Imagine a lush, green lawn bordered by colorful blooms that attract beneficial pollinators such as hummingbirds and honey bees. You can entertain here. You can relax here. Best of all, a backyard like this isn't as difficult to create as it sounds. The secret to having the outdoor oasis of your dreams without the high maintenance usually associated with such projects is using perennial plants in your landscape.

Perennial plants are ones you put in the ground one time, and they return each year, providing that the growing conditions are right. Many perennial plants are natives to your growing zone, which make them ridiculously simple to cultivate. If you're in the market for an easily maintained yet colorful backyard, stop by your local garden center and inquire about the following hardy perennials:

  • Phlox Paniculata:  Often called tall garden phlox, phlox paniculata began life as a native wildflower over most of the continental United States. It thrives in nearly every growing zone, which makes it a perfect choice for adding easy color to your landscape. In the early 1900s, scientists began experimenting with this American wildflower to make it more impervious to powdery mildew, a disease that turns the leaves an unsightly color of gray. As a result, today's cultivars are especially hardy, and they come in a stunning array of colors. Choose tall garden phlox as borders along fences or as the center planting of a stand-alone garden. These sturdy plants will grow to heights of four feet and then burst into colorful midsummer bloom if the conditions are right. 
  • Monarda Fistulosa:  This hardy, mostly edible plant has many names. Some call it bee balm for its ability to attract the attention of various types of bees. Others tag it wild oswego tea after the Oswego Indians who once brewed the blooms to make medicine. Other names for this strongly scented flower include horsemint and bergamot. Monarda Fistulosa is another wildflower native to most of North America. It thrives in even dry and rocky soil that's typically less than ideal for many other varieties. Plant monarda away from walkways and entertainment areas because it will draw various types of bees that are beneficial to your garden. And plant it toward the back or center of your landscape because it, too, reaches heights of four feet or more. 

Having that backyard of your dreams is deceptively easy if you choose colorful, perennial plants. So go, grow, and enjoy. Visit a site like for more information.