Verbena Bonariensis were dotted around almost every show garden on display this year. Whether as a background plant for a wild border or used as a centerpiece plant with their long stems, these beautiful purple flowers were definitely in the spotlight this year. A fantastic summer border plant with good pest resistance.
One of our favourite summer flowering perennials were heavily featured this year, the Echinacea. Also known as Coneflowers, they will flower from summer through late autumn, often still in flower as late as October. They make a bright and bold addition to the modern garden, look larger than life at the back of the border, and are a great way to attract butterflies and bees to the UK garden.
The beautiful giant blooms of Alliums took a center stage this year. Large varieties were spread all around the show, whilst smaller flowering varieties such as Allium Drumsticksand the half-spherical blooms of Allium Miami were featured in this year’s show gardens. An easy to grow and versatile range of plants that can work in any garden.
1. Pollinator Pals (Alliums,Achillea, Agapanthus)
Alliums, Achillea and Agapanthus were strongly featured in the show gardens at this year’s show. The show had a strong theme of pollinator-friendly planting and when it comes to looking after wildlife in the garden, these varieties are well-loved by bees and other pollinators.
Agapanthus are great showy plants with exotic looking flowers, Alliums are easy to grow, stylish plants with tall stems and large pom pom heads of flowers and Achillea are a stunning flowering herbaceous perennial with each flower head containing of hundreds of long lasting, tiny flowers. So, it’s easy to see how these beautiful summer contenders have been a popular choice this year.
Another big trend seen around the show gardens is creating layers of a variety of border plants. Ass seen with the brightly colours florals in the ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite Garden’, the subtle contrasting tones in ‘The Perfumer’s Garden’ and the wild themed grassy border in the ‘Baroque Garden’.
Creating a layered garden soothes the eye while enhancing other aspects of the garden. Planting a garden in layers considers both vertical and horizontal eye appeal but also the aspect in which we view the area and seasonal interest. Planting a garden in layers will ensure that the highest plants are at the farthest eye point of the garden with medium sized in the middle and the lowest growing at the front.
Repeated patterns, colours, forms and textures throughout a border can create unique patterns in the landscape.
3. Harmonising Hostas
A key trend that was prominent in almost every show garden at this year event was Hostas.
Originating from China and Japan, Hostas are one of the best perennials for shade in the garden, grown in either pots, containers or borders. Renowned for the amazing foliage they produce and have become a common addition for the modern garden designer. Hosta plants are a great perennial plant which is often chosen for their attractive shaped leaves and summer flowers.
Hostas are ideal to add texture and colour to a garden planting scheme. They can be used to complement other plants by adding a contrasting look and style that enhances the overall interest and aesthetic of the scheme. There is a huge choice of varieties available to buy, covering all shapes, colours, and sizes for all tastes.
Ornamental grasses made their presence known in many show gardens this year. A range of herbaceous perennials and grasses were featured in ‘The Mindful Garden’, such as Festuca. The silvery needles of Festuca glauca were featured in the monochrome palette of the ‘Every Cloud has a Silver Lining Garden’, and long and varied grasses were displayed in the ‘Trail of Thoughts Garden’ to represent the fading of memory with colourful flowers giving way to a grassier and more muted landscape.
Grasses have long since proved their value in the landscape, moving from what was once considered a craze to one that is a solid cultural shift. As gardens have shifted toward lower maintenance and nature friendly, ornamental grasses have fit every bill that today’s gardener demands — while providing the contrast, texture and form that designers crave.
Who can forget the ever-changing blooms of hydrangeas. The use of beautiful fragrant shrubs were used for structure in a variety of the show gardens this year. The once overlooked hydrangeas of the past are now the trend setting plants of today.
With immense flower heads, Hydrangeas flaunt an old-fashioned charm that is hard to resist. Unrivaled in the shrub world for beautiful flowers, they are easy to cultivate, tolerate almost any soil, and produce abundant blooms. Hydrangeas are excellent for a range of garden sites from group plantings to shrub borders to containers.
With our increasingly hotter summers, climate change presents us with the challenge of gardening with less water. However, there is a considerable range of plants that can tolerate dry conditions. These drought-tolerant plants are the perfect choice for sunny spots in your garden.
Nepeta are a reliable perennial, very hardy and tolerant of all conditions and it returns reliably each year. They are very effective even in dry and drought areas, so they are useful for even the most difficult spots in the garden.
This vigorous perennial produces clusters of aromatic, small lavender blue flowers. This variety is a perfect addition to borders and edging beds, as well as attracting bees and butterflies to the summer garden. With a grey-green foliage and masses of flowers, this Nepeta adds a lovely, soft, gentle touch to cottage gardens.
The very hardy and heat-loving Mimosa is ideal wherever a full, dense canopy is desired during the summer months. Native to Southeastern Australia and then widely introduced to the Mediterranean , these plants are no stranger to higher, tropical temperatures.
The beautiful feathered foliage of the Mimosa Acacia will delight in the spring time, with their masses of fragrant yellow flowers. Create a statement display in your garden by planting this variety in patio container, but equally they are suited at the back of a border.
Sedums are superb drought-resistant succulents that produce domes of star-shaped flowers in the summer and autumn seasons. Sedums have evolved to live in exposed conditions, where soil is very well-drained and sun and wind dry everything out quickly, so over the centuries, they have developed some inbuilt coping mechanisms such as fleshy, water-storing leaves and stems.
This striking Sedum produces large bursts of vibrant pink flowers that are wildly-loved by butterflies and bees. This strong, compact forming plant makes a great border addition or make a bigger impact by planting in groups so they will really stand out in the late summer garden.
A native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East, it’s no wonder that Lavender makes a great drought-tolerant addition to the garden. It can be used as a low hedge, specimen plant, or even a cut flower, and will add a beautiful fragrance to the garden.
This compact evergreen shrub blooms with spikes of small, highly fragrant, blue-purple flowers in mid to late summer. Plant en masse to produce ground cover, low screening, or in lines to create a great border effect.
