Bright and colourful mixtures of plants in pots, beds and borders can make an impressive Spring and Summer statement in the garden. They are ideal to impress visitors and really see the garden bloom at its best. At Coolings we have over 350 varieties of seasonal bedding and patio plants, the majority of which are grown on our on-site nursery at The Gardener’s Garden Centre, Rushmore Hill.
These are our top choices, recommended by our Horticultural Team, sure to make your pots, beds and borders really stand out amongst the competition this year!
Pots and baskets
To get the perfect mixture, we suggest following the thriller, filler and spiller recipe.
Thrillers: central, upright plants to provide height and wow factor, such as Upright Fuscia, Jumbo Geraniums or large Begonias.
Filler: choose lower flowering or foliage plants that form the middle layer of a planter such as Laurentia ‘Blue Star’, Verbena, Allysum, small Begonias, Coleus, Cineraria ‘Silver Leaf’ or Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’.
Spillers: select trailing plants which will cascade down the edge of the container and soften the effect, such as Bacopa, trailing Petunias, Begonias, Verbena and Lobelia.
When grouped together, upright plants of the same type and variety will produce the effect on one huge plant! These can make huge impact in terms of size and colour. We would recommend:
A favourite every year, this popular choice has a stunning effect when planted in groups. White and Carmine are popular colours.
‘Dollar Princess’, ‘Winston Churchill’ and ‘Hawkshead’ make ideal choices as they excel in flower and are one of the longest flowering garden plants.
Profusions of daisy flowers are borne in succession throughout the season. To promote repeat flowering, pinch out the faded blooms as you are passing. This will encourage the plant to form new buds.
Dainty flowers of Salvia are a summer treat for those who like subtle beauty. They are really easy to grow and three planted together will fill a large pot. Our three favourites are ‘Love and Wishes’, ‘Ostfriesland’, and RHS Chelsea Flower Show favourite 2017 ‘Caradonna’.
A sunny corner can be transformed by a pot full of Arctotis. This is not the most well-known of flowers, but just three of our chunky home-grown plants in a pot will give months of colour. Our customers love ‘Flame’, ‘Red Devil’ or ‘Wine’.
Beds and Borders
Novelty varieties such as ‘Black Velvet’, ‘Pinstripe’ and ‘Phantom’ are very popular for their unusual patterns and striking, distinctive colours.
New Guinea Impatiens
These produce beautiful splashes of colour and are perfect for a cooler location.
The versatile Begonia is well loved for its large flamboyant blooms in a wide range of colours, their ability to thrive in both sun and shade, and for flowering continuously throughout summer up to the first frosts. Upright begonias are perfect for beds and borders and trailing varieties look great in baskets. ‘Champagne’ is an old favourite with Coolings customers.
A faithful bedding plant for many and for good reason! These sturdy, sun-loving plants are well suited to hot, dry conditions and flower all summer long. Primarily available in vibrant shades of pink, white and red.
These make fantastic cottage garden bedding plants. Let them scramble up obelisks or netting to add height to your garden. Alternatively, try dwarf sweet peas for ground cover at the front of beds and borders. With their delightful fragrance and wide range of colours, sweet peas are excellent summer bedding plants and also provide bunches of gorgeous fragrant cut flowers throughout summer. We like ‘Spencer Mixed’.
Creating wonderful dense mounds of colour along the edge of beds and borders, easy to grow, and long-flowering upright lobelia generally come in shades of blue which is unusual for bedding!
Beautiful colour, great scent, ideal for sun and shade and easy to grow – what’s not to like!