Plenty of Colour for Summer!
Right now there’s no shortage of inspiration and colour for your garden in the garden centre. If you want to fill your patio, flower beds, summer baskets or containers there is an abundance of colourful bedding and basket plants available right now to suit you.
Providing these summer flowering plants are fed, watered and regularly dead-headed with a little tidy up here and there too they should last and look beautiful until the first autumn frosts. An easy way to keep your home-made baskets and containers fed through the season is to add some slow release fertiliser to the multi-purpose compost before planting your plants, this will feed them for most of the summer, but as some plants can be hungrier than others, you still may need to feed later on in the season.
If you don’t want to plant your own summer containers or baskets you can buy them already planted, or if it’s inspiration you need or aren’t sure how some plants grow or will look when they are put together then by looking at ready made baskets etc. may help to give you the confidence to choose your own plants and get creative, of course there’s always help at hand too.
Bedding plants can look really interesting when planted alongside other plants like perennials, grasses and shrubs; these can easily be put together to form interesting summer displays.
I remember a visit to Hyde Park a couple of years ago to be amazed by a beautiful corner flower bed that was at the end of a shrubbery; the flowers colourfully surrounded a large white stone bird bath in the shape of a mermaid. That image is still as strong in my mind as the beautiful sunny afternoon that I saw it. The pointed end of the bed was framed with a colourful form of Ipomoea that contrasted beautifully with a thick band of red begonias, the soft airy cut foliage cosmos bearing pastel pink flowers gave a light airy look alongside the dramatic Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ and those tall Verbena bonariensis gave height and depth to the bed.
Other beds in the park displayed dahlias, begonias, red and blue flowering perennial lobelias and orange calendula with chunky red cordylines giving height and drama.
Seeing these beds really helped me to see that plants have no rules when used as bedding. You can mix them up to create a colourful collage and by adding plants with different heights or strong architectural forms you get more depth as well as an extra dimension to your display.