Getting the most out of your garden this summer
Let’s set the scene: the sun is high, the deck chairs are out and the condensation idly trickles down the side of a tall glass of ice cold lemonade (or perhaps something a little stronger?). Being in the garden soaking up the sun is what summer is all about, so making the most of your outdoor space is on the top of our priority lists.And what makes a garden a paradise? Plants. Lots of them. Barely an hour goes by without terrestrial television transmitting the horticultural escapades of an enthusiastically gurning Alan Titchmarsh. Barely a week passes without Monty Don or some other green-fingered guru publishing an epic tome that taps into the gardener in all of us.
But there’s really only one person who knows how they want their garden to look – and that’s you.
Here then, are a range of plants that can easily transform a dull and lifeless lawn into a tropical explosion of foliage and colour.
What to plant in your garden this summer…
Cosmos are a tall plant that come in a range of colours and re-seed year upon year, so once they’re in, just sit back and reap the rewards.
For smaller gardens, there is a miniature 3 foot version that may be more suitable as these plants can overpower a small space. There is also a new breed called Double Rose Bobon that can soften any boarder with its lacy, fernlike foliage. As an added bonus, these Bobons attract both butterflies and, if you’re lucky, hummingbirds.
Daylillies, native to China, Korea and Japan also do well when planted in summer as they are able to tolerate drought and thrive in many different conditions with little attention (perfect for lazy summer afternoons in the wake of a hosepipe ban). These ‘Perfect Perenials’ come in a wide range of colours for cultivation and breeding and can suit any mood – burnt orange being a personal favourite, to add a hint of the exotic to any English country garden.
If the garden is a little shadier than one might hope, don’t despair. For shaded areas try Hostas, Impatiens and Bleeding hearts that are vibrant and will start small but grow to cover a large area. The plants will carry on until the end of the season- ensuring your garden retains its glory well into autumn.
Fruit And Veg
If you haven’t already got stuck in, get down to any plant retailers and pick up some strawberries and raspberry canes. If short on space, these are available in hanging baskets already planted and will be a fruity and hopefully fruitful addition to any outdoor space. Similarly, tomatoes and cucumbers can be bought ready planted and are ripening as we speak.
Making The Right Choice
It’s not just choosing plants that is important- it’s knowing what suits your garden. There are many tools available to help you decide, including advice columns such as Gardeners World, guides to breeds and hint and tips from GardenGuides.com, and Cobland’s plant finding tool is an indispensible resource for determining what will thrive in your personal paradise.