My favourite summer-blooming plants


There’s something magical about our gardens in the summer. The roses are in full bloom, hanging baskets are dripping with colour and those home-grown, sun-ripened strawberries taste amazing.

One of the secrets of a beautiful summer garden is choosing the best plants to grow. I like to mix those fleetingly flowered but breath-taking beauties like poppies with other stalwarts, those special plants that bloom and delight for months on end.

For our very last garden event of the season on QVC on Sunday May 7th, we’ve a wonderful selection of both types of plants and, although there’s still plenty of time to grow and flower them, we’ve reached the end of the selling season for the young plug plants, so we’ve some amazing offers on them on the day, as well as no postage and packing on all our featured plants! Here are just a selection you can expect to see, and ones I’m particularly loving as we approach summer…

I was delighted to see Hayloft Plants‘ Alstroemeria on the list. A few years ago, David Ponton gave me some bare roots of the stunning ‘Planet’ series and they’ve been a highlight of my summer garden ever since. I love them because they produce florist-quality flowers virtually all summer long. They’re great for cutting (pull them from the ground, rather than cut them off, as this helps them produce even more flowers) and the flowers last for ages in water.

Over the past few years, hydrangeas have shrugged off their dowdy, old-fashioned image and there are some fabulous varieties that I really rate. I grow them because they are easy (happy in sun or shade, as long as you keep them well-watered), good in borders or pots, get better year by year, and they produce an amazing display of colour for months on end. Some even have colour-changing flower heads, especially those in the ‘Magical’ series and we have a selection of three different varieties on air on May 7th including Thompson & Morgan‘s ‘Flamenco’ variety, whose white, edged red flowers turn a ravishing green and red in late summer.

Another plant I always include among my summer favourites is the evergreen wallflower. They produce the prettiest flowers all summer long, are scented, only grow about 90cm high, and, as the name suggests, are evergreen so even look good in winter.

For the garden event day, we’ve a lovely variety called Erysimum ‘Constance Cheer’ whose orange and red flowers mature to a gorgeous purple. Highly recommended. Other must-grows for me include cottage garden pinks for their flowers and fragrance, and English lavender too.

Regular viewers know just how much I love my summer bedding plants too, and probably my (as well as QVC customers’) all-time favourite is Begonia Apricot shades. This is a fabulous plant to grow in hanging baskets or window boxes in sun or in shade and it produces a glorious display of gold, apricot and yellow flowers all summer long. It flourishes whatever the weather and looks like instant sunshine wherever you plant it. A must have for any gardener, and, if you wish, you can save the tubers at the end of the summer, store them frost free over winter, and grow this lovely plant next year too.

As far as I’m concerned, you can’t have too many pots and containers. And for our garden event day, we’ve two special collections of hanging baskets plus the plants to grow in them. And like all the other plants on the day, they’ll be no P&P to pay on them. So I’m really looking forward to chatting about these and lots more of my summer favourites. Please join us and discover more about these beauties and why they could be just the plants for your garden too.

Happy gardening,



  1. Valerie Wilding May 1, 2017 at 11:35 am -  Reply

    A great number of the small/plug plants are very poor this year .If packs of three there is always a bad plant. The packing is also much to be desired. Timing could be better for posting some sent before bank holiday are spending days in the post before delivery. I dread to think what state they will be in.

  2. SUE BRUCE May 2, 2017 at 9:43 pm -  Reply

    Richard please help. I bought the lovely trailing sweet pea plugs with large tub and trellis. Followed instructions but plants died. Lovely customer services replaced the plants. I potted on immediately I received them but these look dead too. What have I done wrong?

  3. Teresa Harvey May 4, 2017 at 3:42 pm -  Reply

    This is my first year of buying plants from QVC and I’ve ordered many for my garden and tubs. Several of the plug plants that have recently arrived are suffering in transit and I’m finding the plant in the end compartment of the package is nearly always damaged/limp/dead on arrival, which is disappointing.

  4. EVELYN NOTMAN May 18, 2017 at 11:53 am -  Reply

    In great need of some advice from Richard. The local council had sprayed weedkiller supposed to be on the pavement but it has killed off the bottom of our lovely 60 year old beech hedge about 2 feet from the base. Is there anything which may help it recover.

  5. Gill May 19, 2017 at 5:16 pm -  Reply

    Hello Richard, please can you tell me what has happened to your plant invigorator, I NEED it

  6. Julie Miller May 19, 2017 at 11:02 pm -  Reply

    I agree with the above comments I brought plug plants Diascia they were delivered last week with no instructions I potted them on in 10cm pots and have been putting them out in the day and bringing them in each evening I am very disappointed two are dead . Don’t think l ll be buying again

  7. Joan Dodd May 22, 2017 at 7:45 am -  Reply

    Hi Richard I have leaf curl on my peach tree do you have a product that would deal with it

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