5. Campsis Radicans
Also known as Trumpet Vines, these hardy plants are fast climbers that grow well even in poor soil and full sunlight, and the blossoms attract hummingbirds too. Campsis Radicans can live for decades and although they die back in the winter, they’re quick to spring back to life in the spring.
Blooming with clusters of showy, exotic warm red trumpet-shaped blooms, this self-clinging climber is ideal for a sunny wall or fence. These beautiful tropical flowers are marked with deep red insides appear above long, coarsely toothed, glossy dark green leaves with pointed tips and distinctive veining.
Ceanothus, commonly known as California Lilac, are very drought tolerant shrubs and offer almost everything that a gardener could wish for in a shrub. They are free-flowering, drought tolerant, easy to cultivate and grow in most soils.
Beautiful in its simplicity, this fantastic award-winning shrub delights in the summer garden. Its rich glossy leaves nestle amongst sky blue florescence comprising of densely compact panicles that burst into bloom like tiny fireworks in spring and early summer. This evergreen variety looks beautiful in patio pots, or against a wall.
Jasmine provide more than delicate tendrils and sweet perfume, they create substance, structure and colourful blooms to the garden. This genus of shrubs and vines contains around 200 species, native to tropical and warm temperate regions and a number of species have become naturalised in Mediterranean Europe.
This highly fragrant, vigorous climber produces clusters of beautiful star-shaped white flowers, which bloom from June throughout the summer months. This is a perfect climber for growing against a warm, sunny wall. Jasmine flowers are ideal for perfuming the air with their sweet fragrance in the summer garden.
Native to the American Tropics, Verbena plants are beautiful examples of drought-tolerant plants. These popular perennials produce rich nectar, so butterflies and bees also love them.
Elegant and long lasting. This bestselling Verbena variety produces masses of small purple flowers in clusters. With a good pest resistance, this fantastic border plant will delight in the summer garden, flowering from June to October. They also will make a great addition to cut flower displays.
9. Russian Sage
One of the toughest plants that needs little care. Russian Sage loves direct sun, tolerates almost any soil and is extremely drought tolerant. Its fine texture makes Russian Sage a good choice if you’re seeking contrast with plants exhibiting a coarser texture.
Native to central Asia, Russian Sage’s natural habitat is on dry plains. This variety produces highly scented silver leaves that are topped with spikes of gorgeous, tiny violet purple bell-shaped flowers in late summer. The impressive flowers and foliage look amazing planted in a border or patio pot in the summer garden.
Agapanthus are some of the most beautiful and reliable summer plants you can grow. Once established, Agapanthus are tough enough to withstand dry spells without stressing. Originating from the cliffs of South Africa, they naturally enjoy lots of sunshine and are naturally resistant to wind.
This stunning bi-colour variety blooms in the summer with purple buds that open to reveal white flowers with a lilac purple stripe through each petal. Also known as the African Lily, these plants are drought tolerant and enjoy plenty of sunlight.
Petunias have been one of the most popular summer-flowering annuals for many years. Their popularity is due to their several desirable traits. They’re easy to grow, reliable bloomers and are available in a wide range of patterns and colours. With a flowering time from June all the way through to October, Petunias are guaranteed to liven up your garden all through the summer time. Their many varieties range from beautiful border varieties to stunning trailing hanging basket partners. Here are some of our favourites.
Petunias make excellent patio, bedding and border plants. Producing wonderfully bright flowers with beautiful markings and contrasting colours, these versatile flowers will make a showstopping display in any garden.
With rippling double blooms in shades of rosy-pink, coral, white and bi-coloured raspberry and white, these sweetly coloured Petunias are ideal for adding beautiful long-lasting clusters of colour to your borders and containers all summer long. UK-grown Garden Ready Plug plants supplied.
This new versatile variety of Petunia produces vibrant bi-coloured flowers that will add an impact to any summer basket, border or container display. The large blooms have sunny yellow centres that gradually fade in to a deep purple edging around the outer petals. UK-grown 3cm diameter plug plants supplied.
Our beautiful collection of bi-coloured Petunias are the ideal plants for brightening up your summer garden. The collection of 12 includes 3 each of Cosmic Purple (purple), Knight Rider (purple/cream), Maniac Lilac (white/lilac) and Cosmic Moonstruck (purple/yellow). UK-grown 3cm diameter plug plants supplied.
Bright, bold and bursting with life, these elegant trailing Petunias are the perfect partner for summer hanging baskets. These trailing varieties will reward you with masses of bright colour all summer long.
This unique trailing Petunia produces double, ruffled hot pink flowers with a thick pale pink band around the edge. These prolific flowering blooms also have a pretty deep pink veining and a beautiful fragrance, which makes this variety a delight in summer hanging baskets. UK-grown 3cm diameter jumbo plug plants supplied.
Petunia Tumbelina is a very distinctive variety. Their large, double ruffled blooms are a perfect solution for adding a dose of colour to your summer baskets. This highly fragrant trailing Petunia can even be planted in window boxes and containers for endless display possibilities. UK-grown 3cm jumbo plug plants supplied.
Does a mass of magenta purple flowers sound like something for you? Petunia Purple Flash will add a splash of vibrancy to your summer displays with their distinctive star-shaped white marking at the centre of their purple petals. These hardy blooms are guaranteed for months of enjoyment. UK-grown 3cm jumbo plug plants supplied.
Here is our guide for planting these popular annual flowers.
Preferably plant in full sun, but partial shade will keep them refreshed in the heat of summer.
Use a light, fertile soil that provides good drainage.
Plant in a good-sized hole that can easily accommodate the plant.
Add a layer of organic matter (compost) to the base of the hole and fork it in.
Give the plants a weekly deep watering.
Use a liquid fertilizer every two to three weeks.
Preferably plant in full sun, but partial shade will keep them refreshed in the heat of summer.
Use a sturdy container with at least one drainage hole.
Fill the container with a lightweight potting mix to promote healthy drainage.
Mix a slow-release fertilizer into the potting soil.
