In the garden with Linda Ross
Summer gardens are relaxing and vibrant places to soak up the beauty of nature, rest up and recharge. Filling your garden with dry tolerant flowers and shrubs will create a great vibe and wonderful sanctuary.
A garden bench, whether painted, treated or weathered hardwood, classic or detailed, is the perfect spot to take in your garden with a friend. Sometimes benches are places from which to take in the view, as if at the theatre, as on this page; other times they serve as the viewpoint themselves, creating a picture in the garden. Take time during the holidays to place the perfect bench in your garden, and it will encourage you sit and enjoy the view.
Say ‘ holidays’ with flowers
In the dictionaries of ‘florigraphy’ there are floral choices for expressing emotions as complex as a tepid affection (daffodils) and appreciation of loyalty (violets) but there is no floral choice expressing the sentiment ‘ Yay - it’s holiday time!’ To redress the lack, here’s our choice of the top 5 flowers that wave happy holiday flags though summer.
Perfect for hot spots and pots, red geraniums are excellent as gifts or for speedily decorating the outdoor table. Look for ‘Big Red’, which has bigger flowers than usual and is a strong performer. It also comes in pink. You’ll get a rainbow of colour from one packet of zinnia seeds. Or, if you’ve left it a bit late, you can find zinnias in flower in pots in nurseries. Mix up the colours to get the wildest effect. Zinnias flower best in full sun – keep an eye out for mildew late in the summer if the weather is humid.
These simple but dazzling flowers bring on Hawaiian fantasies of balmy nights and cocktails, grass skirts optional. There are lots of cultivars bred to do well in pots, so choose the colour and style that suits and feed often to keep the flowers coming.
This flower lights up the night garden. Each bloom only lasts a single night, but what a show! Perfumed, glowing like the moon and as big as a plate, few flowers can challenge the queen for impact and sheer enjoyment.
Summer bursts into colour with a bouquet of hibiscus. Photo: Getty
Geranium ‘Big Red’ is a summer standout. Look for it at your local nursery.
Mix up your zinnia colours for best effect. Photo: Surachai / Shutterstock
The late-night garden party-animal, Queen of the Night Cactus. Photo: iskydancer / Shutterstock
A garden seat is the perfect spot to take in your garden