Regardless of the weather certain plants will perform as though the sun is always shining, they are to be valued for their hardiness as much as their prettiness.
Anthemis is one such plant. It is also one of the most cheerful. Its white daisy like flowers and grey bluish foliage has been spilling over our stone walls in big bright clumps for weeks now. They will continue flowering until Autumn once they are regularly deadheaded. They are fully hardy which is a bonus and are very easy to propogate too.
Simply pull the woody shoots away from the base, usually straight after flowering, and cut each stem down to 6in. These can be potted up individually in an equal mix of compost and horticultural sand. The shoots root very quickly, some will already have roots when you pull them away from the parent. I have often stuck a sharp shovel through a clump and replanted the amputated bit successfully.
Cosmos is another gorgeous happy colourful summer flower. It may be started indoors from seed or directly sown after danger of frost has passed. For shorter plants and more blooms pinch the plant. This also helps prevent the need for staking Cosmos as they get taller. These flowers are another of the non-fussy low maintenance variety. Their lime green feathery foliage is lovely too.
Cistus or Rock Rose produces white to dark pink flowers in late spring. They are often short lived and can get quite leggy but whilst alive and kicking give great displays of beautiful saucer shaped blooms either in a shrub border, on a sunny bank at the base of a wall or in a container. They can be grown in poor to fertile well-drained soil. They prefer shelter and in full sun.
Work for the week…..
-Make a beautiful and tasty edible window box by planting marjoram, thyme, chives and mint with summer bedding plants mixed in.
-Encourage a plant such as phlox to become bushier by cutting or snipping out the growing tip.
-Cut the bottom off a clear plastic bottle to make your own mini-cloche for young vegetable plants.