The Simple Things



AGAPANTHUS: this South-African beauty with blooms that resemble a firework, is best with its roots restricted, so a pot is a good option. Use to add drama to a patio, or in borders, sink a plastic container into the ground to plant in.

Try these: Agapanthus ‘ Inkspots’ for an electrifyi­ng blue colour, or ‘ Purple Cloud’ for larger flowers.

ALLIUMS: these globe-shaped flowers in an array of colours range from small, tight scarlet balls to huge purple or white globes.

Try these: Allium atropurpur­eum for deep purple button-like blooms, or cristophii for star-like flowers.

DAHLIAS: flowers from midsummer into the autumn, so a great choice if you want cut flowers. There are many forms to choose from and an array of colours.

Try these: ‘Ambition’ for shocking magenta cactus-style flowers, or ‘ David Howard’ for classic orange pom-pom blooms.

CROCOSMIA: clumps of spiky leaves and arching spires of fiery-coloured florets.

Try these: ‘ Emberglow’ for dark red flowers or ‘ Emily McKenzie’ for crimson-splashed, bright orange blooms.

GLADIOLI: tall towers of showy, brightly coloured blooms.

Try these: ‘ Espresso’ for sumptuousl­y dark tones or ‘Green Star’ for lime green blooms. For something a little more demure, try

Gladiolus murielae, which is a great cutflower with a delicious scent.

BEGONIAS: Old-fashioned and blousey, these heavily scented blooms appear from May to the first frosts. They prefer pots and work well planted alone.

Try these: ‘ Pink Flamingo’ for a deep pinky-red double flower, or ‘ White Giant’, which can cope in the shade.

FREESIAS: highly scented, working well near a garden entrance so you’re hit with the heady fragrance immediatel­y.

Try these: the classic, ‘ White’, or ‘ Blue Moon’ for pretty mauve flowers.

CANNAS: if you have a taste for the tropics, go for cannas with their red-hot flowers and lush foliage.

Try these: ‘ Phasion’ for burnt orange blooms and striped foliage or ‘ Tropicana Black’ for striking, near-black foliage.

LILIES: Preferring a sunny spot, lilies fill the summer evening air with a sweet scent.

Try these: ‘Casa Blanca’ for a purer white flower than its popular cousin, ‘ Regale Album’ or Lilium speciosum var. rubrum for shocking pink blooms.

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