Water daily and deeply, then let the pot drain. (Water the soil and not the foliage.
Having a beautiful garden through every season of the year can be quite a challenge, but we’re here to help. Perennials provide flowers year after year. We have carefully selected our top perennial plants that will bring interest to your garden all year long.
Native to Eastern North America and Canada and grows naturally from Quebec to Georgia. The Monarda’s other name “Bee Balm” refers to the fact that North American tribes would crush their leaves to ease the pain of bee stings. This popular perennial is ideal for their fragrance and would make the perfect addition to a wildlife garden.
This beautiful perennial provides beautiful whirls of vivid red flowers from July through to September and a mass of spicy-scented bronze tinged foliage. An added bonus of this Monarda is that their enticing fragrance attracts butterflies and bees, so they are perfect for anyone planning a wildlife garden.
Native to western North America, Lewisia are one of the most treasured rock garden plants. This gorgeous little plant produces rosette-shaped flowers that come in a range of different colours and is super durable, even in sandy or rocky soils.
This hardy, low growing perennial plant produces bursts of ornate, slender stemmed flowers with star-shaped petals that bloom in delicate colourful shades in the spring and summer. The foliage is particularly distinctive with their succulent, glossy leaves that form attractive rosette-shaped arrangements at the base of the plant.
Scabiosa is a plant that every gardener should try. Also known as the pincushion flower, Scabiosa is an easy-care plant that works well nearly everywhere and their flowers are a stunning sight to behold.
This delightful and extremely hardy variety of Scabiosa produces filly flowers all summer long until the first frosts. They are also perfect for attracting pollinators to the garden. Unlike their annual type, their foliage remains green year round and will return each year.
If you’re a cut flower lover, and who’s not? – you’ll love Ranunculus. Native to the Eastern Meditteranean, these showstopping flowers are perfect for a cutting garden and their rose-clustered, bright flower heads will give you a flower bed of richly packed colour.
This hardy perennial variety boasts large white flowers adorned with multiple layers of delicate, silky petals with purple tips. Each plant produces masses of long-lasting double blooms that are perfect for borders, container planting or for making pretty cut flower displays.
This stunning hardy perennial grass will make a great statement plant in any garden. Blooming with bright orange and yellow feathery stems throughout summer, autumn and well into winter. Their beautiful and unusual floral texture last for so many months after the initial colour has faded.
There are few plants more forgiving of sun and bad soil than Sedum plants, so much so that even novice gardeners excel at growing them. These plants require very little attention and care and will thrive in conditions that many other plants thrive in, but will do just as good in less hospitable areas. Sedums are frequently used to create beautiful ground cover or rock gardens.
This tough, low-growing perennial is drought tolerant and produces a mound of glossy green leaves that are covered in pale pink star-shaped flowers during the summer months. As the weather warms, the green leaves gradually become blushed with a rose colouration towards the tips of the succulent leaves.
Native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere, Veronica plants are low-care, pollinator friendly and easy-to-grow perennials that produce long spikes of tiny clustered flowers in a range of beautiful and vibrant colours.
This compact perennial produces slender upright spikes of white flowers that bloom all throughout the summer. This variety will grow a spread of pretty foliage at roughly half the overall height of the plant with the crisp white flowers shooting above. A perfect addition to pots on the patio.
Carex are top-notch foliage perennials that commonly feature triangular stems bearing linear or strap-shaped leaves that are a graceful accent plant for beds, borders, ground cover and so much more. Their wonderful leaves provide long lasting appeal all year round and require very little care for a low maintenance garden.
A fantastic evergreen perennial grass that will provide a colourful contrast to the border with their orange tipped green leaves. In the autumn, the foliage turns into a darker orange and produce brown flower spikes in the summer. This clump-forming perennial retains its colour all year round for a long lasting garden appeal.
Anemones grow wild around Europe, North America and Japan and they are a beautiful sight in the summer when they flower freely until late Autumn. These beautiful perennials are generally low maintenance plants and easily thrive in a majority of conditions.
Anemone Mutlifida is a vigorous, long flowering perennial that produces broad foliage with buttery lemon-yellow flowers. They will flower all summer from June to August and will naturalise prolifically if left undisturbed, so you can simply plant them up and forget about them.
Famed for their truly amazing and spectacular foliage, Heuchera are a real luxury for garden lovers, but their real attraction comes from their evergreen or semi-evergreen foliage. Try mixing Heuchera together in borders, rockeries or patio containers and create a beautiful rainbow effect.
Heuchera Plum Royale produces spectacular shiny purple evergreen foliage which turn to silver with a purple tint in winter. This plant also produces attractive late spring an early summer flowers in pretty pink and white shades. This variety is a superb year round ground cover plant, even in a shady spot.
#NationalPollinatorsMonth in June encourages the planting pollinator-friendly gardens with pollen and nectar-producing plants. When these gardens bloom, they attract bees, birds, bats, and other natural pollinators.
Woody shrubs provide food, shelter and breeding spaces for our wildlife. Nesting birds and hibernating insects make their homes in them and insects like butterflies use them as natural windbreaks. We have some great recommendations for shrubs that can make great habitats for wildlife in your garden.
Winning the RHS Garden Merit Award, Orange Glow is a sturdy evergreen shrub that produces spring blossoms and bright orange berries in the summer. This shrub provides nesting for birds and an abundant source of pollen and food for bees.
This vigorous deciduous shrub is smothered with large, fragrant, pompom-like clusters of white or pale green tinted flowers every May and June. Purple foliage appears autumn when vibrant red berries, which provide an excellent food source for the birds.
A true ‘wildlife hotel’. Bring a profusion of vibrant colour to the summer garden with the Honeysuckle plant. The sweet, heady scent carried on a warm summer breeze is one of the most delightful experiences of the season, and the scent is strongest at night, which attracts pollinating moths.
A must for wildlife lovers. Also known as the ‘Butterfly Bush’, this Buddleia’s beautiful cool violet-blue blooms produce a lovely honey fragrance that is guaranteed to attract masses of butterflies and bees.
