Best garden plants for instant summer colour

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Now’s the time to be making the most of your outdoor living space, but if you haven’t already got a beautifully cultivated garden don’t worry. There’s still plenty of time to add a riot of colour and fragrance, and all of these beautiful plants can be picked up at your local garden centre and enjoyed straight away.

Fuschias

Bright, beautiful and available in a huge range of colours and styles, fuschias look like tiny ballerinas and look great in any garden. They thrive in the shade and are perfectly suited to pots and hanging baskets, making them a popular choice with reluctant gardeners. “Bees love them, so you’ll be doing your bit for the environment, and they can be picked up for just a couple of pounds at lots of supermarkets around the country” says Battersea estate agent, Eden Harper.

Penstemon

Also known as “beardtongue”, these late flowering perennials grow best in full sun with shelter from the rain. They offer tubular, frilly flowers in pink, purple, white and red and are really easy to sow and establish. If you’re short on time, pick up a pot of ready to go blooms from your garden centre. It’s only a matter of time before the bees and butterflies are hovering around their vibrant petals.

Hydrangea

A classic staple in the quintessential English country garden, hydrangeas are easy to grow and regularly win awards at the Chelsea Flower Show. Their abundant blooms vary in shade from dusky pinks to cobalt blue, which silky, creamy whites in there too. Place in heavy terracotta pots and sit back to admire the view.

Zinnia

These versatile plants come in different shapes and colours, ranging from sunshine yellow to scarlet – with pink, white and orange in between. Zinnias have the capacity to grow over a metre and a half tall, are adored by bees and make beautiful cut flowers for your living room.

Sunflowers

Loved by people of all ages, the sunflower is a happy, bold plant that’s incredibly easy to grow and can’t help make you smile. Bees, butterfies and birds love them, and when they’ve finished blooming in Autumn just collect their seeds for re-planting next year or feeding to the wildlife.

Geraniums

Geraniums are among the easiest plants to grow and make a great companion for insects. “These stunning perennials work equally well in sun and shade, cover weeds and look fantastic in hanging baskets and pots too. They’re available in a huge range of bright, confident colours and can be picked up for less than a pound if you shop around” suggests Robert Holmes.

Dahlias

Not long ago, the dahlia was rather unfairly considered to be an old fashioned, frumpy plant. Happily, it’s back in fashion now, and in return will reward you with beautiful blooms well into the autumn months. Bees love them, they look great as cut flowers indoors and are available in a myriad of colours and styles.

“Colour was a key theme at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, so if you want your garden to be fashionable as well as fragrant and wildlife friendly, you can’t go wrong with this selection of plants” says Andrew Reeves.