The flower show period brings forth a burst of inspiration in the form of glorious blooms at shows like Chelsea and Malvern.
While the crème de la crème of garden designers spend months creating faultless floral spectacles, you can recreate a bit of the show’s glamour in your own garden – without the designer price tag! We’ve combed through plant combinations from Chelsea and other flower shows around the country, to find the very best, including beautiful plants like salvias, astrantias and cosmos.
Get planting now with our flower show plant combinations for a medal-worthy garden in no time.
Poppies and geraniums
Opium poppies and hardy geraniums might look like delicate flowers but they’re true garden survivors, self-seeding and popping up in the most unexpected of places: luckily they’re so pretty you won’t mind. Here’s how to take cuttings from poppies.
Papaver ‘Ladybird’. H x S 45cm x 15cm. Care: enjoys sun and free-draining soil.
Geranium ‘Bill Wallis’. H x S 35cm x 40cm. Care: trim after flowering for a second flush.
Black and red opium poppies with mauve geraniums
Tibetan cherry and cow parsley
This flower show plant combination puts a modern twist on a woodland scene. Here the stems are the stars, with coppery Tibetan cherry against the stalks and lacy foliage of purple cow parsley.
Prunus serrula. H x S 10m x 10m (after 20yrs). Care: prune only in summer to avoid disease.
Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’. H x S 100cm x 30cm. Care: happy in sun or shade.
Coppery Tibetan cherry branches amidst frothy white flowers of purple cow parsley
Irises and peonies
Choose rich, saturated hues from the same side of the colour wheel and you get a sumptuous gem-like look, often used to great effect by Chelsea designers.
Iris ‘Black Swan’. H x S 120cm x 60cm. Care: half bury rhizomes in full sun.
Paeonia ‘Buckeye Belle’. H x S 90cm x 90cm. Care: deadhead and let leaves die naturally.
Deep-purple iris and magenta peonies amongst complementing pink and mauve flowers
Pimpinella and geums
These two moisture-loving perennials are a perfect match, the pink pimpinella and bright red geum a winning blend for moist, free-draining soil.
Pimpinella major ‘Rosea’. H x S 120cm x 60cm. Care: prefers moist but not waterlogged soil.
Geum ‘Mrs J. Bradshaw’. H x S 60cm x 60cm. Care: keep damp and deadhead regularly.
Pink pimpinella and bright red geum planted together with contrasting blue and yellow flowers
Dryopteris and campanulas
Pale blue flowers, like those of campanulas, are great for shady corners as they bounce light around and this delicate little bellflower shines out against the lush green ferns. Here are 10 more shade-loving perennials to grow.
Dryopteris filix-mas. H x S 100cm x 100cm. Care: likes cool shade and humus-rich soil.
Campanula ‘Samantha’. H x S 25cm x 30cm. Care: free draining soil in sun or shade.
Pale blue campanula flowers beside lush green ferns
For more flower show planting ideas, take a look at our features on flower show planting ideas for June, and our flower show planting ideas for July.
Mix it up
Don’t be afraid to experiment and swap out the plants used in these combinations – most plants are easy to move if you (or they) are unhappy with where they’re planted.