60 types of flowers for every garden

Dahlias and achilleas in a late summer border

There are many different types of flowers to grow in your garden, adding interest, colour and food for wildlife. Types of flowers can range from annuals to perennials, climbers to ground cover, and spring flowers to summer flowers. Flowers also come in a variety of different shapes, sizes and colours.

Annual flowers bloom and set seed within a year. Those sown in spring will provide summer colour and there are many that flower for several months, including cosmos and zinnias. These are a good budget friendly option for filling gaps in the border.

Perennials are plants that come back every year. Many will die down over winter, then produce new growth in spring. Aim to include a mix of perennials that flower in different seasons. If you have limited space, plant long flowering perennials, such as hardy cranesbills.

For structure and year round interest, shrubs are essential. Shrubs are woody plants that bring architectural interest as well as flowers. They can be evergreen (keep their leaves all year) or deciduous (lose their leaves in winter), working well as both feature plants or as a backdrop to more showy perennials.

To cover boundaries, wigwams in containers and trellis, plant flowering climbers such as clematis or roses. There are also many fast-growing annual climbers with bright flowers that will boost colour in your garden and are easy to grow. The bonus of the climbers listed below is that provide plenty of flowers but take up little ground space.

Other types of flowers worth planting in your garden include bulbs such as crocus, daffodils and tulips. These plants grow from an underground storage organ. The term ‘bulbs’ often refers not only to true bulbs, but plants that grow from corms, rhizomes and tubers. They are are one of the easiest ways to boost colour in borders and containers. From early flowering bulbs such as iris and crocus to alliums that flower in June, there’s a bulb for every season. They are simple to plant and most come back every year.

When choosing flowers for your garden look for a mix that include scent, contrasting flower shapes and a variety of seasonal colour. Include different heights and types of plant. Remember to choose plants that suit the conditions in your garden. What type of soil do you have? Is it light or heavy, acidic or alkaline? How much light and shade is there in your borders? Choose plants that will thrive in your garden’s conditions.

Finally, consider including a tree. There are many trees for small gardens and, if you choose carefully, it can offer something in every season whether that’s flowers, berries, winter structure or autumn colour. Trees can also provide shelter and food for birds.


Different types of flowers to grow

 

Cosmos bipannatus

Pink single-flowered cosmos
Pink single-flowered cosmos

Sow this easy annual in spring for flowers that will last from midsummer into autumn. Cosmos needs a sunny spot and, depending on the cultivar, varies in height from 60cm to 2.5m. Shorter varieties are best for containers. The daisy like flowers can be shades of white, pink, orange and deep red.

Height x Spread: variable up to 2.5m x 60cm


 

Crocosmia

Crocosmia 'Lucifer'
Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’

These fiery sun lovers are ideal for a south-facing border. Crocosmias are perennials with multiple flowers on an arching stem that can be up anything from 50cm to 2m tall. They are available with yellow, red or orange flowers, bringing colour to borders from August through to October. For a fiery orange variety, try ‘Emily Mackenzie’ or for red, ‘Lucifer’ – both of these have an AGM from the RHS.

H x S: variable up to 2m x 50cm


 

Magnolia

Magnolia x soulangeana 'Alexandrina'
Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Alexandrina’

The flowers of most magnolias appear before their leaves in March, although there are some summer-flowering varieties. Magnolias can be small shrubs growing to 1-2m high or trees such as Magnolia grandiflora that can reach 15m. Flowers are usually pink or white and can be star- or goblet-shaped. With such a variety of magnolias available, there should be one suitable for most gardens, although they need acid to neutral soils. For small gardens, Magnolia stellata is a good choice, growing to 3m tall.

H x S: variable up to around (20m x 15m)


 

Penstemons

Penstemon 'Razzle Dazzle'
Penstemon ‘Razzle Dazzle’

The tubular flowers of these long-flowering summer perennials are loved by bees and provide welcome colour from July to November. In colder regions of the UK, some plants may not make it through winter, but penstemons are easy to grow from cuttings. Their flowers can be white, pink, blue, purple or red.

