There’s nothing more quintessential and idyllic than a traditional chocolate box cottage garden, and creating one is easier than you might think. Whether you have large borders, a patio or even just balcony, you can get this popular look on a big or small scale by filling all plantable spaces with a great mix of floriferous varieties, planting them close and, above all, opting for lots and lots of colour.
The near-black, glossy foliage of Begonia ‘Switzerland’ is a spectacle on its own, providing a rich display from the start of the season. But the show really starts when the masses of vibrant red double blooms emerge in early summer. Plant them in pots, tubs or hanging baskets and they’ll reward you with a magnificent display from early summer right through to the first frosts.
Dahlias are one of the best garden plants for growing for use as cut flowers. Not only to they have an outstanding vase life, but they provide a season-long supply of spectacular blooms from mid summer right through to the first frosts. You can cut them regularly to enjoy in the home – the more you pick, the more they keep coming!
If you fancy showing off big, impressive and scented hanging baskets this summer, look no further. Fragrant Begonias are definitely one for the shopping list! These unique varieties have wonderfully scented flowers, which isn’t usually associated with begonias. Each plant produces masses of large, double blooms continuously throughout summer, with long stems that tumble elegantly out of pots, baskets or window boxes!
Lily of the Valley are very easy to grow and produce a great display in any moist soil with very little bother. It's a fully hardy perennial that will grow back and spread, rewarding you with more and more flowers every year. Not only are these strong-growing, low-maintenance plants brilliant for brightening up a dull, damp or shady space, but Lily of the Valley flowers are fantastic for cutting too. With multiple flowering stems per plant, you can snip a handful and bunch them together into a simple posy that will fill your home with fragrance.