Summer Flowering Plants

We like our gardens to be in full swing in the summer, full of colour and scent. One way to introduce colour is by adding bedding plants, sold every year by the garden centres, as annual plants and thrown away at the end of the season. Bedding plants are very showy but to create colour year after year, without the time and expense of annual plants, perennial plants provide a more permanent solution and display of summer flowering plants.

Perennial plants flower every year and are among our most showy of the summer flowering plants. Many are easy to grow and maintain. Listed here are a range of summer flowering plants, with links to the individual pages where you will find growing tips. On each page with the growing information, there is also colour coding represented by wheelbarrows: green wheelbarrow means easy to grow, amber wheelbarrow means medium difficulty with some maintenance required, and red wheelbarrow represents more of a gardening challenge.

Choosing plants is totally individual. What I love, you may hate. One of the pleasures of gardening is to create a garden to your liking, just like decorating your house. This page illustrates different types of summer flowering plants, so you can pick and mix what you like. Herbaceous and Perennial plants are rewarding, showy, often scented, the fireworks in the border. Plants listed as "Herbaceous" plants die right back in winter to nothing at all, bare earth, which may not suit all gardeners and gardens. Some plants are very high maintenance, such as Delphinium, greedy feeders, and slug magnets which need staking, but the rewards are magnificent tall spires of purples, blues, pinks a garden favourite plant and easily raised from seed.

For detailed advice on planting and growing summer flowering plants follow the links. 

Summer planting combinationsplants for shadescented plants and plants for bees and butterflies all have ideas for summer plants.

Best Summer Flowering plants


Delphinium and Digitalis, foxglove, a lovely summer combination. Delphiniums are perennials and are easy to grow from seed. Foxgloves are biennial, which means it seeds, grows, and flowers in a two-year cycle; a good self seeder around the garden.

Lilium, illustrated is L. regale and many lilies are showy and scented. Lily is a bulb which comes back each year if the growing conditions suit. Lilies are suitable for growing in a container and ideal for patios. 


Crocosmia is a late summer flowering bulb( corm) usually bright red, orange and yellow. Most varieties are hardy and all are easy to grow. If you are looking for a tall back of the border, plant C. Lucifer, illustrated, is ideal.


Thalictrum produces clouds of fluffy flowers which float on the breeze. Thalictrum combines well with Delphiniums and will tolerate some shade and damp. A tall, easy to grow herbaceous perennial.


No border is complete without some Sedums loved by bees and butterflies. Sedums flower in late summer, and are frequently covered in pollinators. 

Bees and Butterflies just love Sedums. Don't take my word for it, take a look at the video and check out the evidence!


Although they do flower in the summer, the flowers are often insignificant. Hosta is grown for their attractive foliage in so many shades of green, grey blue and variegated leaves. A Herbaceous perennial Hosta returns reliably every year but also slug and snail magnet.


Monarda is also known as Bee Balm and Bergamot; a lovely aromatic herbaceous perennial. This means in winter, it dies back to nothing and regrows fresh each spring to come back each year. A medium-sized plant, it is easy to grow and the bees just love it.


Agapanthus is a great example of "right plant in the right place." Agapanthus can be very tricky to grow in exposed colder gardens, and will need some protection. However it grows everywhere in Cornwall and Scilly isle where conditions are more suitable. It will flower further north in a sheltered spot. 

Hemerocallis is known as the Day lily and it is a flowering bulb which has beautiful flowers, often with striped and intricate patterns on the flowers and glossy leaves. It will return each year and is easy to grow.


Illustrated is a lovely combination of Geranium the garden stalwart, and the bright lime green ofAlchemilla mollis. Geraniums are great garden plants, easy to grow. They flower reliably and for a long period.

A plus point is that bees love blue.


Lavender is a popular garden plant and rightly so. It grows easily in dry, well-drained conditions with sun. It makes a nice feature grown alongside a path to release fragrance walking by. There are a good number of Lavender varieties to choose from.


Dahlia is very showy with lovely, large attractive flowers. Dahlia is easy to grow in more sheltered parts of the country. Dahlia is a bulb, and in less sheltered areas, the bulbs need to be lifted and stored over winter.

Updated 08.01.2024