H x S: variable up to (1m x 50cm)


 

Crocus

Crocus tommasinianus 'Barr's Purple'
Crocus tommasinianus ‘Barr’s Purple’

Plant crocus beneath trees and shrubs for an early spring display. Once planted in autumn, crocuses will come back year after year in February. One of the easiest varieties to naturalise in your lawn or beneath trees is Crocus tommasinianus. 

H x S: 10cm x 5cm


 

Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle, Lonicera peryclymenum 'Serotina'
Honeysuckle, Lonicera peryclymenum ‘Serotina’

Bring scent to your boundaries with a climbing honeysuckle. These generally flower through summer, from July to September depending on the variety. Climbing honeysuckles will cover a fence or wall quickly and attract bees and butterflies. Try the award-winning Lonicera periclymenum ‘Serotina’ which has white to yellow flowers.

H x S: variable up to 8m x 2.5m


 

Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)

Syringa vulgaris 'Katherine Havemeyer'. Getty Images
Syringa vulgaris ‘Katherine Havemeyer’. Getty Images

This is a classic summer-flowering shrub that has pink, purple or white scented flowers from late spring to early summer. Plant it in a sunny spot at the back of a mixed border or on its own. The flowers are good for cutting, so you can enjoy the scent indoors as well as out. ‘Madame Lemoine’, a white flowered variety, which was bred in 1890, grows up to 7m but there are compact varieties like ‘Red Pixie’ available which only grow to around 1.8m.

H x S: variable up to 7m x 7m


 

Grape hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum)

Grape hyacinth (muscari)
Grape hyacinth (muscari)

Plant muscari bulbs in pots or at the front of a border for a shot of spring colour. These small blue flowers are easy to grow. Plant them from September to December and you’ll have flowers every year from April to May. They make good companions for other spring bulbs such as tulips.

H x S: 15cm x 10cm


 

Hellebores

Helleborus niger, Christmas rose
Helleborus niger, Christmas rose

Perfect for a lightly shaded spot under trees or shrubs, hellebores bring early colour to borders. They are also a good choice for containers, combined with plants such as ivy, miniature daffodils, violas or skimmia. These evergreen perennials flower from late winter to early spring, with the earliest being Helleborus niger, Christmas rose.

H x S: 30cm x 45cm


 

Dahlias

Dahlia 'Rothesay Reveller'
Dahlia ‘Rothesay Reveller’

There’s no end of choice when it comes to dahlias, both in colour and flower shape. It’s hard to beat this tender perennial for late summer colour. Whether you want simplicity with the single-flowered, red ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ or something showy like ‘Rothesay Reveller’ there’s a dahlia to suit every garden. Most dahlias range in height from around 60cm to 1.5m but there are a few that top 2m.  Plant the tubers in early spring.

H x S: variable up to 2.5m x 1m


 

Sedum (Hylotelephium)

Planting a container with Sedum 'Carl'. Jason Ingram
Planting a container with Sedum ‘Carl’. Jason Ingram

Sedums, now called Hylotelephium, are late-flowering perennials. Their flat-topped flowerheads are attractive to bees and come in colours including pink, white and deep red. Plant them in a sunny spot to enjoy colour from August to September. They grow to around 50-60cm tall depending on variety.

H x S: variable up to 60cm x 1m


 

Philadelphus (Mock orange)

Philadelphus 'Mexican Jewel'
Philadelphus ‘Mexican Jewel’

Bring scent to your garden with a deciduous shrub that’s covered in white flowers in early summer. Mock oranges tend to be medium-sized shrubs that reach around 1.5-3m tall, although there are smaller cultivars available. They’re good for the back of a border as they don’t have another season of interest after the flowers are over.

