Combining Different Flower Forms in Full Sun

The cheerful, long-blooming Daisy-like flowers of Echinacea can anchor a border all summer long and need only modest care to perform beautifully. Plants may require supplemental watering to become established in their first season, but become thrifty in future years.

If watering is an issue in your garden, combine Echinacea (Purple Coneflower) with Buddleia (Butterfly Bush), Achillea (Yarrow), and Panicum (Switch Grass) for a long-lasting, water-wise -- and deer-resistant -- display that butterflies will love. This combination is also a good source of cut flowers.

Flowers that grow in spikes or spires offer a good contrast to the rounded Daisy form of Echinacea. We like Buddleia and Veronicastrum in the back of the border, Liatris 'Kobold' in the front, and Veronica alongside.

Bright, sturdy flowers benefit from association with soft, almost fuzzy blooms. Try Nepeta (Catmint), Pennisetum (Fountain Grass), or Monarda (Bee Balm). The bright pink, white, or dark red bottlebrush blossoms of Sanguisorba (Burnet) create a cloud of color that is a perfect foil for Echinacea.

Old favorites such as Hemerocallis (Daylilies), Garden Phlox, and Sedum are easy-going, easy-growing perennials that also make excellent partners for Echinacea and many other plants that perform best in full sun.