The Best Flowering Plants For Your Summer Garden
Planning your garden for the summer is an exciting project and the internet is full of inspiring ideas to get your garden summer-ready.
Whether you want to install DIY water features and bird feeders, or ambient lighting and cushion covers, you can jazz up your garden with a few simple steps. In saying that, the planting decisions you make are the most important because if the plants are not compatible with the local climate, then it doesn’t matter how good your garden looks with the other accessories: wilted plants will decrease the ambiance of the entire space.
So, let’s review which plants will have your garden bursting with colour and vibrancy this summer.
Portulaca, a ground-covering plant with beautifully succulent leaves, is a drought-tough hero. Thriving in hot, dry and coastal conditions, Portulaca presents dazzling flowers over the summer time with iridescent tangerines and pinks hues. Whether you choose to plant them under shrubs or to trail them over the rim of wall pots, Portulaca will be an attractive addition to your summer garden.
More commonly known as the ‘desert rose’, the beautiful (and unusual) Adenium Obesum possesses 5- 7 centimetre trumpet-shaped flowers in red, pink, white and yellow shades. Unlike traditional roses, Adenium stores water in its thick bulbous roots and base trunk, which allows it to be drought tolerant and ideal for Australian hot summers. Adenium Obesum flowers are available in varying sizes and can grow as tall as 1.8 meters.
Nothing evokes a tropical feeling quite like Frangipani Plumeria. As the ultimate summer scent, its sensational blooms can be easily picked and floated in a bath or bowl of water. The yellow and white Frangipani is the most common variety, however there are many other colours available and each one has an exquisite perfume.
In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet’s famous monologue asks: ‘What’s in a name that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet?’, well for the Disphyllum Sunburn, everything is in its name and like it suggests, this plant doesn’t shy away from the sun. In fact, it loves the sun so much that it needs full sun exposure even in the warmest of months. As a new hybrid succulent, it offers luxuriant green foliage and bright yellow flowers that bloom for most of the year. As a tough ground-cover plant it covers up to a meter of area per plant and is an ideal plant for locations that have higher risk of bushfires.
Teucrium Silver Box
Teucrium Silver Box is a Mediterranean plant that has a silver/grey ornamental foliage and masses of soft mauve flowers. It thrives in full sun and unlike most box plants, only requires half the amount of watering. If you choose to plant it as hedging, it’s recommended to frequently prune the Teucrium Silver Box to keep it beautifully shaped, otherwise it takes over the entire garden.
Callistemon All Glow
If we say “Callistemon All Glow’ – you might not recognise this plant. But what if we told you its more common name – the Bottlebrush? It’s quite likely you know this beautiful and iconic Australian native. In its second year, all of its flowers bloom, offering bright pink brushes with red undertones that attract birds and bees alike.
Anigozanthos Amber Velvet
The Anigozanthos Amber Velvet is a medium-sized Kangaroo Paw that boasts brilliant orange and red flowers all year around and grows to a staggering height of 1.2 metres. The best location for Anigozanthos Amber Velvet is in full sun either positioned behind – or in between – evergreen leafy plants.
If you’re looking to shower your garden with some of the most colourful and trouble free summer blooms, you can’t go past the Calibrachoa. With a ground spread twice as wide as their 20cm height, they work brilliantly in hanging baskets or spilling over the edge of large tubs. You can find them in a wide range of colours including cream, yellow, pink, mauve, purple and red, as well as summer-perfect multicoloured mixes.
The beautiful perfume of Gardenia blooms will fill your garden with a sweet aroma all summer long. In saying that, they do require more maintenance with fertilising and watering, but your garden will be rewarded with plentiful flowers and lush green growth.
Taking care of plants in summer
If you want to get the most out of your garden in the warmer months, taking care of your plants is just as important as choosing the right plants to sow in the summer. Below we summarise 5 ways you can stay on top of your fauna upkeep and enjoy the beautiful garden that comes with it.
Though your garden needs good soil all year round, it’s especially important to use good quality soil when the conditions are dry and hot. How do you do this? We suggest adding organic matter to create a healthy home for microbes and enrich the soil. Compost or soil improver will enhance your soil’s wettability and water holding capacity, both of which will help transfer nutrients to your plants. If you have an established garden, one way to improve the soil is by adding some compost to the topsoil near the roots of the plants and gently working it into the soil.
Keeping a regular watering schedule will ensure that you have a beautiful, lush and healthy garden all summer. The best time to water your garden is early in the morning which gives the water time to soak into the soil and reach the roots before it starts evaporating with the increasing heat of the day. If you don’t like early mornings or you find you’re in a rush, install an irrigation system that uses a timer to water your garden. An irrigation system can also help you save water by setting up zones for the areas that need more water because they are in direct sunlight, get more water and the areas that are in shady spots, get less water.
Keep pots cool
Potted plants, especially those in terracotta pots, are vulnerable to overheating. This is why keeping them cool is very important. Do this by adding light mulch and when possible, move them out of the direct sunlight. Add a saucer of sand under the pot and keep this sand moist. If the pot stands in water it exasperates root rot and attracts mosquitos. If the plant dries out completely where no amount of watering helps, soak it in a bucket of water for 30 minutes and then drain the water out. This will help revive it.
Protect your lawn
If you want to keep your lawn looking lush and green, apply a handful of poultry manure per square metre just before summer starts. Once completed, give the lawn two weeks to air the odour and then throw a garden party to celebrate. Once the manure is set in the soil, we suggest applying seaweed tonic through a foliar feed to it once a month until the weather starts to cool. Another trick of the trade is to avoid cutting your lawn too short. You see, longer turf increases your lawn’s resilience to heat. If you typically dispose your fresh lawn clippings on the garden, keep these sparse because if they are too thick it will encourage collar rot on the surrounding trees and shrubs.
Boost trace elements
To keep your lawn and garden healthy, adding magnesium to the soil encourages robust growth and the production of energy in plants. Gardenias, in particular, benefit from supplemental magnesium in the summer. Add one heaped teaspoon of Epsom salts to 4.5L of water and then either spray the foliage or water its roots.
Enjoying your garden
Now that you’ve put in the hard work, it’s important you make the most of your garden this summer.
And if you need any help or assistance with creating a beautiful garden, or upgrading your pavers with luxury and sophistication, talk to our expert team at Armstone. Our majestic marble, limestone, granite, travertine, bluestone and sandstone pavers will beautifully blend with your summer garden.
Browse our selection online or visit our Sydney showroom in Glebe for ideas and inspiration.
Once complete, gather around with your friends and family in the garden, enjoy dinner or drinks around the barbeque or simply soak in the vitamin D with a good book and relax.