Summer has been endlessly hot this year with just the signs of some rain this weekend and although it’s been uncomfortable for me, the flowers in my garden have just been loving it! All they asked for is regular watering and in return they have produced the most spectacular blooms.
Hydrangea are simply magical with colourful hues that range from pink to blue. This is a perennial shrub in my border, which means although the leaves die down every winter it is back in top form the following spring.
Of course it wouldn’t be sunny without the sunflowers or is it the other way round? I have planted a medium variety and a dwarf one this year. The medium one (yes there are varieties that are even taller than this one!) does need support and these have bamboo canes with hessian string holding them in place.This helps to protect them when it gets very windy or there is a heavy downpour. Not much chance of the latter this summer yet!
Marigolds are another feature in my garden this year and they have simply lapped up all the summer heat. I planted these from seed in early spring indoors and then outdoors once the weather warmed up. Slug and snails do love them so it’s been a matter of keeping an eye out for them as well as setting up beer traps – small plastic pots part filled with beer and positioned in a small hole amongst the marigold plants for the pests to be attracted to and then fall into the liquid.
Now the nasturtiums have been an absolute treasure in the raised beds. They have flourished in the summer sun and not only have their vibrant flowers attracted the bees and butterflies, their leaves have also caught crowds of black fly. This has been great as the beans growing next to them have been blissfully protected.
Of course, not forgetting the zinnia which are one of my favourites! They are one of the most robust blooms that I have come across as no wind or heavy rain affects them and the flowers seem to last for weeks. These were started off from seed indoors and then planted out in late spring. If there is one flower you’d like to try for your garden I would definitely recommend this one. Not fussy and simply divine!
These are all easy to grow and a great way of introducing colour to the smallest garden, patio or balcony. Hydrangea as I mentioned is a perennial so it will bloom every summer, I bought mine a few years ago from the garden centre as a small plant. Sunflowers, marigolds, nasturtiums and zinnias are all annuals – you can buy the seeds the first year and then plant them indoors in early spring and then the seedlings later outdoors or plant the seeds in the garden where they are to flowers when the weather warms up in late spring.
You can save the seeds of marigolds, zinnias, nasturtiums and sunflowers once the flowers die down and dry up, all ready for the following year by storing them in a small paper bag or envelope.
You will just love your outdoor space in the summer if it has your favourite blooms!