Versatile bearded irises are perfectly at home in most sunny borders, providing classic cottage-garden charm, and sit just as comfortably within a contemporary planting scheme. One of the best things about bearded iris is their resilience and strong garden performance – their ability to withstand freezing winter temperatures as well as very hot conditions and drought in the summer. Despite their grand, exotic-looking flowers, these non-fussy plants are fully hardy, meaning they can live in your garden for a very long time, repeating their beautiful display in early summer year after year.
Flowering from mid-summer to late autumn, beautifully colourful and exotically fragrant freesias provide a refreshing uplift to the garden, picking up the slack just as other summer flowers are beginning to fade. Not only do they extend the season of colour in your garden, but they’re a popular cut flower too. With exceptional vase life and a rich, powerful scent that will fill your home, there’s really so much enjoyment you can get from having your own fresh cut supply.
Agapanthus is a truly impressive, sun-loving summer bulb which will grace containers or borders with their firework flowers in vivid, yet serene shades from mid-summer onwards every year. They’re very easy to grow, too – simply plant the roots in spring and leave them to it. Before long, the lush linear foliage will begin to emerge and the flowers will follow from August onwards.
Double-flowered begonias are fantastic container plants that will bring a real zing of colour to your garden whether it’s big or small. Providing twice the flower power of a single variety, the big, bold blooms of double begonias are one of the absolute ‘must-haves’ in any summer container display. Long-flowering and very reliable, they provide high-impact colour that will reward you for months with very little fuss.
Crocosmias are low-maintenance and reliable. They’re fully hardy, so once planted you can leave them virtually to their own devices and they’ll reward you with a repeat display year after year, gradually forming a larger, more impressive clump each time. Plant them in sun or partial shade among other flowering plants for a traditional, cottage-garden effect, or with bold foliage plants to create a tropical or contemporary look.