I love gardens with lots of flowering perennials – they’re so much more substantial than bedding plants. Not only do they provide plenty of colour, height and movement, but they’re relatively fuss free and easy to care for too. One of the best things about perennials is that they stay in your garden and flower every year, each year forming a bigger, more established clump.
At the end of the flowering season, chop perennials right back to 1-2 inches. They’ll then become dormant for winter and then regrow the following spring.
Here are some easy sun-loving perennials which are flowering now in my garden:
Verbascum like hot, sunny borders and cope well with drought. Some varieties grow very tall and are perfect for the back of the border. This one (‘Southern Charm’) is shorter, growing to under 1m, but it is quite bendy and usually requires staking.
Hardy geraniums are great because they’re flower from June right the way though summer. They require very little maintenance – just cut them right back if they start to look tatty and they will grow back and flower all over again. They don’t really need watering and can grow in very poor soil, in sun or partial shade. In my opinion, these are the best summer-flowering perennials for beginners. I think this one is Geranium ‘Johnsons Blue’.
Astrantias are low maintenance and look great in the border, plus they also make great cut flowers too. They come in various shades of pink, mauve, white and burgundy.
Sisyrinchium grow well in sunny borders with very little fuss, and they’re ideal if you don’t want to spend lots of time watering. The leaves are in a similar ‘fan’ shape to irises and multiple, small creamy yellow flowers are produced up the stem. Growing to about knee height, they look great planted in clumps near the front of the border.
Nepeta is also known as catmint. Bees and butterflies love it, and it has a soft, wild look to it, making it ideal for wildlife and cottage-style gardens. The leaves have a sweet, minty smell.
If you’re a busy person and want colour in your garden but don’t have time for faffing around, give these a go. They’re quite bog standard, but they’re very reliable and don’t ask for much care.
Do you like flowers which attract bees, butterflies and other wildlife? Read my other blog post, Plants for pollinators.