This bold mix brings together rich colors and contrasting flowers and foliage to create an easy-care summer border. Ideal for free-draining soil and a sunny site, these plants rarely need watering once established.
When to plant: Early spring.
At their best: Summer.
Time to complete: 1 hour.
You will need: Horticultural grit, well-rotted organic matter – such as manure, spade, all-purpose granular fertilizer.
Selection of plants to use: Montbretia – Crocosmia ‘Bressingham Blaze’, Heliopsis helianthoides – Loraine Sunshine, Lavandula angustifolia – Blue Cushion, Sedum telephium – (Atropurpureum Group) ‘Bressingham Purple’.
Prepare the soil
Choose a sunny, open position and, a week before planting, spread an 3 in (8 cm) layer of organic matter over the soil, and dig it into the top 6 in (15 cm). Clay soils will also require horticultural grit to improve drainage.
Plant the perennials
Starting at the back of the border, plant the Crocosmia, with the Heliopsis and Sedum in front. Take care not to bury their stems, which may cause them to rot.
Plant the lavender
Plant a line of lavender at the front, ensuring that the stems are above the soil. Spread a gravel mulch. Water the plants regularly for the first year, until they are established. Apply a granular fertilizer each spring.