Summer is finally on its way and the garden is beginning to burst with colour. Here are just a few of the plants you might like to choose to make your garden really stand out this month.
Aquilegia or 'Grannies Bonnet' is a very common cottage garden plant that some people even consider a weed. However, there are some really beautiful varieties of this stunning little plant that should have a place in every herbaceous border. 'Nora Barlow' is a very old variety that has tight buds of apple green, a colour which stays on the tip of the petals as they unfurl into a ball of pink and white flowers. This variety is not only pretty but also makes a good cut flower. There is a black version called 'Black Barlow'.
Centaurea Montana or mountain cornflower, is a hardy perennial that is very easy to grow. It has greyish-green foliage and deep blue/violet coloured flowers. It is at home in sun or partial shade. Poppies are easy to grow and can be a stunning addition to a garden border. 'Ladybird' has flowers of rich pillar-box red that are highlighted at the base with a blotch of black.
Euphoria can be described as a plant that has everything - evergreen foliage for winter interest and flower bracts that last all summer. My favourite varieties include the fresh green stems of Euphoria palustris which turn crimson, yellow and orange in the autumn. Euphorbia griffithi 'Fireglow' has classic orange bracts rather than the more common green. This plant is happy in the middle or back of any herbaceous border or can be grown in outdoor planters.
A slightly understated but nevertheless delightful plant for your borders is valeriana pyrenaica. This tall clump-forming perennial has pointed, heart-shaped leaves and domed clusters of soft pink or white flowers that are sweetly scented. The flowers eventually fade to leave fluffy seed heads. Looks great when mixed with tall grasses or cow parsley. Erigeron karvinskianus is a lovely little plant for the front of a border that looks very like our common field daisy. It is mat-forming and flowers over a long period during the summer. Hardy and sun-loving, it looks equally as lovely in gravel or in between slabs on a pavement or grown in outdoor planters. Another pretty front of border plant is the tiny geranium 'Bill Wallis'. This tiny flowered geranium spreads over ground and produces masses of tiny jewel-like deep purple flowers. It will repeat flower if cut back mid-season.
Photo Credit: Juan José Sánchez
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