H x S: variable up to 3m x 2.5m


 

Zinnias

Zinnia elegans 'Scarlet Flame'
Zinnia elegans ‘Scarlet Flame’

The perfect flower for a beginner, zinnias are half hardy annuals, which can be sown indoors March to April or direct outdoors from May. They come in a variety of bright colours and flower for weeks, from July right up until the first frosts. Zinnias are attractive to pollinators and make good cut flowers. Try ‘Purple Prince’ a tall variety growing to 75cm, that has an RHS Award of Garden Merit.

H x S: variable up to 90cm x 20cm


 

Foxgloves

Foxgloves and cow parsley
Foxgloves and cow parsley

Most foxgloves are biennial, so they will flower in the second year after planting. They thrive in dappled shade and will self seed if you delay deadheading until the seed has ripened. Digitalis purpurea is the native foxglove, with pink flowers that are a magnet for bees. It grows to around 2m tall and flowers June to July.

H x S: variable up to 2.5m x 50cm


 

Sea holly (Eryngium)

Eryngium x zabelii 'Big Blue'
Eryngium x zabelii ‘Big Blue’

Eryngiums can grow in poor soil and are well suited to gravel gardens or coastal areas. Their spiky, thistle-like flowerheads look striking in summer and as a seedhead, if left to stand through winter. This perennial comes in cool shades, from the pale grey ‘Miss Wilmott’s Ghost’ to the deep blue of Eryngium x zabelii ‘Big Blue’, flowering from July to September.

H x S: variable up to 1m x 50cm


 

Orlaya grandiflora

White laceflower (Orlaya grandiflora)
White laceflower (Orlaya grandiflora)

The lacy white flowers of this hardy annual last throughout the summer, from June through to the first frosts. Keep deadheading to encourage more flowers. It makes a good cut flower and an elegant foil to brighter flowers in a mixed border.

H x S: 60cm x 30cm


 

Lavender

Lavender 'Hidcote'
Lavender ‘Hidcote’

This Mediterranean shrub is best planted in the spring, to avoid it sitting in wet, cold soil over winter. Choose a sunny spot with well drained soil and you’ll find lavender easy to grow. There are many varieties to choose from including pink and white. For small gardens, try the compact ‘Munstead’ with blue-purple flowers from July to September, which grows to 45cm high.

H x S: variable up to 1m x 1.5m


 

Daffodils

Narcissus 'Rijnveld's Early Sensation'
Narcissus ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’

Spring bulbs are an easy way add colour to the garden. Plant a mix of varieties in October and you could have flowers from February through to April. One of the earliest to flower is ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’, which can flower in January, while Narcissus jonquilla flowers in April to May.

H x S: variable up to 50cm x 10cm


 

Peonies

Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt'. Tim Sandall
Peony ‘Sarah Bernhardt’. Tim Sandall

Herbaceous peonies provide early summer colour to borders with bowl-shaped single or double flowers. The impressive blooms come in white, cream, yellow, pink or red on plants reaching around 70-90cm tall. To ensure success, avoid planting too deeply and choose a sunny spot with rich, well-drained soil. For good scent, grow ‘Bowl of Beauty’.

H x S: variable up to 90cm x 80cm


 

Hardy geraniums

Geranium 'Rozanne'
Geranium ‘Rozanne’

These easy perennials are the stalwarts of many borders, with flowers that last for months. Hardy geraniums are also low maintenance and make good ground cover, which helps to keep weeds at bay. Popular and award-winning varieties include purple-flowered ‘Rozanne’, which flowers July to October.

H x S: variable with most up to 60cm x 60cm


 

Sunflowers

Sunflower 'Solar Flash'
Sunflower ‘Solar Flash’

Sunflowers don’t just come in sunny yellows – there’s a whole range to explore from cream through to red and brown. ‘Russian Giant’ reaches 3m tall, whereas the dwarf variety ‘Micro Sun’ only grows to 60cm, making it ideal for containers. Sunflowers generally flower from July to September.

