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It’s mid-summer and gardens everywhere should be full of colour and fragrance now but it’s been an unusually hot start to the growing year so maybe the plants in your garden have already flowered or maybe you’re looking to add more colour and interest to your flower borders. 

Here are my top ten plants for the month…

1. Nepeta x faassenii (catmint) ‘Kit Kat’

They grow quickly and produce lots of frothy looking stems of small flowers, usually light blue/lavender colour, for months on end.  ‘Kit Kat’ is a shorter, more compact soft blue flowered variety making them ideal for front of your border where you can fondle the foliage to release its beautiful aromatic fragrance.  If you cut back the flower stems after first flush, you should get more flowers appearing before autumn.

  • Flowers in summer to autumn
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows to 50cm
  • Well-drained
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
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2. Lonicera (honeysuckle) ‘Gold Flame’

If it’s strong scent and a relatively well-behaved climber you’re after, then this plant is the one for you!  It has large flowers, deep pink on the outside with orange-yellow highly scented centres and it flowers all through summer into autumn when it sometimes produces ornamental red or black (non-edible) berries.  It can be grown in many different types of soil from heavy clay to shallow chalk and although it will take some shade it’s best to grow in full sun to maximise flower production.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Hardy
  • Grows up to 8m tall and 4m wide
  • Moist but well-drained
  • Partial shade or full sun
  • Exposed or sheltered
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3. Clematis ‘Rouge Cardinal’

Another attention-grabbing climber is this clematis variety.  It produces handsome large, single, velvety deep crimson flowers, about 15cm wide, with pretty white centres, from June all the way through to September.  It’s a vigorous grower but is easily trained up trees or onto obelisks.  Most clematis like their roots kept moist so planting with their roots in the shade and allowing their stems to grow in a sunny position is the ideal way to successfully grow them.

  • Flowers in summer and autumn
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows up to 4m and 1m wide
  • Moist but well-drained
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
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4. Sorbaria sorbifolia (false spiraea) ‘Sem’

This compact deciduous shrub will give your garden interest for many months of the year. In the spring it develops beautiful bronze yellow foliage flushed red at the tips which turns greener as summer progresses and then rewards you with a glorious shade of vibrant red before the leaves fall in autumn.  From now onwards it should develop small sprays of creamy coloured flowers and will grow to a height of about 1.5m and a width of 100cm making it great for middle of the border.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows up to 1.5m tall and wide
  • Well drained or moist but well-drained
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Sheltered or exposed
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5. Coreopsis verticillata (tickseed) ‘Moonbeam’

This reliable herbaceous perennial rewards you with masses of soft yellow flowers and bronze tinted leaves all summer long and into early autumn.  It spreads daintily making it good for front or middle of the border.  Butterflies and bees love the flowers which are also good for cutting.  It can take a while to establish so best to leave bit of space around it the first season after planting.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 50cm tall and wide
  • Well drained or moist but well-drained
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
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6. Lavender (lavender) ‘Hidcote’

Lavender is a woody evergreen shrub which looks great in a variety of planting styles from cottage garden to formal and can also be used to form a low hedge because of its neat growth habit.  ‘Hidcote’ is a long flowering dwarf variety with bee friendly flowers and highly scented leaves, making this plant a sure-fire winner.  Do remember to cut the flowers after flowering to maintain its neat shape and try to avoid cutting into the old brown wood when pruning.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Hardy
  • Grows up to 50cm tall and 1m wide
  • Well-drained
  • Full sun
  • Sheltered
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7. Sanguisorba obtusa (Japanese burnet)

These are graceful herbaceous perennials, that grows to a height of around 1.5m and can spread to 1m.  They flower in June and July, preferring well drained soil that stays moist and is happy in sun or part shade. They will look charming in a cottage or informal garden.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows up to 1.5m tall
  • Moist but well-drained
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered

8. Trachelospermum jasminoides (star jasmine)

These easy to grow evergreen climbers are clothed in deliciously fragrant small white flowers from mid to late summer.  They can reach heights of between 4 and 8 metres with a similar spread and appreciate being grown in well-drained soil although they’re not fussy whether its sandy, chalky or loam soil.  They prefer full sun or part shade and are ideal for growing up an arch or on a house wall.

  • Flowers in summer, foliage turns red in winter
  • Hardy through most of the UK
  • Grows up to 4-8 metres height and spread
  • Well-drained
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Sheltered
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9. Pachysandra terminalis (Japanese spurge)

This unassuming little glossy leafed evergreen plant is a life saver if you’ve got a shady spot under a tree that gets little or no rain because this plant, unlike so many others, loves dry shade!  Simply plant it and leave it, letting it spread to form a lovely dense evergreen carpet under that problematic tree!  Reaching just 25cm height each plant spreads around 60cm and is happy in any soil type, north, east or west facing aspects if sheltered from cold winds.  It will also reward you with a show of small white flowers in early summer.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Hardy through most of the UK even in severe winters
  • Grows up to 50cm tall and 1m wide
  • Well drained or moist but well-drained
  • Partial shade or full shade
  • Sheltered or exposed
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10. Cosmos atrosanguineus (chocolate cosmos)

A dainty looking spreading perennial plant with the most delicious chocolate scented, deep maroon-crimson flowers appearing late summer making this plant a real winner for people of all ages who love chocolate!  It’s happiest in full sun planted into a free draining soil. It’s quite a tender plant so you may need to either give it winter protection with a mulch or, if you live in a cold area, lift the plant before first frosts hit and keep in a frost-free place like your garage over winter, planting out again in early spring.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK
  • Grows up to 1m tall
  • Moist but well-drained
  • Full sun
  • Exposed or sheltered
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Spring is here, see my post on spring pollinators:

Or check out my Pinterest board for more ideas:

spring pollinators
Spring pollinators
Pinterest
Pinterest Board


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