Summer planting ideas

Your garden, like your home, needs to suit you. Magazines and web sites can suggest planting combinations and some will catch your interest, others you may hate. Below are ideas for summer plants and planting combinations so you can pick and mix what you like and fancy in your garden. There are images and links to page with growing information so you can decide if you like the plant and if it is right for your garden. 

Illustrated above first and left are Delphiniums and Thalictrum, and lovely summerly blue combination. Delphiniums are a time consuming plant to grow but spectacular with their large showy flower heads. Thalictrum is very easy, tall and graceful with fluffy flower head one of my absolute garden favourites.

Centre is a less common growing combination of purple Loosestrife and Meadow sweet which are both wild/semi wild flowers which are very attractive to pollinators and another great, easy to grow, garden favourite.

Third image on the right is Dierama, with the lovely common name of Angel's Fishing Rod and Agapanthus. Neither plant is straightforward to grow, but if you have the right conditions they will flourish together. 

There are also ideas for Spring plant combinations,  planting for shadescented plants and the sensory garden.



This is a lovely, bright early summer flowering combination of Geranium with candelabra primula and Red Geum. 

All easy to grow herbaceous perennials which will return reliably each year. Tolerant of some shade, and not too fussy about growing conditions these are easy to grow. In terms of maintenance, both Geranium and Geum will benefit from dead heading to prolong flowering.


Grasses mix really well with many garden plants, illustrated here Deschampsia  with the late summer  flowering Allium sphaerocephalon and  Achillea.  In the images at the top of the page a grass,  in the far right picture is  Dierama pulcherrimum (common name angel's fishing rod,)  with Agapanthus. Grasses do mix well and  for ideas about mixing Ornamental grasses page and images to inspire on Pinterest below.


Honeysuckle and Clematis

This is a summer scented combination of two climbing plants, Lonicera common name Honeysuckle and Clematis fargesioides. A light creamy white combination which is medium easy to grow with the bonus of lovely scent.

Both are quite tall and vigorous climbing plants which will need a large plant support and can be kept in check by pruning.


A great  colour combination which will grow together well, a mix of mauve and red, Geranium 'Anne Folkard', lythrum and Knautia macedonica and all are easy to grow. Hardy Geraniums are easy and long flowering.  Lythrum (common name purple loosestrife) is very attractive to the bees, flowers for weeks  in late  summer and tolerant of most conditions including damp. Knautia macedonica is also fully hardy with a preference for sun.

Cotinus with thalictrum

Thalictrum  is just one of the best, and easiest of garden perennials which look  looks good with the dark purple shrub  Cotinus, this variety illustrated is C. Coggygria Purpurea - The Purple smoke bush. Thalicutrum is a tall plant with clouds of fluffy mauve (or white flowers) and its stems will growth through and up into the Cotinus. An easy to grow, fully hardy combination.  Cotinus needs full summer to flower well.

Delphinium and Thalictrum

Delphinium and Thalictrum are a heavenly summer combination. Illustrated here is T.Alba with a dark blue Delphinium. Above left is Thalictrum delavayi with fluffy mauve flower heads. Thalictrum is the easy going member of the partnership, requiring no attention just plant it and away it goes. Even though Thalictum is tall, it does not need too much staking. Delphiniums are demanding, a red wheelbarrow plant but a great combination if you have the inclination.

Helium, Monarda and Hyssop

Another bright bee magnet of a summer combination of Helium, Monarda and Hyssop which has the added bonus of being very bee friendly. The Monarda and Hyssop are aromatic and loved by bees. This combination is of herbaceous perennials and may require staking and also cutting back at the end of the growing season, During the summer it provides a long season of colour and will positively hum with bees. 

Allium christophii

Subtle mauve and pinks this combination is Allium christophii with Persicaria bistorta 'Superba' and both are fully hardy and easy to grow.Persicaria is a reliable perennial which will return each year. It requires no maintenance and is easy to grow. This Allium is a spring flowering variety which again will reappear each year. It will flower for a long time and the seed heads are attractive. Some staking may be required to protect the flower heads. 

Nepeta and Artemisa

Soft greys and muted blue makes this a winning combination. The small shrub Artemisia combined with Nepeta (common name Catmint). Very easy to grow and requiring no maintenance and together they make great edging plants around a border. Equally if Nepeta is not your choice it could be replaced with Lavender for a very similar effect providing conditions are suitable.