It’s difficult to find a more cheerful bloom than this one. It comes in several colors, loves sunshine, but requires very little maintenance.

Best in Hardiness Zone: 2-11

Type: Annual

Black-eyed Susan

The black-eyed Susan is one of the most popular wildflowers around. These tough, yellow-gold flowers thrive in sunshine and grow well with most other flowers. They also make good cut flowers and bouquets.

Best for Plant Hardiness Zone: 2-9

Type: Annual/Perennial


You most often see this favorite in the color purple or lavender, but it comes in pink and white as well. It withstands the heat and blooms from spring through fall.

Best for Plant Hardiness Zone: 3-9

Type: Perennial


This low-maintenance flower is available in many colors, including red, yellow, orange, pink, and purple. It blooms all season long and is extremely drought tolerant. It makes an ideal summer flower for a pop of color in the garden.

Best for Plant Hardiness Zone: 2-11

Type: Annual/Perennial

Blanket Flower

Cheerful, long-blooming flowers with red petals tipped in yellow. They're a perfect choice for summer containers.

Best for Plant Hardiness Zone: 3-11

Type: Perennial


This colorful spreader comes in several colors and is ideal for creating a cascading look. It works well in flower boxes, pots, and retaining walls.

Best for Plant Hardiness Zone: 7-9

Type: Annual/Perennial


Zinnias are inexpensive and will add stunning color to your garden in just a few weeks. They do best in full sunshine and will attract butterflies.

Best for Plant Hardiness Zone: 2-11

Type: Annual

Hardy Hibiscus

Hardy Hibiscus grow into big shrubs with a tropical look. They do grow quite large and need a lot of water to thrive.

Best for Plant Hardiness Zone: 6-11

Type: Perennial

Globe Amaranth

This plant produces pom-pom like flowers in colors of purple, red, and white all through summer into late fall. It's not fussy and does well in a variety of soils and moisture levels.

Best for Plant Hardiness Zone: 2-11

Type: Annual

Purple Coneflower

This lovely flower grows very quickly and spreads easily. It needs some space to spread out and grow the best. It attracts birds and butterflies.

Best for Plant Hardiness Zone: 3-9

Type: Perennial

More Favorites

Sunflowers Always a favorite with children. ‘Mongolian Giant’ grows up to 14 feet tall. Sow the seeds directly into the ground in a sunny, sheltered spot. Provide the stems with support.

Sweet Peas - These flowers have a wonderful fragrance and the more you pick, the more they produce. The large seeds of Sweet Peas are easy to handle, but if sowing sounds too complicated, you can buy them as plug plants. They need a sunny spot, a support, and regular watering. Watch for mice, slugs and snails that love the young shoots. Consider covering them with a cloche.

Nigella (Love in A Mist) is a very easy plant to grow. Scatter the seeds across bare soil and watch them grow. They're much tougher than they look. They produce jewel-like flowers and delicate ferny leaves. As flowers fade, the plant will set seed for next year.

Aquilegias are easily grown from seeds. Start them in small pots for transplanting. Once established, they'll self-seed and you'll have new plants each year. They tolerate almost any condition in sun or semi-shade. The bonnet-like flowers come in just about every color imaginable.

If you don't like to water, California Poppies (Eschscholzia californica) are for you. Easy plants to grow, they thrive in poor, dry soil and full sun. Just scatter them where you want them to flower and they'll take care of themselves. Each year they set seed and will return the following summer.


Fast colorful growers, nasturtiums are easy plants for children to grow. Sow them in borders as ground cover or let them spill out of containers. The large seeds can be sown directly into the soil after the last frost. Their peppery leaves and flowers can be used in salads.


These bedding plants grow quickly. From short to tall, there's a Marigold for every sunny spot in your garden.

Hardy Geranium (Cranesbill)

This ground cover is popular for low maintenance and reliability. Very easy to grow from seed.


These patio plants are easily grown from plugs and are great for adding color to hanging baskets and containers. Fuchsias come in all colors and in trailing, upright, and climbing varieties like ‘Lady Boothby’. Pinch out the tips of each stem while the plants are still young to encourage bushy growth.


With their cheerful faces, who can resist a smile when they see Pansies. They're easy plants to grow from seed but even easier from plugs. Deadheading encourages bushy growth.

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