H x S: variable up to around 3m x 1.5m


 

Delphinium

Delphinium 'Amadeus'
Delphinium ‘Amadeus’

These tall cottage garden style plants are ideal for the back of a border. Some reach up to 2m tall with flowers that can be blue, purple, pink, red or white. Bees love the flowers, which appear between July and September. Most delphiniums are hardy perennials but there are also annual and biennial varieties.

H x S: variable up to 2m x 90cm


 

Common jasmine (Jasminum officinale)

Common jasmine, Jasminum officinale
Common jasmine, Jasminum officinale

Cover a south- or west-facing fence with this scented climber that flowers from June to August. It’s deciduous so will drop its leaves in autumn, but provides attractive coverage with its white, star-shaped flowers throughout summer. Plant in full sun.

H x S: 5m x 5m


 

Weigela

Weigela 'Florida Variegata'. Jason Ingram
Weigela ‘Florida Variegata’. Jason Ingram

Weigela are early summer-flowering, deciduous shrubs. They’re easy to grow, with trumpet-shaped flowers that attract bees. There are variegated varieties available, such as ‘Florida Variegata’, which are good for lighting up areas of dappled shade or providing a contrast to evergreen shrubs. They can reach up to 3m tall but there are compact types that only reach 1.5m tall and wide.

H x S: variable up to 3m x 2.5m


 

Alliums

Allium 'Purple Sensation'
Allium ‘Purple Sensation’

Plant allium bulbs in October to enjoy a striking display of globe-shaped flowers in June or July. Alliums grow to around 60cm to 1m tall with striking flowers that look striking partnered with grasses or herbaceous perennials such as hardy geraniums.

H x S: variable up to 1.5m x 50cm


 

Rudbeckias

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldsturm'
Grow late summer perennials like Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’

Black-eyed Susan, or rudbeckias, are a popular choice for late summer colour. Well-known varieties such as ‘Goldsturm’, which has an AGM from the RHS, flower from August through to October, extending the season into autumn. The perennial types are mostly yellow flowered, while annual rudbeckias come in colours including red and orange.

H x S: variable up to around 2.5m x 1m


 

Daylilies (Hemerocallis)

Hemerocallis 'Ruby Spider', Daylily. Torie Chugg
Hemerocallis ‘Ruby Spider’, Daylily. Torie Chugg

As their name suggests, the individual blooms of daylilies flower only for a day, but this doesn’t matter as the plants produce a succession of flowers. There are many varieties to choose from, with a variety of heights (between 20cm and 1.5m), flowering times (between June and September) and colours including hot reds, yellows and white. Some are also scented.

H x S: variable up to 1.5m x 1m


 

Hydrangea

Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'
Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’

These hardy shrubs make an attractive feature in a border, with ball, cone-shaped or lace-cap flowers that can be white, pink or blue. Try ‘Annabelle’ if you want a focal point, as it grows to 2.5m tall, with eye-catching white, globe-shaped flowers. Most hydrangeas reach around a metre tall and flower between July and August.

H x S: variable up to 2.5m x 2.5m


 

Sweet peas

Lathyrus odoratus 'Matucana'
Lathyrus odoratus ‘Matucana’

Sow annual sweet peas in spring for scented climbers that will fill your garden and home with colour. To prevent mice eating the seed, it’s easier to sow indoors into tall pots, then transplant your sweet peas once the danger of frost is over. Try the award-winning, annual Lathyrus odoratus ‘Matucuna’.

H x S: 2m x 50cm


 

Roses

Climbing rose, Rosa 'Gertrude Jekyll'
Climbing rose, Rosa ‘Gertrude Jekyll’

There’s no shortage of roses to choose from, whether you want plants that cover a fence, scented shrubs for a border or a standard rose to put next to the front door. Most make good cut flowers, single roses are excellent for pollinators and there’s a form to suit everyone. Plant in a sunny spot.

H x S: shrub roses variable up to around 2.5m x 1.5m


 

Caryopteris x candensis 

Caryopteris x clandonensis 'Dark Knight'
Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Dark Knight’

Add late season colour to the edge of borders with caryopteris. Its blue flowers, which appear in August and September, provide valuable late nectar to bees. With a height and spread of around 90cm it makes a good shrub for combining with late perennials such as salvias or asters.

