mauve perennial wallflowers

Five Fantastic Garden Perennials

If you want more value for your money choose to grow garden perennials.

Garden perennials, once established will grow in your garden and produce more and more flowers year on year. That makes perennials a great investment for your garden. Here are some fabulous garden perennials for you to grow.

Perennial Verbenas

Perennial verbenas are brilliant summer-flowering plants. They are also great for pollinators, because they have lots of nectar rich flowers close together creating an effective place for these precious insects to find lots of food and feed efficiently.

Perennial verbenas are great for brightening up pots, containers and hanging baskets, and bringing beds, borders and gravel gardens to life in summer.

There are many different varieties available but here are two of the best:

Seabrook’s Lavender has large lavender coloured flowers with lovely deep pink eyes throughout the summer and well into autumn. It was found as a chance seedling in his garden of The Sun gardening correspondent, Peter Seabrook. This is a short-lived perennial, but unlike other verbenas is hardy and survives all but the harshest of winters. 

Peter Seabrooks Lavender
Seabrook’s Lavender

Margaret’s Memory is named in memory of the late Margaret Seabrook, Peter’s wife. It creates a bushy plant, with masses of flowers from May to November. These have a distinctive two-tone appearance, with a dark pink centre slowly fading outwards through lilac, light pink with the outermost petals almost white.

Both grow to a height of 45cm (18in) and a spread of 50cm (20in).

Aquilegia Swan

If you want the cottage garden look, aquilegias are a must. It’s a funny name and you might know them as columbines, or granny’s bonnets, but they are delightful and popular hardy perennials, especially for beds, borders and cottage gardens. Look out for the Swan Collection, this spring we have a lovely collection of three excellent varieties and colour combinations in our shop.

Aquilegia Swan Collection
Aquilegia Swan

The Swan series are quick growing and fast flowering, producing large delightful flowers in spring and early summer. They are very easy to grow and very hardy and versatile so you can plant them throughout the garden.

Aquilegias are also good plants for pollinators providing a rich source of nectar in early summer when the flowers form. Blue and White has blue outer petals and white inner ones with blue markings at the base. Red and White is the same, but with deep red colours, and Pink and white bears soft coral pink outer petals and white inner petals. Aquilegias grow to a height of 55cm (22in) and spread 40cm (16in).

Perennial Wallflowers

Perennial wallflowers, erysimums, are among some of the trendiest garden plants, providing an abundance of colour for many months – both from their flowers and evergreen foliage. They flower for months on end and are an excellent choice for a pollinator border. The flowers are scented and produced in profusion, not only in one place but also for many months sometimes flowering into autumn.

yellow perennial wallflowers
Perennial Wallflowers

Perennial wallflowers, erysimums are hardy shrubs that provide masses of colour, thanks to their colourful, fragrant flowers that are produced for months on end – from spring to autumn – and their attractive evergreen leaves.

Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’ is the most popular variety smothered in long spires of deep mauve, scented flowers, beautifully set off by narrow, grey-green, evergreen leaves. But there is also a fabulous creamy white variety that makes a great partner plant called ‘Rysi Moon’ has sweetly scented, milk white flowers with a hint of cream and a hint of pink, complemented by dark green foliage. Both are perfect for sunny beds, borders or containers and positions in partial shade. They’re great for cutting too to bring indoors and are very attractive to bees and butterflies.

Bowles’s Mauve grows to a height of 75cm (30in), and a spread of 60cm (24in); Rysi Moon grows to a height of 50cm (20in), and a spread of 50cm (20in);

Spring Celebrities Hollyhock

Hollyhocks are the perfect cottage garden plant, bringing lots of summer colour and a touch of charm to beds, borders and containers in summer. These Spring Celebrities are smaller and more compact with absolutely fabulous frilly flowers.

Hollyhocks are incredibly popular summer flowering plants. They are brilliant for bringing a splash of delightful colour to our gardens, and look perfect in cottage and other informal gardens and in containers. But the best thing about them is that they are a bit taller than other flowering perennials so they can add vibrancy and drama to the centre of a pot or the middle of a border. And they are great for attracting butterflies and bees.

Spring Celebrities Hollyhocks apricot flowers
Hollyhock Spring Celebrities

Look out for ‘Spring Celebrities’, which are special varieties, bringing a fabulous new dimension to hollyhocks. These unique, bushy, shorter-than-normal hollyhocks plants produce stout upright stems that are clothed in scented, anemone-centred, frilly blooms in a range of pastel of colours from June to August. They are ideal for planting in the middle of beds and borders and in containers. Although perennial, they are best grown as annuals. Grows to a height of 70cm (28in), and a spread of 40cm (16in)

Harlequin Penstemon

Penstemons are great. They flower their socks off all summer for weeks and weeks on end. They aren’t too fussy and are pretty good at resisting drought too. If you want a brilliant border plant that just flowers on and on and on, look no further than penstemons. They are great plants for pollinators because they produce rich sugary nectar and they replenish the nectar supply regularly. Long tongued pollinators can reach inside the flowers.

Perennial penstemons are more commonly known as beardtongues and are renowned for their flower power, producing a profusion of trumpet-shaped blooms for months on end, often starting in late spring, going on throughout summer and only finishing when the first severe frost threatens in autumn. They’re invaluable plants for beds, borders and containers in sunny positions. Penstemon Harlequin Pink produces a profusion of upright spikes covered with glossy pink flowers that have a white throat. It’s an essential choice for cottage gardens displays and for attracting bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Grows to a height of 80cm (32in), and a spread of 50cm (20in).

Campanula Collection

Campanulas, commonly called bellflowers, are reliable hardy, herbaceous perennials that look right at home in mixed beds and borders and are very popular, classic choices for cottage gardens or cottage-garden style areas. Look out for two great garden performers that are relatively new to gardeners and loved by professional nurserymen.

Campanula Iridescent Bells flowers over a prolonged period right throughout summer and autumn. Each upright stem bears clusters of up to 30 rich, shining purple flower buds. These open over several months to reveal large, pendulous, soft lilac-silver bells, creating a delightful bicoloured effect. Plants are tolerant to rain and other poor weather conditions, and the flowers are a magnet to bees.

Campanula Viking
Campanula Viking

Campanula Viking has fantastic large, lavender mauve flowers, creating a superb splash of colour from late spring to mid-summer, rising up from compact, low mounds of dark green leaves. The flowers are also attractive to bees. And if you are really really lucky and live in the southern half of the UK you might even see the UK’s smallest bee, the campanula bee sheltering in your flowers.

Iridescent Bells grows to a height of 70cm (28in), and a spread of 45cm (18in); Viking grows to a height of 45cm (18in), and a spread 60cm (24in).

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