Since most perennials bloom for such a short period of time, one of the tricks to perennial gardening is to use lots of plants that look good even when they're not blooming. In this combination above, backlit in the afternoon sun, there is nothing in bloom except a little bit of yellow-flowering sedum in the bottom left corner that found its own way into the garden. But things still look interesting thanks to the different shapes, colours and textures of the plants. The other plants, left to right, are:
calamagrostis (feather reed grass) 'Karl Foerster', dwarf bearded iris, hosta 'Sun Power', festuca glauca (blue fescue), with bergenia behind.
Now, I really must get around to replacing that retaining wall behind the bird bath... as soon as it cools down out there!