We all imagine our flowerbeds in the summertime, blooming profusely with lush foliage. But sometimes, reality doesn't match our expectations. Plants may wither away unexpectedly, succumb to illnesses, or perhaps that robust biennial has overstayed its welcome - now demanding a replacement.
To tackle this conundrum, we've suggested a medley of excellent options. If you detect these gaps early enough in Spring, you can grow these annuals from seeds, or robust plug plants. Alternatively, during summer, opt for a fully grown plant ready to unfurl its blooms.
Unlike perennials, annuals seize their fleeting lifespan, growing rapidly and blooming generously from midsummer until the first frost.
A speedy bloomer that reaches up to 2m in height, comes in a variety of colours, offering flexibility if you're working with a particular colour scheme.
Poppies are another remarkable option. With their delicate, paper-like blooms available in diverse colours, they not only embellish your garden but also self-seed profusely for the ensuing year.
A resilient, rapid-growing annual, comes in a spectrum of colours and can infuse your garden with subtle, soft blooms or create a dynamic, vibrant display.
Buying a perennial in midsummer guarantees a well-established plant. Furthermore, this season provides an ideal opportunity to observe what's blooming, helping you introduce late-season colours to your borders that will continue to blossom year after year.
Dark-leaved dahlias, specifically from the Mystic and Dark Angel series, are effortless to cultivate, grow up to 60cm (2ft) tall and expand rapidly post-planting, especially if you deadhead them. Their prolonged blooming period lasts until the frost sets in, presenting a myriad of colours. The bronze foliage introduces a contrasting splash of colour.
Gaura 'Rosyjane', with its pink-and-white bicoloured blooms, not only fills in gaps but its tall, wispy growth can add a dash of charm to even the busiest of borders.
A perennial favourite, Rudbeckia is an easy-to-grow option that blossoms from late summer to the first frost. With its warm orange and yellow blooms, Rudbeckia Sahara adds a vibrant touch to your garden.
For those shady corners, Hostas are the ideal choice. 'Honeybells', 'Invincible', and 'Royal Standard' all feature bold, green leaves and emit a pleasant fragrance from their pale lavender or white flowers. Plus, Hostas are highly adaptable. If you feel they've been misplaced, they can be relocated with ease by the season's end.
As autumn approaches, consider planting Asters. These late-blooming perennials are perfect for front borders, providing an abundant late-season colour that will reappear year after year.
With Salvia, you have a plethora of choices in terms of height, colour, and popularity amongst pollinators. Salvia Patens offers sky-blue flowers, Salvia Amistad presents clusters of pink flowers, and Salvia Victoria Blue produces deep blue blooms that look stunning on border edges.