The one word to describe the Allium has to be ‘striking’. Whether you opt for the Allium hollandicum (Purple Sensation) with its globular heads or the eye catching Allium cristophii (Ornamental onion), the addition of the stunning purple colour and intriguing shape that this plant provides in May and throughout the summer will turn heads.
A perfect follow on from the spring Tulip, the Allium works well in pots and borders to show the splendour of this plant in the full summer sun.
Take care to check the size of the heads on specific varieties as some can bloom up to 20cm in diameter and, though considered hardy, may need moving into a frost free area in colder winters.
With daisy shaped flowers in shades of blue, purple and pink, the Aster is a very easy plant to grow and attracts the bees and butterflies of the late summer months.
Able to thrive in average soils but always benefiting from good quality compost and regular fertiliser, the Aster is relatively resistant to most insects and diseases
Available in a range of heights, some taller varieties may need support to keep their stems upright however all are ideal for garden decoration or cut flower arrangements.
Performing at their best when they are divided every two or three years, Asters can also be directly seeded into the garden and grow equally as well in pots and containers when watered well.
The Astrantia is a beautiful and unusual summer flower that grows to approximately 90 cm tall and can add grace and elegance to moist or boggy area under a tree or on a riverbank.
Preferring partial shade rather than full sun, the Astrantia grows best in moist soil rich with organic matter and can provide effective ground cover when planted in clumps.
This plant does require regular watering especially in times of drought and will benefit from a good mulch in the spring to help retain moisture. For best results, fertilize once or twice a year and encourage further growth by removing old flower stems and foliage at the end of the growing season.
Ideal for moist, cool soil differing varieties can grow in baskets or pots and, as climbers, are ideal for covering walls and fences or companion planting dressed over a tree of shrub that looses its colour before the Clematis blooms.
Plant slightly away from any support to give the Clematis roots room to grow and avoid trees or shrubs with very dense root structures, such as the Beech or Cherry, which will starve the Clematis.
Though requiring regular watering for the first 6-12 months, once established Clematis virtually look after themselves though do benefit from light pruning and well rotted compost.
If a plant does become diseased remove the affected area and feed well however if the yellow slime of Slime Flux is seeping from the base, the plant should be removed and no further Clematis grown there.
Whether you are enticed to the Daphne by the beautiful flowers or the exquisite fragrance, there is such a great variety of species that it is possible to enjoy continuous blooms and scent all year round.
With a reputation for being difficult to grow, the key to success with the Daphne is finding a plot in the sun that has well drained deep soil with a constant moisture level at the roots.
Take care when handling this plant as it dislikes root disturbance. Avoid replanting and moving wherever possible and people with sensitive skin should use protection as both the sap and berries are toxic.
Dianthus (Sweet William or Pink)
The Dianthus covers both the Sweet William and Pink both of which are easy to grow hardy summer flowering plants that enjoy the full glow of the sun.
With a wonderful scent and beautiful pink bloom, the Dianthus is perfect for beds, baskets or pots and even when not in flower, creates a stunning green mat that provides a perfect backdrop for surrounding growth.
While the Sweet William prefers heavier clay based soil, the Pink performs better with light acidic or chalky/alkaline base.
Keep all Dianthus flowering through the summer by removing old flowers and take cuttings of any particularly loved varieties to replace stocks when existing plants start to lose their ability to flower.