Ten Treasures For Garden Colour This Summer

The Roses and Clematis have finished their first flowering. The Lupins, Delphiniums and Geraniums have been cut back to produce a second colourful show and so we need plants to carry on the dazzling display.

Hydrangea Paniculata Strawberry Blossom is a deciduous shrub which grows to 1m and produces long ice cream cone like flowers from late June until October. These open creamy white and pale pink blooms then develop strawberry red edges to the petals. A delightful addition to any mixed border preferably in dappled shade.

Rudbeckia Butterscotch Biscuit, Electric Shock, Orange and Pecan Pie are all new varieties of this brightly coloured daisy. They are very hardy, compact, love to be planted in full sun and flower continuously until late autumn. The flowers are yellow orange and red with chocolate brown centres. They are a magnet to bees and butterflies and give a good display if planted with Salvias, Penstemons and Ornamental Grasses.

Helenium Mariachi Siesta, Salsa and Fuego are compact plants with small daisy shaped flowers. They are hardy producing lots of claret red flowers with yellow markings rich in nectar well into autumn. The blooms make excellent cut flowers and attract many summer butterflies. They are ideal for smaller gardens, can be planted in patio tubs and are very disease resistant.

Salvia Hot Lips, Pink Lips and Amethyst Lips are charming neat growing perennials with unusual two tone half coloured flowers in red/white, pink/white and purple/white accordingly. The flowers give at least 5 months of summer colour attracting bees and butterflies with a bonus of blackcurrant scented leaves. These plants are very easy to grow.

Crocosmia or Monbretia are exotic plants that will thrive in even poor stony soils and tolerate drought. The broad sword-like leaves are architecturally attractive even before the arching flower stems emerge. The flowers appear in summer on wiry stems and last for many weeks. They also make good cut flowers. Noteworthy varieties are Walbertons Yellow, bright orange yellow, Walbertons Bright Eyes, very free flowering orange with a red centre and Miss Scarlet dazzling scarlet. Planted with Ornamental Grasses, Helleniums, and Rudbeckias Crocosmias give a stunning display.

Astrantia Roma is a great favourite and was first seen in paintings from 16thcentuary so has certainly stood the test of time. It is a pretty cottage garden plant with papery soft pink flowers that looks delightful planted with Ferns or Ornamental Grasses. It is quick growing and flowers continuously from June to September.

Begonia Tropical Sunset is a stunning plant for tubs or hanging baskets producing copious amounts of fluorescent apricot peach coloured flowers throughout summer. Plant in a sunny place where the serrated green leaves form mounds which the flowers drape over. This plant is very easy to grow.

Agastache Beelicious Purple is a very insect friendly plant a rich source of pollen and nectar much loved by bees and butterflies. It is a hardy perennial which appears each year and has purple flowers from July to September. The compact blue green evergreen leaves have a minty scent so plant along a path way so when the foliage is brushed the perfume is released. This plant is really easy to grow and will not be eaten by slugs rabbits or deer.

Salvia Roman Red is a hardy perennial and a unique new variety with deep ruby red flowers on tall black elegant stems. The foliage is aniseed scented. Butterflies love fluttering around these flowers from July until autumn. This beautiful plant was awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit.

Finally and my favourite summer flowering perennial is Agapanthus Midnight Star. This beautiful African lily produces rich blue round heads of trumpet shaped flowers which erupt from deep blue buds. They appear on 70cm tall strong upright stems from a whorl of strap-shaped leaves. This star performer will also grow well in large tubs on the patio.