12 ways to create quick and easy colour
|Fill pots and garden with petunias. Sun loving and tolerant of heat and drought, petunias are among the world’s most reliable flowers for the garden, pots and hanging baskets. Modern breeding means they keep on getting better - more weather resistant, with better growth habits and more prolific and longer flowering. There is a huge choice in almost every imaginable colour available in garden centres. Repeat one eye-catching colour to draw the eye through the garden, adding character and continuity.
|Plant flowers among your veges. Cheerful flowers such as calendula, cosmos, sunflowers and marigolds not only add stunning colour contrast, they also attract beneficial insects and repel pests. Marigolds prosper throughout summer’s peak, remaining fresh and vibrant in the hottest weather while their strong hues aren’t paled by our bright UV light. Plant them in full sun. They thrive in pots, and in the garden too, provided they are not sitting in cold wet soil. Water in dry weather but avoid excessive over-head watering. Remove dead blooms to encourage further flowering.
|Make an entrance. Welcome visitors with flowers at your front door, along the driveway or around your letterbox. Orange yellow and red are the most welcoming colours of all.
|Place pots in garden beds. Don’t restrict you containers to the patio and front door. Pots filled with colourful flowers can be placed in garden beds for an instant splash of colour while you wait for later flowering shrubs to do their thing.
|Fill a barrel. Old half wine barrels make charming and long lasting containers. Fill them to over flowing with colourful flowers or plant a small tree in the middle and surround it with different flowers for a new look every season.
|Freshen up outdoor tabletops. Flowering annuals and perennials in low pots make an outdoor dining area look all the more inviting.
|Grow flowers on or over a wall. Add charm to a bare wall or boring fence. Flowers can be planted in wall baskets, or pots supported by wall brackets. If it’s a hot north or west facing wall you’ll need to water thoroughly in summer and choose heat tolerant plants like petunias and marigolds. Soften retaining walls with a waterfall of flowers. Plants with beautiful cascading habits include petunias, calibrachoas, verbenas, pelargoniums, African daisies, diascias, and nasturtiums.
|Plant hanging baskets. For a 40cm diameter basket, use three to five perennial plants (eg petunias, diascias, verbenas, pelargoniums) or twelve bedding plants (such as cascading petunias, lobelias, alyssum, impatiens). You might also mix perennials with bedding plants. To make planting easier, place the basket on top of a bucket on a wheelbarrow or outdoor table top.
|Mix flowers with foliage. Combine striking foliage plants, such as heucheras and hostas, with colourful flowers.
|Brighten shady areas. Add colour and character under deciduous trees or on the south side of the house. Fill the gaps under trees and shrubs with the likes of coleus, heucheras and impatiens for an instant splash of colour.
Impatiens are leading favourites for hanging baskets and pots, especially for those places
where there is less than full day
sun. Today’s modern strains are far superior to those of decades past – they’re compact, free flowering plants, which remain in top flowering form all summer long.
|Create a colour theme. Blue and yellow is one of the classic combinations. Other favourites are purple and lime green, red and white, or all white (lovely for gardens that are mainly used at night). Ready flowering annuals know as ‘potted colour’ are advanced, individually potted seedlings which not only give instant colour, but more rapid growth and a higher success rate. That’s because the transplanting shock is less than for smaller seedlings grown in punnets. Take your pick of the pansies, violas, and other beautiful flowers in garden centres now.
|Three tiered effect. Stacking window boxes at different heights is a great way to grow more flowers in a small space, or dress up a bare wall.
Bright colours shout 'welcome' at a front entrance.
Hanging basket of Scaevola
White impatiens in a window box