One of the few negatives surrounding the building of our house was that the bright white PVC well head was situated smack in the middle of the front yard. There was no way we were going to leave it sticking out like a sore thumb for the rest of our time there, so the first thing we did was to put a bird bath on top of it. Watching the birds was nice, but something was lacking. So the following year we dug a circular bed around the bird bath and began planting.
We've tried all sorts of different plants, both perennials and annuals, but my favorite so far is the planting of Salvia uliginosa we installed this year. The salvia was supposed to just be the beginning, but after I planted it, the summer began to wear on and I never got around to planting anything else with it. The azure blooms were subtle and lovely on long spikes all summer, but with so much else in bloom, I didn't take much notice until about the third week of August. We were cleaning up around the house in anticipation of house guests and I stopped in my tracks when I finally took a good look! This tender perennial was blooming its head off with long, wild-looking spikes and had almost completely obscured the bird bath, though there was plenty of evidence that the birds had been bathing happily in their semi-privacy! I never did any maintenance on these. No dead-heading or feeding, only water that fell when the lawn sprinkler was on. The two weeks of rain in the beginning of August must have given therer plant the boost they needed to burst into such remakable specimens.
The mild wind storm a few days ago did finally make it flop, but it is still blooming like crazy. This Salvia is listed as a 'temperennial.' That is, it may or may not overwinter in our zone during a mild winter. I'm not counting on it, but if it lives over, I will be thrilled. If it doesn't live through our winter, I will certainly be planting this favorite again. It provides a mass of color when most other garden plants have finished blooming.
What plants bloom in the late summer in your garden?