Perennial cone flowers ( Echinacea spp), with their rosepurple petals, can be relied on to give a long-lasting display throughout summer and into autumn. Rudbeckia and Penstemon would make suitable companions, as they enjoy similar growing conditions of full sun and composted soil.
Festuca glauca “Eyecatch” is a clump-forming dwarf grass with fine blue-grey foliage. It is heat-resistant, needs a sunny position and well-drained soil. Ideal for edging paths and mass planting. Lamb’s ears ( Stachys), with soft, furry grey leaves, enjoys similar conditions.
Control vigorous scramblers and climbers such as plumbago, Helichrysum petiolare and bougainvillea to prevent their growing into other plants, and into gutters and eaves of buildings.
If your garden is too small to accommodate a shade tree, then an arbour is an attractive alternative. Both the uprights and crossbars should be strong enough to take the weight of a climber.
River bells ( Phygelius spp.) have pendulous tubular flowers and grow to just over a metre high. Plant in rich soil in sun or light shade and mulch to keep soil moist. Look for Princess Series with flowers of salmon, purple or white and Yellow Sovereign with lemon flowers.