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Friday, 14 June 2019

Plant Some Summer Shiners In Your Garden

Plants That Bring You Sunshine In Summer And Fill A little Gap

This is such an easy subject because the summer months have the most abundance of flower and foliage colour and these plants will last until the first frosts.

Plugging A Garden Gap For The Summer Could Never Be Easier
Good Hole Pluggers or Last Minute Pot Fillers In The Annuals Are Abundant

There certainly are lots of summer shiners in the summer bedding. If you have a gap to fill it would be so easy to pop in a large potted on geranium as a quick fix or a big dahlia. Salvia Amistad is one of the favourite quick hole fillers at the moment. it's not surprising as it grows over a meter and flowers continuously in a vivid purple blue all summer and now its been championed on Sunday mornings 'Beechgrove' the Scottish gardening program or the real gardening program as some of us call it the plant is made for life! There are quiet a few great salvia summer shiners. Salvia Hot lips has been around a few years  last year it was joined by a brother Jeremy or 'Pink Lips' . I think the names amuse the plant breeders who probably have quiet a quiet life! Hot Lips now has a new cousin this year Salvia 'Amethyst Lips'. This is a rich deep purple and there are more new varieties in the pipeline including Cherry Llips to be launched next yar  i believe. A bit more on summer Savias

These are really filling out now and will fill a pot  with their daisy like flowers in strong colours.

Non Stop Begonias
Begonias are an obvious choice for a pot now with an abundance of large rose like heads. Remember they can also take a bit of shade and don't flop immediately if not watered! 

Standard, bush ,trailing and hardy they are all looking their best. Nicely filled out established plants cascading with flowers desperate to perform. Fuchsias are show pieces for summer.

I love foliage as much as flowers but surely no one can resist foliages as good as these annual coleus plants. I am potting them up and hiding them in my borders. I think they are stunning summer shiners.

Coleus covered Cherry
Coleus Chocolate Mint

Celosia 'Dragons Breath'

This is going in one of my terracotta pots for a bit of fire. It is fantastic red foliage and plumes deserving of the name.

More on summer bedding


We Love Cranesbill Geraniums they are top of the list
The long flowering period of Geranium Rozanne gets a lot of press and deserves it. Once the Brookside has finished in my garden, the blue Rozanne geraniums that I have planted in waves throughout will create a sea of blue for the rest of the summer, edging my borders like lavender. It is great ground cover in mixed borders. Carol Klein recommended this classic geranium as her centenary plant on Gardeners World. It also won centenary plant of the decade’s people’s choice overall in the Chelsea Flower show centenary a few years ago. This is a geranium that flowers prolifically makes great spreads of ground cover 60cm-1m and you can clip it back.

Geranium Rozanne
Many other cranesbill geraniums will also make a good backbone of colour and merge so easily into most borders
If pinks your colour the pink flowering Geranium psilostemon or 'Dragon Heart' again copes well in sun or partial shade. It may need a little support. In fact many of these geranium  can be a bit floppy so a few plant supports, bent hazel stick or dog wood cut from the garden when pruning in the Spring just helps to keep them in place. You can easily clip them and they will come back. If these are too still to big we have a few others also very useful ground cover. 

Great new varieties like ‘Blushing Turtle ‘(pink 30cm height spread) pictured is a lot more contained than Rozanne but has a really long summer flowering periods coping well in sun or partial shade. These geraniums are also recommended for containers and last year I grew Blushing Turtle in terracotta pots and they tumbled over the pots and gave me lots of colour. I am now using it to trim my border edge.

Roses are out

The roses in my garden begin late May early June. I always champion Munstead Wood in the David Austin range of new English roses because the deep burgundy multi petalled rose with a fruity fragrance perfect colour it seems to just keep coming in my front and rear borders.
Rosa Munstead Wood
They look gorgeous with the soft shell pink Wisley 2008 I have planted side by side.
They get very little fuss. A splash of muck between flowering and a tidy up in the autumn and spring yet they consistently reward me from early summer into the autumn. I do recommend you use a rose spray on all roses as soon as we see sunshine in the spring every couple of weeks. Some of the lovely flowers I was admiring on the Nurseries where:
The Poets Wife with lemon flowers with a lemony fragrance and Lady Emma Hamilton with a fragrance  that reads hints of pear grape and citrus. It is also good for cutting. Dark pink Princess Ann is a rather good choice with small but rich pink flower and a long flowering period.

More on Roses In Stock Now

Classic tall Spikes of Perennial Salvias

We have revered the  annual salvias now let celebrate the perennial varieties. Salvia nemerosa and its varying forms from sensation to caradonna provide a great candles of colour adding structure and form to borders.  I repeatedly tell customer that to make a good border you need the whole mix of spikes, daisies, flat headed achillia ball of alliums etc. 
Most forms of salvia are variations of blue or bluey pink tones but Amethyst is purple pink.

They add a finishing polish to herbaceous borders and for that reason are seen in so many Chelsea show gardens along with the alliums and foxgloves, lupins and delphiniums to provide the spiky height. They will do best in a well drained soil as they prefer more Mediterranean conditions. Tall blue salvias always look fabulous I mixed them in my borders with burgundy David Austin roses above with the blue cranesbill geraniums and trim the border edges with flea bane.

Penstemons are Gorgeous Late Summer Perennials

These jump in the mix in late summer so  I am planning ahead a little here. Invest in them now along with with some asters and anemones amd you will have no flower gap.They are many new varieties of penstemons and always worth planting as a late summer colour investment like asters. Penstemon, Sour Grapes, Garnet and Wedding Day are reliable and but its fun to try some of new varieties we have in now.
Penstemon Raven
Rich colours, whites pinks, two tones, they are simply unsurpassable for colour. I noticed  how lovely they looked planted in the borders in the herbaceous mix with the roses at David Austin Nurseries. They feel very cottage garden. Look after you Penstemons they require you to leave them tatty over the winter and only cut them back when new shoots are coming through in the spring so don't be tempted to tidy them up too early. They are woody sub shrubs so  require similar pruning care as that for lavender which is also looking fabulous at the moment.

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