CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today CLICK HERE

How to get summer-long colour in your garden

PUBLISHED: 09:39 11 April 2017

Wasp snoozing in a penstemon (Getty Images/iStockphoto, Shane Cummins)

Wasp snoozing in a penstemon (Getty Images/iStockphoto, Shane Cummins)

Shane Cummins

Stocking up on nectar-rich perennials now is the best way to get summer-long colour in your garden

If you’re visiting a local garden centre this month it’s worth looking out for low maintenance, long-flowering and nectar-rich hardy perennials.

Plants such as Geranium Rozanne, Penstemon Heavenly Blue, Geum Totally Tangerine, Leucanthemum x superbum Banana Cream and Verbena bonariensis will all bring maximum flower power to your summer borders and collectively will give you months of vivid colour from May to October.

I planted Penstemon Heavenly Blue (above) last summer in our community garden in Wheathampstead. Laden with sky blue and violet bell-shaped flowers from July to October it was permanently abuzz with bees and dazzled visitors to the garden from all summer and autumn to first frosts in November. It’s a very easy plant to succeed with, and its origins in the hot dry foothills of California mean that it will thrive in a sunny well-drained border. It’s a plant that’s ideal for an English cottage garden look, particularly if paired with long-flowering sunny border stalwarts like purple Salvia nemorosa Caradonna (sage) and vivid green Alchemilla mollis (Lady’s Mantle).

Hardy perennials like these can be planted now while relatively small but over one growing season will quickly bulk up into larger plants, which you can then divide or take cuttings from in October.

5 things to do in the garden this month

(1) Love your lawn

Use a spring tine rake to pull out moss from lawns and re-seed any thin areas with grass seed.

(2) Feed shrubs

Shrubs and newly-planted trees will benefit from a handful of pelleted chicken manure or a general slow release granular fertiliser which will deliver key nutrients over a longer period.

(3) Sow spinach

Spinach is a cool season crop, so it’s ideal for sowing now into a prepared bed. Protect with fleece until germinated.

(4) Plant primulas

Pretty primulas are a great way to inject brilliant colour to the front of borders and beneath deciduous trees and shrubs.

(5) Deadhead spring bulbs

Remove seed heads from spent bulbs to ensure that energy returns to the bulb rather than into making seeds. But do let bulb foliage yellow and die 
back naturally.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hertfordshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hertfordshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hertfordshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Homes & Gardens

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Listed for its architectural and historical importance, this mansion is for sale through Strutt and Parker

Read more
November 2018
Monday, October 8, 2018

A 16th century farmhouse gave a father and daughter the chance to both fulfil childhood dreams

Read more
October 2018
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

As we head into Autumn, the change in season is all around us. From the leaves on the trees turning burnt orange and fiery red, to dark mornings and nights bookending our days. As we put the clocks back an hour to battle the darkness, here’s some top tips on how you can keep your home warm and costs down this Autumn.

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Nine bedroom Georgian country house for sale

Read more
September 2018
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Ten years in the making, this remarkable home in the former orchard of St Albans Cathedral is as bespoke as a property can be. It had Grand Designs’ Kevin McCloud reeling

Read more
September 2018
Friday, August 31, 2018

Rural energy provider, Calor, gives some top tips for homeowners wanting to make their houses cosy and warm in time for the colder months.

Read more
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

How to tackle one of the most invasive plant species in the UK has resulted in innovative solutions, writes Charlotte Hussey of Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust

Read more
August 2018

Owned by the same family for generations on the historic Moor Place estate at Much Hadham, Yew Tree House and its current remarkable owner are full of stories

Read more
August 2018
Monday, July 30, 2018

Buy a raffle ticket and you could be the owner of your own manor house

Read more
August 2018

In an idyllic little world of its own, inspirational eco-home Thrift Cottage in Burnham Green shows that living with nature can come, well, naturally

Read more
July 2018

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy



Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search