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Paul Anderson
My sister wants some instant colour in her garden now & for the summer, any ideas anyone

Trot round the garden centres and nurseries and see what is flowering it and plant it

A better idea would be to come away from "instant" and get your sister to look at her garden as an on going project..........what does she like, what space does she have, what aspect, what soil, etc.

Despite the endless makeover programmes, successful gardens are rarely instant

Best advice, go to the garden centre and look for something to suit the bill.

Right now everything is coming into bloom or will be soon, especially with the warm weather we are having. Planting conditions are ideal so the choice is huge. Go along with her and hold her hand.

Just bear in mind her soil conditions aspect and eventual size of the plant.

It's difficult to give specific advice without knowing the conditions.

Paul Anderson

Ok cool, I will go to a couple of nursery's and see. He has a very established garden but has gaps and wants it filled with colour now as she has plenty of evergreen and nothing in colour now. Off course I realise all shrubs/plants have different flowering times but I would want to plant them in the next two weeks, its a north facing garden at the front and south at the back. Soil is standard clay.


Yes, visit the garden centre now and see what's doing well right now.  Get a couple only. See too what's in bud and check them out.

Colour comes from foliage too...e.g. The hebes come in all sorts of delightful evergreen foliage colours.  If your soil is acidic check out pieris for brilliant red leaves now and for few weeks.  I have a variety called Flaming Silver ...the leaves are green and white and the new growth is bright red.  

You can buy for summer colour now....echinaceas, for example, but if you visit the garden centres regularly ...or, better still, some local can again buy plants in flower at those times. Domt forget late summer and autumn too....loads of flowers around then.  

This evening I have been adding some of the final touches to a bed that had lots of winter and early spring colour but now put in heleniums. Agastaches, salvia Amistad (check this one out folks.  It has the most stunning purple blue flowers all summer long) and euphorbia rubra (alongside anemone Wild swan).  Bowles golden grass next to Japanese blood grass a  couple of hostas and Heucheras, geum Totally Tamgerine as well as a few tall grasses and I have all the colour amd form I need all summer long and not just from flowers. 

Patience, thinking. (none of these was just plonked in for "instant" summer colour) and  time will give your sister her colourful garden Paul 



Scott Edwards

I would suggest that she goes to the garden centre at different times of the year such as early spring, late spring, early summer, mid summer, late summer, autumn and winter and buy a few plants that look good at each these different times. Hopefully, she will end up with a garden that has something of interest throughout the year.

One plant that I would recommend as looking good from early summer right through to the beginning of the autumn is Geranium 'Rozanne.'

Paul Anderson
Thanks for the good advise verdum & Scott I shall do that

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