We can always count on our gardens to brighten our day. Especially when they showcase some truly stunning blooms in rainbows of colour.
Here's our five top plants to guarantee colour throughout the summer months plus some planting and after-care tips...
1. Lantana -
Prefers full sun. Water regularly and avoid dehydration. Fertilise once every 14 days during growth season. Remove withered flowers and long branches that obstruct flowering. Do not allow to be subject to harsh, freezing conditions as this affects the plant.
2. Senetti -
Prefers a sunny or part-shaded position in well-drained soil. For growing in containers, use a good multi-purpose potting compost and water twice a day in dry weather. Feed fortnightly with high potash liquid fertiliser from Midsummer. As first flowers fade, cut back to encourage re-blooming throughout the summer.
3. Garvinea -
Prefer half sunny positions and work either in your garden, balcony, border or container. Use well-draining soil and keep the soil moist. Fertilise regularly. Remove old flowers to encourage new ones and cover the plant residual in case of frost. Added bonus: You can pick the flowers to use as indoor cut flowers!
4. Alstroemeria -
Prefer full sun although will tolerate partial shade. Plant in rich soil which is neutral or slightly acidic. For best results, use as container plants. These are draught tolerant but will require some water in dry periods to encourage flowering. Feed with high potash fertiliser each week during growing season.
5. Sunflowers -
Prefer direct sunlight and well-dug, loose, well-draining soil so they can stretch their roots! Sunflowers need nutrient-rich soil and/or you can work in a slow-release fertiliser. Water deeply though infrequently and feed them only sparingly. Tall varieties will require a bamboo stake for support and will thrive best sheltered from strong winds.