The Q&A Archives: Long-blooming perrenial beds

Question: My Oriental poppies look lovely in June, but after they've finished blooming, the plants look ragged. What can I plant to make this part of the bed look beautiful throughout the summer? Elizabeth Adams Denver, CO

Answer: There are plenty of perennials that emerge late and can bide their time in the shadow of the blooming poppies, says Gale Korn, owner of Garden Perennials in Wayne, Nebraska. I like to interplant Sunny Border Blue veronica, Bristol Fairy gypsophila, Stella d'Oro daylily and New England asters with my poppies, she says. The veronica and gypsophila will bloom soon after the poppies are finished and should last until August. The daylily will bloom in August. The asters will give you color from September until frost and will hide the unsightly poppy foliage as it dies back.

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