The Lazy Susan team are gearing up for our busy summer season, and whilst we're on the subject of summer, we thought it would be nice to do a top ten rundown of our favourite annual and perennial summertime blooms.
For Lazy Susan, when it comes to deciding what flowers to plant in your garden for summer, our thinking is big and bright coloured flowers that won’t take too much watering.
We’re talking about an explosion of hot reds, golden yellows and electric blues. We want flowers that will attract bees and butterflies. And we want a mix of different heights, shapes and styles to provide contrast and visual interest in our containers, beds and borders.
Our top ten flowers to plant in your garden for summer
Phlox is a herbaceous plant most commonly known for its billowing clusters of scented flowers that are a highlight of the Lazy Susan HQ garden borders come summer. It has a wonderfully fragrant, showy bloom that comes in a variety of pinks, purples, whites or reds, and each plant will produce a generous splash of small flowers that give off some serious cottage garden vibes.
Hibiscus is a wonderful hardy plant that produces a beautiful trumpet-like bloom. It loves full sun and is again great for attracting wildlife such as butterflies. Although widely grown as a houseplant, varieties such as Hibiscus Syriacus Rose of Sharon will happily grow in a sunny part of the garden in the UK.
3. Black-Eyed Susan
No relation, the Black-Eyed Susan is a member of the Asteraceae family, and the black eye is in reference to the flower's dark blue/purple centre. It has a daisy-like flower head, and most importantly, it is a versatile, heat and drought tolerant specimen that's a must-have in any UK garden
Who doesn’t love a patch of Lavender? Prized for its wonderfully fragrant flowers and aromatic foliage, this easy-to-grow Mediterranean evergreen shrub will thrive in a sunny spot. Best planted in free-draining soil this is another on our list that’s super bee-friendly.
Is there a more elegant flower than the Lilly? I know they have the funeral connection, but they’re definitely one of my personal faves. They thrive in most weather conditions, and their trumpet-like flowers come in a vast array of colours. They also grow well in containers, and I’ve found the Asiatic “Lilium Citronella” variety, with their bright yellow speckled flowers, one of the easiest to grow in the UK.
Marigolds are another no-fuss annual that is guaranteed to bring a big splash of summer to your garden. They thrive in full sunshine and can often withstand a very hot summer. The Signet Marigold features a small but wonderfully rich coloured blossom that is incredibly drought-tolerant and is a big favourite here at Lazy Susan. Just be sure to deadhead them to keep the blooms coming all summer!
With their vibrant flowers, Bougainvillea is like a window into sunny South America when UK skies are grey. They grow best in a warm partly-shaded part of the garden but younger plants tend to need a little protection from say a garden cloche if the temperature dips at night. However, any extra effort is worth it for their spectacular blooms. At Lazy Susan our advice would be to go for a variety such as the San Diego Red, which is a little hardier and produces beautiful deep magenta flower-like bracts.
The Coneflower, or Echinacea as it's also known, is a tough upright perennial that’s part of the daisy family, Asteraceae. And it is popular for bloomin' good reason! Extremely heat and drought resistant, it is easy to grow and will bloom for the whole summer. A native to the eastern United States, purple coneflower Echinacea Purpurea is found in many gardens across the UK.
Asters are another daisy-like flower that blooms in late summer and well into early autumn. Available in a wide variety of colours and sizes, they’re easy to grow and a great transition plant that’ll provide valuable late-season nectar for bees and butterflies. They don't like sitting in saturated soil or being wet through the winter months, so well-drained is the key.
Clematis is known as the Queen of Climbers and it's famed for the masses of flowers it produces in a wide variety of shapes and colours. It generally likes full sun, although some varieties such as Nelly Moses will bloom in part shade, however, the number of flowers will often not be as high as a result. Clematis prefers moist, well-drained soil with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH level.
How to take care of your summer plants
When it comes to summer gardening, the Lazy Susan motto is “prevention is better than the cure”. With temperatures up and rainfall down, healthy summer blooms definitely benefit from a little extra TLC.
Our top summer gardening tips are as follows:
- Keep on top of weeds
Pull them out roots and all so that the nutrients and water meant for your summer blooms are not used up by weeds.
- Lots of sunlight
Morning sun is best, especially for flowers planted in pots and containers.
- Misting not over-watering
Over-watering can be as harmful as drought so turn the hose to the mist setting and water little and often to keep them fresh and healthy.
- Pest control is key
Rigorous pest control is essential in the summer, preferably with natural and-or organic pesticides.
Pro Gardening Tip
To save on workload (and if you spend time away from your garden such as travelling) then we would recommend you install a Drip Irrigation System and regularly check the moisture and pH levels of your soil with an electronic tester so you can adjust accordingly.