H x S: variable up to around 1m x 1m


 

Aster

Symphyotrichum ‘Little Carlow’
Symphyotrichum ‘Little Carlow’

Asters are late-flowering perennials that suit borders and containers, flowering well into autumn. The daisy like flowers are attractive to late flying insects. For pots, try compact varieties such as Symphyotrichum novi-belgii ‘Samoa’ or Aster x frikartii ‘Flora’s Delight’. As well as purple, you’ll also find white, pink, blue and red types of aster.

H x S: variable up to 2m x 1m


 

Miniature irises

Iris reticulata flowers
Iris reticulata flowers

Plant iris bulbs between September and November for flowers in February to April. Iris reticulata and its cultivars are early-flowering, dwarf irises that grow to around 15cm tall. For deep purple flowers, ‘George’ is a reliable variety or for paler flowers, plant ‘Katherine Hodgkin’.

H x S: variable up to 15cm x 10cm


 

Euphorbia

Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii
Bright lime flowers of Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii

These vibrant perennials have striking green, lime or acid yellow flowers in spring or summer. This is a huge plant group (genus) so there should be a variety to suit every spot in the garden. The compact Euphorbia amygdloides var. robbiae will thrive in dry shade and for a reliable evergreen cultivar, there’s Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii, which likes a sunny spot and grows to 1.2m.

H x S: variable up to around 2m x 2m


 

Tulips

Tulips 'Purple Crystal', 'Mistress', 'China Pink', 'Burgundy'. Jason Ingram
Tulips including ‘Purple Crystal’ and ‘China Pink’. Jason Ingram

Spring bulbs are one of the easiest ways to add colour to an existing border or create a spectacular container display. With so many colours and flowers shapes to choose from there’s a tulip to suit every garden. Mix early and late-flowering varieties to get a long season of colour.

H x S: variable up to around 60cm x 10cm


 

Mahonia

Mahonia x Media 'Winter Sun'
Mahonia x media ‘Winter Sun’

Fill a gap in the border with winter colour from the bright flowering mahonia. This evergreen shrub blooms from November to March, with scented flowers that provide nectar and pollen for winter active bees. The architectural leaves looks good year round.

H x S: variable up to around 4m x 4m


 

Morning glory

Morning glory, Ipomoea tricolor
Morning glory, Ipomoea tricolor

The individual flowers of Ipomoea tricolor open for one day in the morning, but the flowering season lasts throughout summer from June to August. Sow this frost tender annual indoors in early spring and plant out once the danger of frosts is over. It will look good climbing up a wigwam in a container.

H x S: 3m x 45cm


 

Buddleia

Buddleia provides nectar for butterflies
Buddleia provides nectar for butterflies

Known as the butterfly bush, buddleia has nectar-rich flowers that appear from July to September. There are large and small varieties, including some that are suitable for large pots, such as ‘Hot Raspberry’. Plant in full sun for the best display of flowers, which can be pink, blue, white, purple or yellow.

H x S: variable up to 4m x 4m


 

Rhododendron

Rhododendron yakushimanum 'Koichiro Wada'
Rhododendron yakushimanum ‘Koichiro Wada’

Rhododendrons thrive in acid soil, but it is possible to grow smaller types like Rhododendron yakushimanum in a large container. Fill this with ericaceous compost. These easy shrubs provide flowers in early summer, from May to June, depending on variety. Dwarf types grow to around 40cm whereas tall rhododendrons can reach 6m over time.

H x S: variable up to around 4m x 4m (after 10 years)


 

Amelanchier lamarkii

Spring-flowering Amelanchier lamarckii
Spring-flowering Amelanchier lamarckii

This is one of the best trees for a small garden, with white, star-shaped spring flowers from March to April. These are followed by black berries and attractive autumn colour. It’s low maintenance and needs minimal pruning.

