Dahlias: These are the brightest colors in the summer garden. Stake the tall varieties; smaller dahlias have been hybridized specially for window boxes.
Cannas: The tallest, boldest foliage in the garden. The flowers are hummingbird magnets.
Calla lilies: Grow your own bridal bouquet: the creamy white flowers are extraordinarily elegant, but many other colors are available.
Caladiums: Its magnificently variegated leaves, in white, green, and shades of pink, give shady gardens a touch of tropical class.
Elephant’s ears: Great big leaves are especially fun for kids. If you have a lot of them, you can use the leaves as placemats for garden parties.
Eucomis: Their strappy leaves look terrific at the front of a flower bed or in a pot; the bottle-brush flowers have a distinctive, fanciful tuft at the top.
Gloriosa lily: This summer vine climbs a trellis in the garden or in a pot on a patio. The frilly crimson flowers, edged with yellow, seem to flutter in the air.
Oxalis: Grow your own four-leaf clovers. Most have pink flowers and bloom through the summer at the front of a flower bed.
Tuberous begonias: The silky-petaled flowers are as ruffled as a cowgirl’s petticoat. Great for hanging baskets.