More colour, less fuss

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Nothing says spring like a garden full of flowers. Keeping up the colour right through spring, summer and autumn is easy to achieve with so many long flowering modern hybrids at our disposal.  Just as special though, are the flowers that make their appearance for a shorter time. Planting shrubs and perennials with different flowering times ensures an exciting ever-changing scene with something new bursting bud every few weeks.

10 fuss-free ways to grow an ever-flowering garden


1 Plant shrubs and trees that bloom at different times. Plant magnolias, kowhai, rhododendrons, camellias and daphne to enjoy in early spring before the roses reach their November peak. Different varieties of rhododendrons and camellias have different flowering times, so choose a selection from early, mid and late season varieties of these beauties. For summer and autumn colour that gets better year after year, plant hydrangeas and hibiscus.
2 Choose repeat flowering roses. An old-fashioned rose that flowers only once is a stunning sight in spring but repeat flowering roses will give you flowers right through till autumn. Roses peak in early summer, but with feeding and deadheading to remove spent blooms they keep on giving, often with another big flush in autumn. Modern varieties that produce masses of blooms on smaller growing plants allow a wider selection of different coloured roses to be planted in a smaller garden.
3 Fill vertical space with colour. Plant clematis where their roots will be kept cool and moist and their tops are in sun. Other colourful climbers include wisteria and roses, and for warm climates, Mandevilla and Hardenbergia. Bougainvillea makes a magnificent late summer show.
4 Choose modern hybrids bred to provide prolific flowering over many months. Because plant breeders compete to bring us better plants with more flowers on tougher, stronger growing plants, there is no shortage of high-performance bloomers that look great from spring through autumn. A single plant may be more expensive but will quickly fill the six times the space of old-fashioned seedlings.

New-age flowers for continuous colour from spring till the first frosts:

Petunia ‘Bubblegum’, Supertunias, SuperCal Petchoas , Calibrachoas, Calipetites, Sunpatiens, Colourwave Petunias, Colourwave verbenas, Superbenas, Federation Daisies, Dreamerias, Inca Alstroemerias.

5 Choose drought tolerant varieties that keep up their performance in hot dry conditions. This helps save water and time, especially for plants grown in pots. Plants are also bred for improved resistance to disease and wet weather conditions.
6 Choose plants that ‘self-clean’. When flowers drop their petals cleanly plants stay looking great without constant deadheading.
7 Grow perennials for picking. For a regular supply of vase fillers, plant a selection of longer stemmed flowers such as alstroemeria, penstemon, sedum, heuchera, dianthus, and campanula. Old fashioned annuals like love-in mist, cosmos and foxgloves that self-sow in the garden are another wonderful source of cut flowers.
8 Plant flowering annuals in containers filled with ican Premium Potting Mix. Annuals, available as seedlings in six packs or already flowering in pots, are a quick, easy and inexpensive way to create a different look each season. Because they must be replanted each year, planting in pots is the simplest way to enjoy these seasonal show ponies. They also work brilliantly as temporary space fillers between slower growing shrubs, perennials and grasses.
9 Feed flowering plants generously for very best performance. Ideal for both garden soil and containers, ican Slow Food provides long term sustenance for all flowering plants. It is excellent for hanging baskets. For a quick pick-me-up, feed with ican Fast Food. Great for roses, and all flower and vegetable beds, ican Real Blood & Bone boosts growth and flowering while nurturing the soil.
10 Build great soil. Add ican Premium Compost to the soil every time you plant. Keep any bare soil covered with a layer of compost or other organic mulch to preserve summer moisture and block weeds while feeding soil life and sustain and ever healthy garden.

Plant something for every season….

Spring flowering
Magnolias, Camellias, Rhododendrons, Lavender, Kowhai, Hebe, Wisteria, Pansies and violas.

Late spring and early summer
Roses, Hybrid Clematis, Abultilon (Chinese lantern), Lilies, Snapdragons, Delphinium, Cranesbill geraniums.

Late summer and autumn
Hibiscus, Hydrangea, Salvia, Sunflowers, Dahlias, Lavender, Day lilies.

Spring, summer and autumn
Petunias, Sunpatiens, Alstroemeria, Calibrachoas, Calipetites, Superbenas, Cosmos.

Look for these products, tips and advice at an ican garden retailer.



Bubblegum petunias amidst fuchsias and gaura.

Rose 'Champagne Breakfast'

Hybrid clematis

Penstemon Chacha Lavender

ican Premium Potting Mix, Compost and Planting Mix.

ican Slow Food, perfect for feeding flowers, for up to 24 months. Available from your local ican garden centre.