H x S: 4m x 2.5m


 

Mexican sunflower (Tithonia)

Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia
Mexican sunflower, Tithonia rotundifolia

Sow this half hardy annual in spring for a blast of glowing orange in late summer. The flowers will last right into autumn, complementing other late comers such as dahlias and heleniums. Mexican sunflowers add height to the border and make good cut flowers.

H x S: 1.8m x 45cm


 

Daphne

Daphne 'Jacqueline Postill'
Daphne ‘Jacqueline Postill’

Bring scent to your garden with a daphne. Many of these shrubs are evergreen, which adds year round interest to borders, and they flower late winter to spring. The pink-flowered ‘Jacquline Postill’ is a popular variety for its winter scent in January and February. It has an AGM from the RHS and grows to 2.5m, although it’s slow growing.

H x S: variable up to 2.5m x 1.5m


 

Clematis

Clematis 'Purpurea Plena Elegans'. Sarah Cuttle
Clematis ‘Purpurea Plena Elegans’. Sarah Cuttle

One of the most versatile climbers for the garden, there’s a huge range of clematis varieties to choose from, depending on what season you want flowers on your boundaries. Combining a summer-flowering and winter-flowering clematis like Clematis cirrhosa ‘Wisley Cream’ will extend the season. The summer-flowering varieties such as Clematis ‘Purpurea Plena Elegans’ flower from July to September.

H x S: majority grow up to 4m x 1m (some vigorous types reach 8-12m in height)


 

Astrantia

Astrantia 'Roma'
Astrantia ‘Roma’

Astrantia have pincushion-like flowers and make good ground cover plants. Use these perennials to brighten areas of partial shade beneath shrubs and roses. ‘Roma’, with pink flowers is a particularly long-flowering variety, in bloom from June to September. Astrantias also come with white or red flowers.

H x S: variable up to around 90cm x 50cm


 

Nicotiana (tobacco plant)

Nicotiana sylvestris (tobacco plant)
Nicotiana sylvestris (tobacco plant)

Enjoy the night-scented flowers of nicotiana on long summer’s evenings. This half hardy annual also attracts moths. Nicotiana sylvestris will add height to borders or containers reaching 1.5m, flowering from July to September. Other popular varieties for scent include Nicotiana alata ‘Lime Green’ and Nicotiana alata ‘Grandiflora’.

H x S: variable up to 1.5m x 50cm


 

Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)

Centaurea cyanus
Centaurea cyanus

Good for meadows or cut flower gardens, cornflowers attract pollinators and are often found in wildflower seed mixes. Sow this hardy annual in spring for flowers from June to August. The species grows to about 70cm, but some cultivars can grow to around a metre tall.

H x S: 70cm x 30cm


 

Bergenia (elephant’s ears)

Bergenia x schmidtii
Bergenia x schmidtii

Bergenia are good perennials for edging borders, with their attractive evergreen leaves and early colour. In spring flowers appear on tall stems. These can be light pink, dark pink to purple or red, or white. Bergenias are low maintenance and will thrive in sun or partial shade.

H x S: variable up to around 80cm x 80cm


 

Crab apple

Crab apple blossom
Crab apple blossom

Crab apple trees are a good choice for a small garden with spring blossom and autumn colour. The fruits, which appear in summer, can be made into jellies and jams. There are plenty of small cultivars available, such as ‘Red Sentinel’ which reaches up to 3m and flowers in May.

H x S: variable up to 12m x 8m


 

Canary creeper (Tropae0lum peregrinum)

Canary creeper (Tropaeolum peregrinum)
Canary creeper (Tropaeolum peregrinum)

Grow this bright climber up a fence or wigwam for flowers from June through to October. It’s a tender perennial, but it’s usually best grown as an annual unless you live in a mild region with little frost.

H x S: 3.5m x 1.2m


 

Achillea

Achillea 'Walther Funcke'
Achillea ‘Walther Funcke’

The flat-topped flowers of achillea are a good contrast to perennials with flower spikes, making a colourful addition to a summer border from June to October. Their striking flowers come in bright shades including red, yellow and orange on top of tall stems around 60cm tall.

