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Summertime Special!

July 26, 2012

wwwgardendesignercouk-42.JPGIt’s mid-summer and gardens are bursting with vibrant colours and plants are putting on their best displays this month… well, as much as they can under the regular downpours we’ve been having!

Hemerocallis, or Daylilies, as they are more commonly known, range from almost white, through to shades of yellows and oranges, right through to dark purple and deep reds. These colours, together with their clumps of lush grass-like foliage make this plant an elegant perennial. Unsurprisingly, they’re called Daylilies because most of the flowers only last a day, but keep repeatedly flowering during the season and look superb in any border. Dead-heading these flowers will also help to extend their flowering season.

A pretty flowering shrub that makes an ideal shrub for a medium size garden is the Cistus, also know as the Rock rose or Sun rose. They are easy to grow as they will grow in poor to moderately fertile soil in a hot dry spot. Cistus ladanifer can grow up to six foot and has showy tissue paper-like white saucer-shaped flowers with a yellow centre and crimson marks at the base of the petals. Cistus x purpureus is a smaller shrub that grows up to three foot and has dainty type flowers in dark pink.

For a bold tall flower for the border, you could opt for the Ligularia przewalskii, with its erect dark purple-green stems that bear slender, dense racemes of yellow flowers and tooth-cut leaves. This perennial will start flowering in July and continue well into the autumn. It can grow up to six feet and will spread, so do allow ample space for it. The Ligularia seems quite fashionable at present as I have seen it at many recent flower shows and exhibitions.

A real three-foot architectural stunner of a perennial with pure white waxy striking flowers and large heart-shaped leaves is the Zantedeschia, or more commonly called, the Arum lily. This plant should be grown in damp moist soil conditions in full sun and the crown covered in winter for protection.

Another “blousey” flower for the garden during this time of the year is the Lily with its exquisite heady fragrances. Lilies have funnel-shape flowers and varieties can range in height from three to six feet. This regal looking flower provides excellent cut flowers for indoors. I find that lilies are grown best in large pots in order to keep them away from slugs and snails that like to munch on new growths. If growing lilies, then also watch out for the all-red coloured Lily beetle.

At the moment, one of the nation’s favourite flower is in full swing, the Fuchsia, with so many varieties to choose from and a very versatile plant to grow in hanging baskets, pots or borders. With their clusters of pretty pendulous flowers they remind me of ballet dancers and in fact there actually is a variety called called ‘Ballet Girl’.

With summer here and our gardens in full swing, take some time out this month to relax and enjoy the richness of colours of the flower borders and the wonderful scents of summer.

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