What Can I Plant Now to Fill a Summer Border?

09/07/24 Gardening Advice

In early spring we all rush to the garden centre to fill up on bright and beautiful plants to cheer us up after the cold wet winter. But many of thosee plants will now be fading and the bulbs will have died back. If you have gaps in your borders and are looking for something to fill them with colour for the rest of the summer here are ten fantastic plants you could try.


With loose spherical heads of trumpet-shaped flowers in shades of blue, white, or purple, agapanthus thrive in well-drained, sunny locations and even tolerate coastal conditions. Ideal for borders or containers, they create an architectural display.


These Peruvian Lilies flower over a long period on lush foliage. With a wide variety of colours available from cream to pink to red and yellow, often flecked with contrasting colours, there is something for everyone. Taller varieties make great cut flowers too. They thrive in well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. Don’t deadhead by cutting the tops off, pull the whole stem off at the base to make room for new stems to come through.


These cheerful daisy-shaped flowers in shades of red and yellow, dance above feathery foliage. They thrive in UK gardens attracting pollinators and can be grown in containers or borders. Grow in sunny well-drained positions and deadhead to extend the flowering season.


Producing sword-shaped leaves and arching stems adorned with fiery flowers, crocosmia like the tall variety ‘Lucifer’ (pictured) add vertical accents to borders, thriving even in partial shade.


Glorious showy flowers in a wide range of vivid colours to suit any theme. With their intricate petal arrangements and striking appearance, dahlias add drama and elegance to any garden. Grow in sheltered sunny spots in fertile soil. Deadhead and feed regularly and they will keep performing until the frosts come. The open flower varieties are loved by pollinators.


The hardy varieties of fuchsia start flowering in early summer and continue prolifically. The brightly coloured flowers look like pairs of dancers in two-toned dresses. With no need to deadhead these are brilliant low maintenance shrubs for borders or pots. If you grow them in containers wrap the pots to protect the roots from winter cold.


These American prairie grasses produce airy heads which catch the light beautifully both during the day and in the low light of the long evenings. They go on to provide warm autumn colour. Grow as a standalone feature or in amongst other plants in a border


Fountain grasses add a real tactile element to a garden with their fluffy, feathery plumes. Plant in amongst border perennials to sway gracefully in the breeze and stoke them every time you walk past. Plant in sunny well-drained soil for longevity.


These evergreen perennials are bee magnets with bright elongated bell-shaped flowers on tall spikes all summer. Available in a variety of colours and often with contrasting throats they flower until the frosts. Plant in full sun in moist but well-drained soil. Leave the foliage on through the winter, as it protects the base. Cut back in spring to allow the new growth to come through.


One of the most versatile and easy to grow perennials through the summer, attracting pollinators to the garden. There is a wide variety of colours and styles to choose from. Deadhead as needed to promote continuous flowering until the frosts. Some varieties will need winter protection. Amistad and Pink Amistad (pictured) are becoming firm favourites in British gardens.

All information correct at time of publishing July 2024.

Hazel Still Tates of Sussex Garden Centres
By our resident horticultural expert

Hazel Still