Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

An old-fash­ioned cot­tage favourite an­nual, the blan­ket flower can be re­lied upon to cope with the hottest weather. Apart from typ­i­cal sun­set shades, they now come in colours of le­mon and red.

New Guinea im­pa­tiens are a glo­ri­ous as­set to a shady pa­tio that gets a few hours of sun in the morn­ing. They come in a range of leaf colours and blooms.

Cos­mos flower through­out sum­mer and au­tumn in av­er­age soil in a sunny as­pect. As well as the fa­mil­iar tall-grow­ing white, pink and carmine va­ri­eties, the Lady­bird se­ries is more com­pact, with orange and yel­low flow­ers.

Grow apricot-coloured day lilies as com­pan­ions to cream and orange roses, mix in­dige­nous cinnamon gaza­nia with orange bul­bine, thread blue aga­pan­thus among stre­litzia, and mauve ager­a­tum cul­ti­vars with mini le­mon petu­nias.

Leather fern (rhumora), as­pidis­tra, and sasan­qua camel­lia are in­valu­able fo­liage ma­te­rial for the vase. Rus­cus is an ev­er­green fo­liage plant that will grow in a shady po­si­tion in well-drained soil and has a long vase life.

The but­ter­fly-like flow­ers of gaura are held on tall wiry stems, mak­ing them use­ful for cre­at­ing a light, see-through ef­fect in the sum­mer gar­den. Con­tinue this pink and white colour scheme in bor­ders with tall-grow­ing spi­der flower (cleome), lavat­era and cos­mos.

Give a fi­nal pinch back to chrysan­the­mums to en­cour­age bushi­ness and more flow­ers in au­tumn. Water in dry pe­ri­ods, as chrysan­the­mums have a shal­low root sys­tem.

Bring your gar­den to life us­ing colour boldly and creatively with a massed plant­ing of Aga­pan­thus “Black Pan­tha”. The blue-black buds open into flower clus­ters of deep pur­ple-blue. Aga­pan­thus are also ef­fec­tive in pots and grouped in bor­ders.

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