Sue Nicholas (main picture) and two of her favourites: lavatera
(left) and larKspur (right)
Blooming shrubs Sunset climate zones 7-9, 14-17: For a show of flowers that lasts well into fall, try long-blooming shrubs or shrubby perennials: abutilon, blue hibiscus, Brazilian plume flower, butterfly bush, cape fuchsia, cape plumbago, lavatera
, princess flower, and many salvias.
Shrubs in this category include Buddleia davidii, Ceanothus x delileanus `Gloirede Versailles',large-leaved hebes, lavatera
and Hydrangea paniculata.
hannah's top tip If you are making a shrub border from scratch, use some faster-growing species such as buddleia, lavatera
or broom, which will mature quickly and can be cut back or removed once the slower framework plants have started to become established.
13SUMMER flowering shrubs, such as fuchsia, spiraea, perovskia, lavatera
, buddleja and deciduous ceanothus (eg Gloire de Versailles) usually flower on new growth so a good chop now will stimulate plenty of this.
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Buy a packet of seeds of the unsettlingly named lavatera
and in a matter of weeks (here's where neglect is just fine, folks) they will provide you with sufficient bedding to plant up a small protectorate.
COMBINE blue clary and white Mont Blanc lavatera
blooms to give your garden a soothing, laid back feel.
Late Spring and Summer: Campanula, Nemophila, Eschscholzia, Clarkia, Gypsophila, Centaurea, Linum, Lavatera
, Nigella, Limnanthes, Cosmos, Reseda, Phacelia, Coreopsis, Nepeta, Persicaria,
For summer blooms, grow buddleia, heather, lavender, lavatera
and verbena whilst you should try planting marigold, honeysuckle, sedum and michaelmas daisy in the autumn.
The ones which flower from early summer onwards including potentilla, lavatera
and fuchsia, are the ones that need pruning in early spring, before growth starts.
Q My lavatera
is in full bloom but how and when do I prune it?
For color in full sun with minimal water, try Anisodontea x hypomandarum, blue hibiscus, butterfly bush, Cape plumbago, Grevillea, lavatera
, Leptospermum, Rhaphiolepis, rockrose, and various salvias.
TIP 4: It's also a good time to sow seeds of hardy annuals like nasturtium, calendula, lavatera
9Shorten back the growths on shrubs such as buddleia and lavatera
by half to prevent winter storm damage.