Awarded the RHS ‘Perfect for Pollinators’ Award, this fantastic dwarf-growing shrub is certainly a wildlife haven. Weigela Pink Poppet is a long flowering variety that will attract a range of pollinators, from bees, butterflies and other nectar loving insects.
This variety produces small white flowers renowned for their vanilla aroma. After flowering, this compact and hardy shrub will also yield an abundance of shiny black berries that birds love, making it the perfect plant for a winter wildlife garden.
As the name ‘Constant Cheer’ suggests, this exquisite hardy perennial produces long lasting prolific orange red flowers that mature to purple. This creates an amazing multi-coloured flowering feature plant that is highly attractive to bees, butterflies and other insects.
Winner of the RHS Garden Merit Award for their reliable performance, stability of colour and form and good resistance to pests and diseases. This fantastic shrub is perfect for attracting bees into the garden, through their heady fragrance.
This upright deciduous shrub produces dense clusters of sweetly fragrant, light pink and white panicles over attractive heart-shaped foliage from late spring into early summer. When in bloom, the gorgeous flowers will bring butterflies to your garden.
The ideal border perennial with an abundance of star shaped flowers. Gaura Whirling Butterflies pretty free-flowering white flower spikes, which resemble a fluttering butterfly, and also are handy for attracting beneficial insects to the garden, such as bees.
When planting for nectar, avoid double flowers or sterile varieties that limit the feeding opportunities for insects.
Select suitable plants for your garden’s conditions.
May is the perfect time to think about your summer bedding plants for a stunning display of colour all summer long. They’ll lift the garden, adding vivid highlights of colour, and are particularly useful when it comes to the later days of August when the gardens often look tired.
Our bedding range features hundreds of summer bedding varieties, from the much loved, popular varieties to some unique and unusual types that are certain to add something a little different to your garden. For this summer, we’ve specially selected J Parker’s Top 10 bedding plants to create a summer garden bursting with life and vibrancy!
One of the most popular flowers for summer bedding in the garden; Petunias are well known as one of the easiest annual flowers to grow and provide long-term colour to brighten up any garden beds or borders.
Native to South America; genus of about 35 species of flowering plants in the nightshade family (Solanaceae).
Introduced to Europe in the 19th century, where it gained popularity.
There are 4 main types of Petunias: grandiflora, hedgiflora, multiflora and milliflora.
Check out the world’s first speckled flowering Petunia. This Petunia is guaranteed to twinkle in your beds and borders with their white speckled, deep blue petals, resembling stars in the night sky. Planted in summer beds, Petunia Night sky will provide a unique avalanche of vibrant colour.
These sun-loving annuals are ideal for the summer garden landscape. These extremely vigorous flowers grow at an amazing rate and to add a touch of class to the garden when planted along walkways.
Like Petunias, they are native to South America and they are a genus of plant in the Solanaceae (nightshade) family.
Commonly known as Million Bells or Trailing Petunias.
Evergreen, short-lived perennials with small petunia-type flowers.
A new addition to our Calibrachoa range. Blueberry Scone produces blue, yellow and purple shaded blooms in an ever-changing display that will flower all summer long. Their bicolour flowers change as a response to the light, climate and weather conditions for a magical summer display.
If you’re searching for long lasting blooms that perform even during the hottest days of summer, consider the Verbena flower. These pollinator-friendly plants will not only bring bees and butterflies to the garden, their exquisite, showy flower heads will create a real showcase of beauty in the summer garden.
Native to North and South America, as well as Asia.
Typically found in tropical and subtropical habitats.
Long flowering, mildew resistant and tolerant of adverse weather conditions, this beautiful creeping Verbena makes a fantastic addition to any summer garden. This variety’s deep purple blooms make a real statement as a bedding plant.
Lobelia produce a beautiful abundance of flowering during the summer months that are filled with vibrant contrasting blooms in a variation of bright colours. These plants are perfect for edging around your stunning summer garden borders and pathways.
Native to nearly all the temperate and warmer regions of the world.
Genus of the family Lobeliaceae, which is compromised of 415 species.
Versatile and easy to grow, Lobelia are a popular choice for long-lasting summer flowers. Producing masses of dainty bright blue flowers they will make a beautiful addition to the edges of borders, bedding and pathways if you want a summer garden bursting with life.
These spectacular sun-loving, daisy-like plants are guaranteed to liven up your summer bedding for a bright and cheerful display of vibrant blooms.
Native to Africa.
Genus of flowering plants belonging to the Calenduleae.
They are also known as daisybushes or African daisies.
This amazing double African daisy produces stunning white petals that surround a prominent creamy yellow centre. This unique variety open all day and night, for beautiful 24 hour blooms. Their larger than standard pom-pom flowers create a stand out show in beds and borders.
One of our favourite summer flowering perennials has to be Rudbeckia. These beautiful pollinator-friendly plants are a great way to add life to your garden and are a beautiful, modern addition to the back of summer borders.
Native to both damp woodlands and dry prairies in North America.
They have several common names, among which are: Black-eyed Susan, Gloriosa Daisy, and Yellow Ox Eye.
Rudbeckia is a member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae) and has similar daisy-like flowers.
This multi award winning Coneflower is a firm favourite among gardeners. Their masses of compact, yellow daisy-like flowers are guaranteed to bring the warmth of the summer sunshine to your beds and borders.
Looking for a flower that has multiple uses in the garden, smells great, attracts pollinators and comes in scads of colors? Then you should be planting snapdragons. Their typical compact nature and bright colours make the perfect candidate for beautiful summer borders.
Native to the Mediterranean region and parts of the Middle East and North Africa.
Their genus name Antirrhinum comes from the Greek words anti meaning like and rhin meaning nose or snout, which describes the shape of the flowers.
There are approximately 40 different species of Snapdragons.
These stunning pastel pink flowers will add a splash of colour to your garden borders. Their highly fragrant, uniquely shaped blooms will add beauty with their sight and smell and will become a highlight of the summer garden.
