Blossoms of fireworks red with electric yellow centers keep a Fourth of July sparkle in borders all summer long. Strong, straight stems also make these 4in blooms ideal for bouquets: 'Karma Bon Bini' comes highly recommended as a cut flower by the American Dahlia Society. Cactus form. PP 14,636
These hybrids of species native from Mexico to Colombia hold their display in reserve for mid- to late summer and early fall, when most gardens and most vases are looking a little tired. Planted in 3s and 6s, Dahlias serve to fill holes that develop in the perennial border and make excellent potted plants (1 tuber in a 12in pot). They prefer full sun, though partial shade is acceptable, and they like rich soil and even moisture. Dahlias are perennial in Zones 8-10. Where they are not hardy, Dahlias are easily overwintered indoors (click on "Growing Guide & Tips").