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.