Commonly known as the everlasting flower, these beautiful annuals will marvel in the summer garden from June until the first frost. Their compact nature and range of bold, bright colours will provide a rainbow of beauty in the summer border.
Native to Africa, Madagascar, Australasia and Eurasia.
Flowering plant of the daisy family Asteraceae.
Grows on dry, rocky ground around the Mediterranean.
This stunning plant produces prolific flowering blooms in a beautiful golden yellow, resembling little rays of sunshine. Otherwise known as the everlasting flower, this compact variety would make the star of any summer border.
This bushy, evergreen perennial comes in a wide range of magnificent colour and forms, so there is something for every garden. Their unusual and vibrant foliage will make a true sight to behold in the summer border.
Native to southeast Asia and Australia.
Genus of flowering plants in the Lamiaceae family.
Otherwise known as Painted Nettle or Flame Nettle.
This mixture of compact and bushy dwarf Coleus will produce the most spectacular carpet of rich and well defined foliage, which will add an explosion of colour during the summer months. This mix of vibrant foliage will thrive in a sunny border display.
Otherwise known as ‘Pinks’, Dianthus are prized plants for their delicious, spicy fragrance that will fill the summer garden with stunning sights and smells and will look amazing as part of a summer border display.
Native to Europe, Asia and Africa.
Genus of flowering plant in the Caryophyllaceae family, the carnation family.
This dwarf-growing perennial is perfect for adding a touch of dimension and colour to the border that is quite simply impossible to ignore. Their lilac pink flowers are ideal for creating a carpet of summer colour.
Have fun with colour and texture. If you’re feeling a little bit wild, try a dramatic combination of purple, reds and blues. Or tone things down a little with pinks and whites. Mix things up and see what happens! If you don’t like the results, or they’re not quite what you wanted to achieve, no problem. It’s really easy to try again – or go for something completely different.
Don’t think you have to stick with straight lines and symmetrical patterns if it doesn’t suit your space or the style of the rest of your garden. Informal planting is a case of anything goes. Why not try a cottage garden look that’s charmingly higgledy-piggledy?
Carpet bedding is a technique that produces the effect of a complete carpet of a mixture or a single colour scheme. This bedding style is the perfect way of creating a minimal yet bold statement with your summer bedding.
Pelargoniums, commonly known as geraniums, are a large, diverse group of beautiful, ornamental bedding plants. They come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and wonderful colours making them one of the staples of many gardeners. They are used to provide colourful displays in beds and borders, hanging baskets and all manner of containers, plus indoors and in conservatories and greenhouses. From upright, climbing or cascading, to single and double flowering, our complete range is sure to have something that’s perfect for you. All of our Pelargoniums are UK-grown plants that are specially grown in dedicated UK nurseries.
Gardeners love to grow Pelargonium species for their long lasting blooms and beautiful vibrant flowers for . So let’s take a tour of the different varieties of Geraniums and their own unique characteristics.
Trailing Geraniums are perfect for producing a stunning tumbling mass of colour and create a marvelous sight when gently cascading over the side of summer baskets and planters. Also named ivy Geraniums due to the resemblance of this geranium’s leaves with ivy, ivy Geraniums boast glossy leaves rather the fleshy, slightly curled at the edges leaves seen in zonals.
The biggest feature of these geraniums is that they are of the trailing type and can be found tumbling out of hanging baskets with their cascades of pretty flowers. Their blooms can be either single or semi double for beautiful displays of colour.
The beautiful Trailing Geranium Mixed produces an avalanche of colour often seen in Germany and Alpine Europe. This prolific flowering mixture will produce a colourful and vibrant swathe of blooms that trail 60-70cm. They require little attention and are drought resistant, perfect for hanging baskets and window boxes.
Like the well-loved traditional single Geranium, this superb double trailing variety is incredibly hardy and flowers continuously throughout the summer, producing distinctive, scalloped foliage and dense clusters of ruffled, double flower heads for twice the amount of beauty.
These double trailing Geraniums have a fantastic cascading habit making them perfect for hanging baskets. The rosebud like flowers are bursting with a vibrant bright red colour that will create an eye catching display whether planted on their own or mixed with other trailing plants.
These upright varieties look great in pots and containers and can be used in your garden borders and rockeries to great effect during spring and summer. Here is a guide to the different species of patio Geraniums.
Zonal and Grandeur
In addition to the name Zonal Geraniums, they are often called garden or common geraniums. Zonal geraniums are a type of Pelargonium that get their name from the “zone” of red, blue, or purple colour striping through the middle of their leaves, so this physical attribute is a helpful way to distinguish a zonal Geranium. Also bushy plants and mainly used for containers and bedding, these Geraniums have been hybridized for size and an abundance and colors of flowers.
Geranium Grandeur Power Rose Splash will produce stunning flowers in summer. Producing strong, vibrant flowers with luxurious bushy foliage at the base, this variety is great for growing on the patio or in containers where they can be fully appreciated. Also, with their fine foliage, they are a great addition to a bed or border.
These climbing Antik geraniums are extremely vigorous growers, able to reach around 150cm tall in a single season. These giant Geraniums come in a great range of colours and will create a beautiful display when planted in large containers.
Geranium Antik Pink is a gorgeous pink blush which deep green foliage. Perfect for a large container display as illustrated to enhance your patio space. With supports these vigorous geraniums will climb up to 2m and create a true showstopping piece in the summer time.
Our F1 Geraniums do not disappoint, producing an abundance of rounded, papery flowers in rich scarlet red above palmately lobed foliage. We only use finest quality F1 seeds to produce compact yet robust plug plants with well-established root systems.
Producing an abundance of rounded, papery flowers, our Geranium Century F1 Red will add a touch of elegance to the summer garden with their rich scarlet red blooms and palmately lobed foliage. These Geraniums are the perfect choice for providing masses of colour to your summer flower beds and patio containers.
