We all promise ourselves that we’ll work harder on our garden, but when the nicer weather comes around, all we want to do is enjoy it!
This summer, if you haven’t quite reached where you want to be with your garden, make a last-minute ditch and choose some ‘instant garden’ plants to bring life to your yard. It’s also a great idea to give your garden an instant-facelift if you’re planning on selling your house (71% of under-40s said gardens and outdoor space had become more important home-buying factors since lockdown).
But where do you start? I’ve put together a detailed guide on instant plants for your summer 2020 garden. These plants don’t need to be grown on, because they’re already in large pots and are ready to be placed in your garden! Read on for your instant summer garden guide…
For your patio
Whether you’re doing a complete garden overhaul with instant plants, or you only have to work on one or two different areas, your patio is always a good place to start. This is because plants can be added and swapped out with minimal fuss. You can give the whole thing a facelift in just a couple of hours!
When it comes to your patio area, one place to start might be the hanging baskets. Sure, some people say that hanging baskets are a little bit too kitsch and cottagey, but they’re making a cool-comeback in 2020!
I recommend choosing a pre-planted hanging basket featuring a myriad of colours and textures. This way, you’ll be adding lots of interest with very little effort!
This assorted 35cm rattan hanging basket is an excellent choice – all you have to do is water it and watch the flowers grow! However, if you want to put your own spin on your hanging baskets, try Clematis Filigree. This plant comes in a two-litre pot and has a spread of up to one-metre. It can be grown in a number of different ways, including in a hanging basket, draped over a wall, in a patio container or as ground cover.
If you’ve got some houseplants that you want to showcase in the nice weather, but still away from garden pests, get a beautiful new pot to accentuate your plant! This hanging planter is durable yet beautiful! In fact, these fleshy-leaved Delosperma Jewel of the Desert plants come ready in one-litre pots, and are perfect for placing in decorative hanging planters!
In terms of container plants, look for foliage and flowers that really stand out. This Begonia Valentino Pink comes in two 14cm pots and is a really unique choice, with its stunning pink blooms with yellow centres. Flowering through the summer, this Begonia suits full sun or partial, dappled shade.
Looking for something more voluminous? Hydrangea Miss Saori comes in a three-litre pot and produces huge blooms and foliage. It’s also the 2014 winner of the RHS Plant of the Year!
For something a little more foliage-driven, the Fatsia Spider Web comes in two 9cm pots and produces lush, glossy, variegated leaves in a fresh green shade. It appears tropical, but it’s hardy and evergreen, so it’ll brighten your garden throughout the year.
Trachelospermum Jasminoides produces fantastic green-to-red foliage all year round, and in the summer puts out delicate white blooms. It comes in two two-litre pots and is great for adding height to your patio with a trellis!
For your beds and borders
Now’s the chance to really brighten up your beds. Gazania Sun Seekers are an obvious choice, with their two-tone flowers that blend the colours of the sunset! These perform really well in well-draining soil and at the front of the border, where they can get full sun.
Place this fantastic Clerodendron Bungei Pink Diamond in its four-litre pot in your garden for its purple flowers clusters, which appear from July to September. Highly scented, this variety will attract bees and butterflies to your summer garden!
Intersperse your Clerodendron with some Hydrangea Polestar in a three-litre pot. Its blooms start off white – a lovely contrast to colourful flowers – then transform to a dusky pink throughout the season.
Continue the white-to-pink theme with Hydrangea Pinky Winky, which comes ready in a three-litre pot. Producing long spikes of flowers from summer through to autumn, this shrub can reach up to 1.4m in height, making it the perfect focal point for your borders.
You might also consider Kalmia Gingkon, which comes in a four-litre pot. It’s a really unique shrub with the ability to stand out in any garden. Producing clusters of dark pink buds that open to large, pale pink flowers with burgundy splashes, it’s a real showstopper! And it attracts bees and butterflies!
And now for a classic! These scented climbing roses are not only colourful, but long-lasting, and they’re scented! These roses come in two three-litre pots, but you canprovide support for them to climb, such as an archway, trellis, fence or obelisk, and relish in their classic aesthetic.
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook. You can also listen to The Plant Based Podcast with Michael and co-host Ellen-Mary on iTunes, Spotify and Google.