Summer in bloom

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In garden speak a ‘perennial’ is a leafy plant (as opposed to a woody shrub) that lives for more than two years. A garden filled with icanBloom perennials will take your breath away with its endless summer colour. There are perennials to suit every type of garden, for any aspect or soil type, and they range in size from low-growing for the front of the garden, to tall giants for the back.

Campanula ‘Resholdts’

One of the best and most rewarding ground hugging bell flowers, Resholdts is smothered by beautiful deep violet-blue thimbles from late spring. It tolerates dry conditions in full sun to light shade and is a great filler at the front of a garden. 15cm tall and up to 80cm wide.

Use for: Blue themed gardens, groundcover, informal edging, between paving stones, in retaining walls.

Echinacea (Coneflower)

Coneflowers are easy to grow and bloom for months through summer and autumn. They come in glorious ‘hot shades’ of purple and pink through to orange, red and yellow, and cool white. Bees love them. They thrive with good drainage and love heat. Standing up to 60cm tall in flower and clumping just as wide, they are perfect for the middle of a garden border. 

Use for: ‘Hot colours’ themed gardens, dry sunny borders, gardens for beneficial insects, cut flowers.

Felecia ‘Santa Anita’

Bright blue daisy flowers with yellow centres bloom in abundance on this low-growing plant through summer and autumn. A regular trim of the spent flowers will keep it in flower for longer. Grows up to 50cm tall and wide.

Use for: blue-themed gardens, rockeries, mixed garden border, low informal hedge (if kept trimmed).

Gauras ‘So White’ and ‘Balerina Rose’

Gauras in flower look like clouds in the garden with their delicate flowers sitting on tall spikes, from summer to autumn. Trim off old flowers to prolong flowering and shear back the entire plant late autumn. They enjoy free-draining soil and are drought tolerant. Once established they can be 1.2m tall and a metre wide.

Use for: white & pink themed gardens, mixed perennial borders, cottage gardens, gardens for beneficial insects.

Gazanias ‘Copper Sunset’ and ‘Velvet Belle’

Gazanias are the ultimate sun lovers with bold daisy flowers that open in the sun. They love heat and dry so are perfect for coastal gardens and will survive neglect at the holiday bach. Being low growing, they are best used as groundcover at the front of a border or spilling over a rock wall. In the right spot, they can flower continuously through the year.

Use for: ‘Hot colours’ themed gardens, dry sunny borders, groundcover, coastal gardens.

Heliotrope Cherry Pie

Vanilla milkshake or cherry pie, the fragrance of Heliotrope is unmistakable. This unassuming little plant is a little on the delicate side so give it a space of its own in a frost free, sunny situation. Monthly feeding with a general garden food, and regular trimming and deadheading will encourage fresh growth and flowers.

Use for: blue-themed garden, rockeries, mixed garden border, fragrant garden.

Salvias ‘So Cool’ Pale Blue, Purple, Violet and Salvia Glare (white)

Salvias are tough, tolerant of dry conditions and come in a range of colours. Growing to 70cm tall by a metre wide, they make great fillers in the perennial garden. Trimming back after the main flowering will keep them bushy and in flower through the summer and autumn months.

Use for: white & blue themed gardens, mixed perennial borders, cottage gardens, gardens for beneficial insects.

How to succeed with summer perennials

  1. These summer perennials grow best in a sunny position and in most soils with good drainage. Prepare the soil thoroughly, as the plants may be there for many years. Remove weeds and dig in ican Premium Compost and ican Real Blood & Bone.
  2. Regular watering will help these plants to establish and perform to their very best. Mulch the soil with pea straw or compost to retain soil moisture during summer.
  3. Install stakes to support tall perennials as they grow and remove spent flowers as they occur to promote the formation of new buds and prolong the flowering season.
  4. You can also grow perennials successfully in pots, using ican Premium Potting Mix and ican Slow Food.

TIP: Add evergreen and winter flowering shrubs to keep a perennial flower border looking interesting through the winter.

TIP: Most perennials need a late summer trim. Those which grow in clumps need lifting and dividing every few years.

Look for these products, tips and advice at an Go Gardening garden centre near you.



Campanula Resholdts

Echinacea (coneflower)

Felicia Santa Anita

Gaura So White & Balerina Rose

Gazanias Cpper Sunset & Velvet Belle

Heliotrope Cherry Pie

Clockwise top left - Salvia Glare, So Cool Pale Blue, So Cool Violet, So Cool Purple.