H x S: variable up to around 1.5m x 50cm


 

Chilean glory flower

Chilean glory flower, Eccremocarpus scaber
Chilean glory flower, Eccremocarpus scaber

For exotic style, try the Chilean glory flower, Eccremocarpus scaber, with its vibrant orange-red flowers. It’s an evergreen climber that is usually grown as an annual in the UK.  It’s a fast grower, reaching 2m or more in a season and flowering from May to August.

 H x S: 3m x 1.8m


 

 Choisya ternata

Choisya ternata. Getty Images
Choisya ternata. Getty Images

Mexican orange blossom is an easy-to-grow shrub with scented flowers in May. It’s a good choice for the back of a border or as a feature plant, because the evergreen foliage provides a backdrop for colourful perennials.

H x S: 2.5m x 2.5


 

Nigella damascena (love-in-a-mist)

Love-in-a-mist, Nigella damascena
Love-in-a-mist, Nigella damascena

An easy-to-grow hardy annual with light blue flowers from July to September, this plant is perfect for beginners. Sow seed direct outdoors in March or April for summer flowers. It makes a good cut or dried flower too.

H x S: variable up to 70cm x 50cm


Marigold (Calendula officinalis)

Marigold, Calendula officinalis
Marigold, Calendula officinalis

This cheery orange annual is ideal for containers or filling gaps in the border. It’s easy to grow, attracts pollinators and is long flowering, from June to October. The flower petals are edible and can be used in salads.

H x S: 50cm x 30cm


 

Nepeta (catmint)

Nepeta racemosa 'Walker's Low'
Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’

Plant catmint in a sunny border to attract bees and other pollinators to your garden. It flowers from summer through to autumn, with small blue or purple flowers and fragrant foliage. ‘Walker’s Low’ is a popular variety for a mixed border, with an AGM from the RHS. It has purple flowers and grows to around 75cm tall.

H x S: variable up to around 90cm x 60cm


 

Lobelia

Trailing annual Lobelia erinus. Jason Ingram
Trailing annual Lobelia erinus. Jason Ingram

Fill containers with this easy bedding plant. Long-flowering, trailing varieties are particularly good for hanging basket displays. Grow lobelia in a spot with partial shade, keep well watered and it should flower from June to September. Grow from seed or plug plants.

H x S: variable up to 50cm x 50cm


 

Viola

Viola 'Etain'
Viola ‘Etain’

Violas make good bedding plants for pots and window boxes, with their tough hardy nature and long flowering period. There are winter-flowering types as well as those that flower from spring through summer. They have smaller flowers than pansies and can be found in packs at the garden centre.

H x S: variable around 15cm x 15cm


 

Cyclamen coum

Cyclamen coum
Cyclamen coum

Winter-flowering cyclamen cheer up shady areas beneath trees and shrubs, coming into flower from December to March. Alternatively, they’re good for naturalising in the lawn. Once planted, these hardy perennials will return year after year.

H x S: 10cm x 10cm


 

Camellia

Camellia x williamsii 'Donation'
Camellia x williamsii ‘Donation’

Although camellias flower in early spring, they look good year round because of their shiny evergreen leaves. There is one species of camellia that flowers in late autumn, Camellia sasanqua, but most species flower February to April. Grow in acid soil or ericaceous compost. Camellias can reach 2-5m but they are slow growing. If you are limited on space try a compact variety such as ‘Quintessence’.

H x S: variable up to around 5m x 4m


 

Aquilegias

Aquilegia vulgaris
Aquilegia vulgaris

Known as Granny’s bonnets because of the shape of their flowers, these perennials flower from May to June. Plant them in partial shade, in moist but well-drained soil. One of the oldest varieties is ‘Nora Barlow’ which has pink and red flowers with green petal tips. They grow to 75-90cm tall.

H x S: variable up to around 90cm x 40cm

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