos
  • fuchsia
  • ageratum
  • nemesia


  • perennial geranium
  • silene
  • dianthus
  • stokesia
  • foxglove
  • dianthus
  • bergenia
  • sedum
  • iris
  • echinacea
  • tradescantia
  • nepeta
  • spirea
  • heuchera
  • phlox
  • salvia
  • armeria (sea thrift)
  • delphinium
  • potentilla
  • coreopsis
  • allium
  • liatris
  • ceratostigma
  • achillea
  • oenothera


  • weigela
  • deutzia
  • crape myrtle
  • rose of sharon
  • buddleia
  • lilac
  • hibiscus

Whether it's a postage stamp sized plot in center city, or a huge swathe of land in the suburbs that a Philadelphia gardener is trying to brighten over the summer season, the multitude of options covers all colors of a rainbow.

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