Flowering from June to September this prolofic flowering and colourful mixture of Geraniums produces an abundance of bright colours to liven up the summer garden. These versatile plants look fantastic when planted on the patio in containers or as a stunning flower bed display. Also worth a try on window boxes.
Plant out Pelargoniums in May through to June (after the danger of frost has passed).
Pelargoniums can be grown in borders or containers. In borders or beds, plant in fertile, neutral to alkaline soil. Most prefer full sun. Regal cultivars prefer partial shade and zonal cultivars will tolerate some shade.
Dig a good sized hole, big enough to easily accommodate the rootball. Add a layer of organic matter – such as compost or planting compost – to the base of the hole and fork it in.
Place the rootball in the planting hole and adjust the planting depth so that it is planted at the same depth as it was originally growing and the top of the rootball is level with the soil surface.
Mix in more organic matter with the excavated soil and fill in the planting hole.
Water in well, apply a granular general feed over the soil and add a 5-7.5cm (2-3in) deep mulch of well-rotted garden compost or bark chippings around the root area to conserve soil moisture and help keep down weeds.
Wildflowers have been referenced in British literature, poetry and music for centuries, from Shakespeare to D.H. Lawrence. Wildflower meadows and grasslands are our most diverse habitats, rich in wildlife, beauty, history and folklore. So, since the first week of May is #NationalWildflowerWeek, it seems like there’s no better time than now to bring a touch of the wild to your garden.
Here are our top 10 wildflower varieties to plant this spring…
Native to the mountains ravines and woodlands in Asia and North America, these plant’s are quite simply a gardener’s dream. Astilbe are carefree, summer blooming perennials and this variety produces a dense carpet of dark fern-like foliage with feathery white blooms.
Native to Europe and North America, this flowering wild thyme will dazzle in a wildlife garden with their highly fragrant pinky-mauve flowers amongst their dark green foliage. This is the perfect wildflower for attracting bees and butterflies.
Native to Australia where they grow on hot rocky outcrops they are equally good at coping with hostile growing conditions. The lovely fan shaped blooms and shiny glossy green leaves make this a lovely feature plant, great in tubs and containers or planted up fences as illustrated.
Also known as the Starflower, Triplet Lily or Wild Hyacinth, the Triteleia Queen Fabiola is native to California where it grows wild. Bright green, grass-like leaves appear first, followed by clusters of violet purple star shaped blossoms with blue anthers in late spring.
Originating from exotic Turkey and Bulgaria, Rose of Sharon is one of the best varieties for ground covers. Not only that, but it is very popular with bees. The large bright yellow star-shaped flowers with red-tipped anthers make a sunny display from June to September.
Bring the wildness of the woods to your garden with this exciting mix of Digital Purpurea, commonly known as Foxgloves. Flowering from June to August, the foxglove plant bears an instantly recognizable shape consisting of tall, statuesque spikes of tubular, bell-like flowers each with a distinctively speckled throat.
Native to the United States where it grows in the wild, it’s a great ornamental border plant and is an excellent cut flower for an indoor display. This fabulous upright perennial with tall brush like spikes of blue/lilac flowers will bloom from June to September with whorls of lance-shaped, toothed leaves form at the base.
In the wild Geranium Sangiuneum Alba is found in sand dunes and on rocky slopes. This lovely sprawling perennial with small dark green leaves and pure white clusters of perfectly formed flowers in the summer is also known as the ‘bloody crane’s-bill’ for the crane like appearance of the fruit capsules in the spring.
This Wood Anemone originated in the European woodlands and it still retains its natural carefree beauty. Un-surprisingly, given its origin, this little beauty is an excellent naturalising plant and will produce an ever increasing displays each year. Ideal for your patio pots and rockeries.
Also known as the Californian white-flowered quamash these will produce creamy-white blooms, densely set on very long stems. These are great naturalisers and will be happy in full sun or partial shade. A great addition to beds/borders, and will look fabulous planted en-masse in a wild garden.
No matter how small your garden, there’s always room for hanging baskets. There’s nothing quite as captivating in a garden as seeing a full, cascading hanging basket, overflowing with colour as the flowers catch the sun. With the weather warming up and your spring bulbs peeping through, April is the perfect time to prepare some beautiful hanging basket displays to bring colour and cheer to your garden.
With the ever-growing range of varieties available, it can be a difficult decision choosing which plants are best for your garden. So if you’re looking for a little floral guidance, here are our top ten basket plants for you to choose from this season.
A native to South and Central America, Africa and South Asia, Begonias are a flowering plant with around 1500 species. Since cultivation of these plants doesn’t require too much effort, they have become increasingly popular amongst gardeners. Their flowers are often showy with either vibrant coloured single or double blooms, which make for fantastic hanging basket additions for a display filled with frills and colour.
One of our newest additions to our range, Begonia Northern Lights Pink. This free-flowering double begonia blooms with hot pink petals and ruffled centres with shades of pink and yellow. These stunning flowers create a real eye-catching effect in summer hanging baskets.
Looking for an elegant twist for your basket displays? As a part of the popular Illumination series, this stunning variety produces delicate, double white blooms. This versatile variety can be planted in both sun and semi-shade for beautiful flowers all throughout the summer.
Million Bells are a dazzling little plant that features hundreds of small, bell-like flowers that resemble mini Petunias and are a must-have in the garden. Their versatile, trailing-like habit make them perfect for hanging baskets or even containers and ground cover.
This exceptionally long flowering variety is the perfect drought resistant plant for bringing character and interest all summer. Producing a mass of miniature, blue bell-shaped flowers, Million Bells Blue has a trailing like habit that makes an excellent addition to hanging baskets.
Brighten up your hanging baskets with the vibrant, miniature yellow bell-shaped blooms of Million Bells Yellow. With an exceptional long-flowering period and a strong drought resistance, these cheery flowers will create an avalanche of summer colour in the garden.
This summertime bloomer is an easy-to-grow, carefree plant. Lobelia is an attractive annual which produces a variety of long flowering blooms in a range of vibrant, beautiful colours from pinks, reds to cool blues, which make spectacular additions to hanging baskets.
