Summer can be tough on gardens, so give new plantings lots of water and shade.
Jennifer Stackhouse on hardy plants for summer.
(Ocimum basilicum) Basil grows well while temperatures are warm and thrives in a sunny garden, a raised vegetable plot or in a pot on a windowsill. It’s a must-have herb for summer meals, so pop seeds or seedlings in now.
(Brassica oleracea Gemmifera Group) Timing of sowing is critical. Sow seeds in summer so the plant grows in late autumn and early winter when days are cool and getting shorter and sprout formation is at its best. Space plants 60cm apart.
(Physalis peruviana) Cape gooseberry is a tomato relative with tiny yellow flowers. Each flower produces an edible berry concealed in a paper-lantern covering — sometimes known as a cape — that protects fruit from damage. Fruit ripens well into winter.
(Persea americana) ‘Wurtz’ is a popular variety of dwarf avocado with a weeping habit and rich tasty fruit that is an excellent choice for planting in small gardens. Grow in a warm, frost-free spot in the ground or in a large tub.
(Lavandula angustifolia) English lavender flowers in summer. Enjoying sun, good drainage and low humidity, it does best across southern Australia where summers are dry. In less than optimum climates, grow it in a terracotta pot with well-drained potting mix.
(Lunaria annua) Honesty blooms in spring with mauve, white or bicolour flowers but has persistent and decorative seedpods in summer. This is also the time to scatter seeds if you want this plant to grow in your garden next spring.
(Hydrangea macrophylla) As Endless Summer hydrangeas flower on new wood, these once summer-only flowering shrubs can bloom from late spring to autumn. Also look out for ‘Love’ hydrangea with its double flowers, as well as new compact varieties for pots.
(Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’) Sedums are undemanding and drought-hardy succulents with colourful autumn blooms. Leaves emerge in spring with flowers forming in late summer. Bees love these nectar-rich flowers. Now is the time to add to gardens or pots.