July is one of the most exciting times to be in the garden. Our plants are in full bloom, reaching tall heights, covered in butterflies, bees and hoverflies; it can be easy to be swept away and spend hours watching interactions between nature and your garden take place.
Though we might think otherwise - the gardening season is far from over. If you still have some space left, there are still a whole potential of live flowers you can plant for a fresh splash of colour and revitalise your garden. If you’re looking for recommendations to spice up your garden beds and borders this July, keep reading!
If you want even more colour in your garden whether it be a splash or red or a burst of yellow, browse our seasonal collection, containing plants for the best summer blooms.
What to do in the garden in July
1. African Lily (Agapanthus spp.)
Agapanthus is a popular summer-blooming plant, often chosen by gardeners for spectacular displays. Showcasing umbels of deep sapphire blue to pale hues of pink, purple and white, the African Lily is a flower that adds elegance and grace to all garden borders. Elevating any garden display, Agapanthus Lilies look stunning as a part of a bouquet or displayed in a dried flower arrangement.
Tips for growing African Lily (Agapanthus spp.):
- Grow in full sun.
- Provide well-draining soil.
- You can also grow Agapanthus in borders or containers.
2. Yarrow (Achillea spp)
With fern-like foliage and a huge palette of colours to choose from, you can really create a rainbow using plants like Yarrow. Each flower head comprises hundreds of dainty, daisy-like flowers, each providing bountiful nectar for pollinating bees and hoverflies. The flowers of Achillea offer long-lasting colour throughout summer into early autumn, making the Yarrow the perfect addition to your garden. Like Agapanthus, Achillea flowers look beautiful if dried out for indoor displays.
Growing tips for Yarrow:
- Grow Yarrow in full sun with well-draining soil.
- Taller cultivars may require extra support. Alternatively, trimming back the foliage will encourage plants to grow outwards.
- Deadheading Achillea will encourage abundant blooms lasting late until the autumn.
3. Sage (Salvia spp)
Chosen for its attractive flowers and enticing scent, Salvia is a popular choice amongst all gardeners. With an to choose from, Salvia blooms are a must-have for any garden display looking to add a bit more body and movement. Our favourite varieties for beautiful summer scent and colour are Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips', Salvia 'Cerro Potosi' and Salvia 'Nactvlinder'.
Salvia growing tips:
- Grow Slavia in full sun or partial shade - south-facing is ideal.
- Keep soil well-drained and don’t allow it to become too soggy.
- Sage is the perfect plant for coastal gardens prone to drought.
Learn more about caring and pruning Salvia here:
Or learn how to take cuttings of Salvia Hot Lips below:
4. Iris spp.
Iris are a selection of plants grown from rhizomes or bulbs, producing spectacular flowers during the summer. Distinctive and unmistakable, these six-petaled beauties come in various colours and sizes to suit almost any garden. Typical Iris flowers are violet-purple and with intricate yellow flecks, but you can also find striking red, orange, cream, and red flowers with more intricate petal arrangements. Iris plants are incredibly diverse; though they are typically tall-growing, some cultivars can grow up to only a few inches tall. If you’re looking to add striking colour to your garden for years to come, Iris is a perfect choice.
Growing tips for Iris:
- Don’t plant them too deeply - this can stop Iris plants from blooming.
- Water newly planted Irises well and ensure the soil is kept wet.
- Divide irises in mid to late summer when flowers begin to look tired, and you can see the rhizome poke above the soil.
5. Hydrangea spp
A garden staple, Hydrangea plants look grand in any outside space. A resilient and versatile plant, Hydrangeas can be planted in pots, beds or borders. Some varieties are compact in growth, whereas others can climb, which means these are an excellent choice for [balconies and patios]. You can even grow Hydrangea plants indoors if you have a cool space that receives plenty of light, though it is advised to move them outside when temperatures begin to warm up in spring.
Tips for keeping Hydrangea beautiful from summer to autumn:
- Keep soil moist, especially during periods of hot weather when Hydrangea is prone to wilting.
- If you have Blue Hydrangea, water them with rainwater to keep the colour vivid.
- Hydrangeas prefer light, dappled sun as opposed to full afternoon heat. Avoid wilting by planting in an area of the garden that receives both shade and sun.
6. African bird of paradise plant (Strelitzia spp)
The African bird of paradise plant (Strelitzia spp) is a close cousin to the Banana plant. The plant is generally most recognised for its delightfully unique bird-like flowers. Still, their large, paddle-shaped leaves also bring height and texture to any summer garden display.
Growing tips for the Bird of Paradise plant:
- They require lots of light and nutrient-rich soil that is well-draining. These conditions will help grow the best summer blooms.
- If you’re keeping your plant indoors, make sure it’s kept in an area with high light levels, especially in the summer!