Many of the bulbs and flowers of early summer come in pastel shades that can be easily combined to create a harmonious design. Striking alliums dotted through the border provide a touch of drama.
When to plant: Autumn and early spring.
At their best: Early summer.
Time to complete: 5 hours.
You will need: Horticultural grit, spade, bulb planter or slim trowel.
Prepare the soil
Many bulbs and most of these plants prefer a well-drained soil, and suffer if left to sit in damp conditions over winter. If your soil is heavy, dig in horticultural grit to improve drainage.
Plant the alliums in autumn and mark their positions with labels. In spring, plant the perennial wallflowers and the aquilegias around the alliums in drifts. Plant the tall foxgloves at the back.
Alliums have beautiful seedheads, so leave for as long as they look good. Aquilegias can be cut back after flowering to promote fresh growth. Alliums and aquilegias come up each year, foxgloves self-seed, but the wallflowers may need replacing after a few years.