July is peak flower time in the garden, and the team were spoilt for choice trying to narrow down the options to choose their favourite plants for this month. Here, we share the loveliest plants that are guaranteed to brighten up your garden this month. There’s something to suit every space, from flowering shrubs perfect for a cottage garden style, to tiny gems to treasure in pots. Our choices include recommendations from the Gardeners’ World team and across the gardening industry.
Chosen by Nick Bailey, Gardeners’ World presenter
Delicate night phlox folds its white petals inwards during the day, revealing the cherry red backs. But it comes into its own at night when the petals unfurl, releasing a sublime and heady, parma violet meets vanilla scent. There are annual varieties, which are easy to grow from seed, and Zaluzianskya ovata is perennial.
Flo Headlam, Garden Rescue presenter
It’s hard not to love this show stopper. The flowers of calla lilies are a pure white and unfurl above lush heart shaped leaves, brightening any border, plus it’s super easy to grow – even thriving on neglect (apparently!)
Ipomoea tricolor ‘Heavenly Blue’
Chosen by James Alexander-Sinclair, BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine columnist
You might recall the Oasis track: “What’s the story, Morning Glory”. This is nothing at all do with that, but instead is a vigorous and free flowering annual climber. Every breakfast time until the weather gets cold, Ipomoea ‘Heavenly Blue’ will treat you to a spectacular display of blue trumpets.
Chosen by Toby Buckland, director of Toby’s Garden Festival
I love everything about the flowers of Agapanthus africanus. The flowers rise above the leaves in plump buds and burst like azure fireworks, lighting up the borders. I grow it along path edges, where it basks in reflected heat and stops soil falling onto the paving.
Thalictrum delavayi Splendide White
Chosen by Hazel Gardiner, floral designer
I’m always looking to create lightness in the garden, and this plant is fantastic for the back of borders . It grows to a striking height, but with its feathery, light foliage and plumes of white flowers, it’s a tall but gentle giant. I pair it with grasses, which creates a border full of movement and depth.
Chosen by Kevin Smith, BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine deputy editor
For me, there’s no better plant than Verbena bonariensis. It’s completely slug proof, unfussy about growing conditions and self-seeds with ease, meaning you’re never without it. Best of all, it makes the perfect partner for virtually any other plant – I challenge you to find anything its delicate purple blooms don’t look good alongside.
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Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’
Chosen by Michael Perry, presenter and plant lover
I fell in love with this plant the first time I saw it. I’d known alstroemerias from my childhood, as my Nana grew orange and yellow ones, exotic like orchids. ‘Indian Summer’ brings all that, and more, with deep maroon foliage all summer long. Peruvian lilies flower for five months in a year – find me another plant that does that so easily. They also make great cut flowers.
Chosen by Isabelle Palmer, founder of The Balcony Gardener garden design
Nigella (love-in-a-mist) is one of my favourite flowers, and because it was one of the first flowers I grew, it holds an even greater place in my heart. The frothy delicacy of its foliage, topped by a velvety flower in shades of white, pastels or rich, dark tones never disappoints. It’s a hardy annual and it couldn’t be simpler to grow from seed.
Chosen by Gynelle Leon, owner of Prick succulent boutique
The hibiscus flower always makes me smile and reminds me of special moments in my grandparents’ garden in Saint Lucia; my grandad would break off a flower, much to my grandmother’s disapproval, and place it in my hair.
Rosa ‘Kew Gardens’
Chosen by Catherine Mansley, GardenersWorld.com deputy editor
This shrub rose is a mass of flowers all summer long. My biggest challenge is keeping up with the deadheading. The flowers are good for bees and the near-thornless stems mean kids don’t get too scratched if they run into it.
- How to grow Rosa ‘Kew Gardens’
Lavandula x intermedia ‘Grosso’
Chosen by Cel Robertson, founder of Forever Green Flower Company
It wouldn’t be summer without these long stems and gracefully tapering flower heads. Like all lavender it has wonderful scent, but Lavandula x intermedia ‘Grosso’ is my favourite variety. Easy to grow, it is drought-tolerant and performs well for me on my sandy soil.
Chosen by Lily Middleton, content producer, GardenersWorld.com
I’ve recently started volunteering at Fulham Palace and one of my favourite jobs is to pick sweet peas and make posies. I’ve always had a soft spot for sweet peas, who can resist them, but they’ve captured my heart as I immerse myself in their heady scent each week. The best thing is, the more you pick the more flowers you get, so it’s not just a dreamy task – but a useful one too.
Chosen by Adam Duxbury, features editor BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine
At ease everywhere, from a cottage garden or meadow scheme to a contemporary border, the billowing white umbellifers of ammi (Bishop’s flower) are a must in July.
- How to grow Ammi majus
Chosen by Lucy Felton, Gardeners’ World Magazine content coordinator
With spikes bursting up through the edges of lanes and pavements in our village, July really is Hollyhock territory in Oxfordshire. I’ll admit to strategically placing baby hollyhocks, in creamy whites and almost-blacks, by the doors of our woodstore and garden gates, as if they’ve randomly sprung from nowhere.
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