Our Lobelia California Dark Blue Eye has a beautifully vigorous spreading habit and produces an abundance of large bright blue flowers all through summer. These plants make excellent hanging basket displays for a garden bursting with life.
This variety of Lobelia is a part of a sensational range bred by the famous breeder ‘Breier’ and showcases a beautiful abundance of large bright purple blooms. These flowers are ideal for hanging baskets as they naturally form a perfect mound with their even and neat flowering habit.
If you’re searching for long lasting blooms that perform even through the hottest days of summer, than look no further than the Verbena flower. This brilliant, drought resistant plant produces exquisite showy flower heads that appear in tight clusters of brightly coloured flowers along with vivid green foliage.
Winner of the RHS award of Garden Merit; Verbena Samira Peachproduces beautiful peach-pink flower heads that cluster to form a sphere that are perfect for planting in hanging baskets to bring a wave of warm coloured hues to the summer garden.
This series of fast-growing Verbena is a fantastic vigorous trailing plant and produces giant cardinal red and pure white flowers all throughout the summer months. These flowers are the ideal partners for hanging baskets for a fun summer display of patterned blooms.
Bright, bold and bursting with life, these excellent plants are a top choice for hanging baskets. Native to South America, the Petunia is an ornamental plant with showy trumpet-shaped flowers that is available in a variety of colours and shapes, double and single flowers, you are guaranteed to find the perfect fit for your garden displays.
Add a touch of drama to your hanging baskets this summer with our stunning Petunia Tumbelina Inga. These unique blooms burst with an abundance of deep red flowers with light pink edges. These fragrant flowers are superb when planted alone or along with a mix of different trailing varieties.
This new addition to our range is a prolific flowering variety and will bring warmth to the garden with their smooth golden caramel blooms that have soft shades of burnt orange with a brown center. Flowering all summer long, these beautiful blooms will provide months of enjoyment.
If you want an impressive big basket display, Trailing Begonias are the way forward. Trailing begonias are a vigorous plant which produce a profuse amount of delicate flowers with large outer petals and a tufted truffle centre. Their beautiful vibrant flowers are perfect for creating a flowing carpet of colour in your hanging baskets.
This vigorous Begonia produces an abundance of delicate soft pink blooms all through the summer months. They are highly tolerant to drought and heavy rain and fast growing, making a perfect addition to hanging baskets for a cascading mass of colour.
Bursting with a blaze of glorious colour, Begonia FirewingsOrange is the most vigorous and top performing of all the trailing Begonias. Their vivid orange flowers are guaranteed to bring the sunshine to the garden this summer with their avalanche of fiery, pendulous blooms.
The cascading varieties of Fuchsia have become immensely popular as they showcase beautiful, pendant-shaped flowers that are a delight to any garden. They are easy to maintain and are known for their high performance, so create a bold and beautiful avalanche of colour in your hanging baskets this summer.
These giant flowers create an impressive display with their beautiful double blooms. With their outer milky-white sepals and deep purple ruffled petals, Fuchsia Giant Deep Purple is the perfect plant for trailing along the edges of summer baskets for a colourful display.
Originating from Peru and Bolivia, this spreading Fuchsia variety produces vibrant, variegated green and pink foliage along with bright pink-red flowers. As an added bonus, their foliage gradually gets darker as the summer season progresses for added interest.
Beautiful Geraniums gently cascading over the side of summer baskets and planters are a marvelous sight. With their bright green foliage, vibrant colours and tumbling habit, they are an essential addition for creating the perfect hanging basket.
Often seen in Germany and Alpine Europe, this beautiful single flowering variety of Geranium produces a delicate avalanche of colour. This prolific flowering variety blooms with soft shades of light pink and are a superb addition to summer hanging baskets.
The pretty blooms of this Geranium variety are very tolerable of heat and wet conditions, that make the perfect partners for summer basket displays. Geranium Single Trailing Whiteblooms with a beautiful brilliant white shade with hot pink detailing on the inner petals.
A range filled with beautiful cascading dainty flowers; Bacopa, also known as Waterhyssop, is an ideal hanging basket addition for the summer due to their heat and drought resistant habit. Their beautiful soft pastel shades on their clustered blooms are the perfect free flowering staple for any basket display.
This trailing plant is a firm garden favourite due to their mass of single white flowers along with a rich golden leafed foliage. Our Bacopa Scopia Single Golden Leaf White will brighten up any summer garden for a reliable and heat tolerant cascading display of golden colour.
The stunning, pink star-shaped flowers of our Bacopa Scopia Double Pink are complimented beautifully by their yellow centers for an eye-catching pop of colour in any hanging basket. Their cascading habit performs beautifully in full sun for an elegant display of pastel colour.
Native to mexico, this herbaceous perennial bares an abundance of flowers and are a superb addition to hanging baskets to create a display of rich, lavish colour, which are certain to dazzle in the sunshine this summer.
This stunning Bidens Firelight produces daisy-like pink and white flowers on a bed of luscious ferns. Bejeweling the garden with their amazing bi-colour blooms, this easy to care for and abundant flowering plant is a true showstopper and an absolute-must for planting in hanging baskets.
These single daisy-like blooms showcase luminous white petals with bright yellow centers that are destined to bring the sunshine this summer. They have a compact, heavy flowering habit which makes them ideal for hanging basket displays, and they will bloom all throughout the summer months, from June through to October.
You can always choose the most popular plants for hanging baskets, but why not add stray in to the weird and wonderful by trying some more unusual plants to put in your garden this year?
This variety has sparked the interest of amateur gardeners as they are easy for beginners. Our Tumbling Tom Collection produces large, cherry sized, red and yellow fruit. Their superb trailing habit makes them perfect for hanging baskets.
If you’re looking to add a touch of drama to your hanging baskets, why not try our bold Petunia Back to Black? This stunning Petunia is as close to black as anything currently available. Create a stark contrast to the bright sunshine this summer with a basket full of these dark velvety petals.
