Choosing Plants for a Summer Garden

Planning a summer garden is so exciting and satisfying when the palette of colours, shapes and textures all come together in an explosion of a botanical masterpiece.

A gardener’s work is never done.  My garden is ever evolving and there is so much choice when it comes to adding new life to the garden.  Do I want flowers bursting with a rainbow of colours?  Do I want to add height and texture?  Attract more pollinators to the garden? 

Here are 5 plants which tick all the boxes on my what to plant in June wish list.

Begonia (Sun Dancer Apricot)

This versatile summer perennial, cascading a flourish of apricot coloured flowers, blooms from late spring to late autumn. Begonia (Sun Dancer Apricot) is a trailing variety and is ideal for containers and baskets.  Begonias flower continuously throughout the summer.  They can be upright and trailers making them suitable for borders, beds, containers and baskets.  With rich green serrated leaves and profusely blooming flowers, begonias will brighten up both shaded and full sun areas of the garden.

Lathyrus (Sweet pea)

Add colour and height with sweet peas growing up trellis or obelisks.  Their showy fragrant flowers come in multiple shades of red, pink, white, cream, blue and lavender.  Sweet pea can be an annual, herbaceous or perennial.  The bush variety grows up to 3ft all while the climbing annual can grow up to 8ft tall.  Attractive to butterflies and bees, these summer blooming delicate flowers also make beautiful cut flower displays.    

Antirrhinum (Snapdragon)

A must have to any nature garden, bees absolutely love snapdragons with their mouth like flowers full of nectar.  Antirrhinum is a striking bedding perennial loved by gardeners for their display of vibrant flowers.  They come in a wide variety of colours and bloom from spring to autumn.  They grow up to 3ft tall adding colour and variety to beds and borders.  Snapdragons are easy to grow, maintain and are self-seeding. 


A summer favourite, the sunflower is fast growing and low maintenance.  They make ideal companion plants because their height provides shade for border plants and their stalks can be used as supports for climbing plants.  Helianthus annuus (Common Sunflower) is a great choice for the wildlife garden.  Their pollen attracts bees and later in the season their seeds provide food for the birds.  An added benefit to having sunflowers in the garden is that they attract aphids, protecting more vulnerable plants from attack.


Geranium summer garden bedding plant

These sun-loving plants are a popular choice for the summer garden.  They are well situated in sunny positions and flower all summer. This versatile plant comes in upright, climbing or trailing varieties. Making them ideal for beds borders containers trellis and baskets.  Geraniums are another fantastic companion plant.  They repel cabbage worms and Japanese beetles making them and ideal companion for roses.  Planting scented geraniums in the vegetable garden will deter spider mites, leafhoppers and aphids, protecting any vegetable crop.

Share in the comments section which plants are on your summertime wish list for beds, borders, vegetable garden or balconies.

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