Looking for something a little more wild this summer, why not fill a hanging basket full of foliage? Our collection of Evergreen Foliage Plants is the perfect choice for adding a pop of colour all-year-round in hanging baskets displays.
A favourite of gardeners for their low maintenance and highly rewarding growth. Strawberry Cambridge Favourite is a resilient mid-season variety. They are perfect to grow in limited space and produce a heavy crop of delicious sweet fruit.
Question: How do i plant up a hanging basket?
Here is a set of easy steps to get you started on creating your hanging baskets in time for summer.
STEP 1: Line your basket to help maintain moisture and stop the compost from falling out (plastic coating, sphagnum moss, coco fibre, felt etc..)
STEP 2: Add a water-saving gel and slow-release plant food to help keep the plants moist and nourished throughout the season.
STEP 3:Around the sides of the basket, gently push the roots of trailing plants through the basket liner and firm them in to the compost. Repeat this all the way around the basket and add a little more compost.
STEP 4: Arrange the remaining plants in the top of the basket (one in the middle and the rest around the edge).
STEP 5: Water plants thoroughly.
STEP 6: Hang the basket to a bracket using the chains.
AFTERCARE: Water daily. Water twice daily during the height of summer.
How-to Planting Tutorials
Planting up a hanging basket is not as daunting as you may think. Here are a handy selection of our video guides to help you create your very own stunning hanging basket displays for your garden!
There is a garden philosophy: If you like it, it’s a flower; if you don’t, it’s a weed. It’s hard to have compassion for weeds, but they’re just plants growing in places where they’re not wanted. One approach is to pull the weeds out by hand but why not try a completely different approach? A thick mass planting of ground cover plants can control weeds by keeping the direct sunlight off the soil, which can cause weeds to germinate and can compete with the weeds for water and nutrients.
Here’s a guide to identifying the garden enemies in your garden.
Some are annuals and have a one-year life cycle that ends with them setting seeds for the next generation.
Others are perennials, like dandelions (having a lifecycle longer than one year). You may need to eradicate the main root of these to remove them.
Ground Cover for Full Sun
In full sun, the following ground cover plants are fantastic choices for beautiful and efficient sunny borders.
This beautiful hardy and versatile plant forms spreading clumps of colour through late-spring and are perfect for ground cover planting. They love full sun and is tough enough to suppress weeds and thrive even in the poorest of soils.
The large and vivid blue bell-shaped flowers of this plant are certain to make a lasting impact as ground cover. With its reliability, stability of colour and long spreading foliage, this plant is the perfect partner for suppressing weeds in your garden whilst providing lasting beauty throughout summer.
This plant is a heat-tolerant, drought-tolerant ground cover option. This Thyme variety adds an attractive mat of leaves with highly fragrant pink/mauve flowers in the summer. They are great for planting in crevices as they are great for choking out weeds.
For erosion control, few ground covers work better than this creeping perennial. They’re drought-resistant, not picky about soil quality and love full sun. Carpet your garden in the rich colour of Phlox Candy Stripe to attract butterflies and keep the weeds at bay.
Our superb mixture of summer flowering Heather will provide a carpet of vibrant colour in a ground cover display. Not only do they brighten up otherwise dull areas, they can be planted in partial shade areas and also work to suppress weeds
Ground Cover for Partial Shade
For a slightly shady area of the garden, try these:
This excellent ground cover plant offers a mound of silvery-green foliage beneath an abundance of dainty pink flowers. This sprawling perennial is a great summer flowering plant to suppress pesky weeds, and can also be planted in rockeries and dry stone walls.
Also known as ‘Dragon’s Blood’ Sedum, this variety may be the hardiest and most versatile of all weed-suppressing ground covers. Their trailing stems root easily and do well in places where little else will grow. This year round beauty provides bright green fleshy leaves with star-shaped pink flowers in summer.
With this plant’s reliability, stability of colour and resistance to pests and diseases, it has earned the RHS Award of Garden Merit. Their masses of star-shaped blue and violet flowers will bloom into late August and are very useful in the ground where the spreading foliage will produce a blanket of weed suppressing ground cover.
Ajuga keeps weeds out by creeping over the surface of the soil, putting down roots as it goes, and all the leaves knit together to leave not a millimeter of soil into which a weed can wheedle. Also, their vibrant green and purple foliage with white edging are perfect for colourful ground cover.
Originating from Turkey and Bulgaria, Rose of Sharon is one of the best ground cover options. Not only are their yellow star-shaped flowering popular with bees, their shrubby low-growing habit is extremely valuable for smothering those unwanted pesky garden weeds.
This magnificent evergreen shrub produces vivid red foliage on long slender leaves that have a unique metallic glimmer. They form in to a dense dome of foliage making them excellent ground cover to suppress weeds. Also, they look fantastic planted in pots/containers.
This amazing Hosta sprouts large pure white leaves in late spring/early summer that develop green streaks as the season progresses. Perfectly happy in shade, when paired with other Hostas, these plants knit together seamlessly to create a blanket of efficient weed suppression.
After you’ve picked your ground cover plants, it’s time to get in the garden!
To help you plant your ground cover this spring, here is our handy step-by-step tutorial, so that you can get the best performance and results from your garden this summer.
Which plants work the best for weed control?
Dense evergreen varieties are the best option if your main aim is to suppress weeds.
What do i need to do to prepare for planting?
Be sure to fully eradicate all existing weeds before you plant, especially perennials such as dandelions, as they will become near impossible to remove once your ground cover is planted.
Will the ground cover kill my other plants?
Place decorative rocks or stepping stones between ground cover and perennials to maintain a barrier for spreading stolons, or above ground perennials.
When planting more than one ground cover variety, spread mulch between the plants to conserve soil moisture and reduce unwanted plant growth.
What aftercare is required for ground cover?
Spread netting or old sheets over ground covers during autumn leaf drop. It can be difficult to rake leaves out of thick ground covers, and allowing the leaves to sit can create unhealthy conditions.