Next in my ‘Make a change to your plant choices’ theme are some hard-working plants for beds, baskets and borders.

Make a change to your plant choices - 3

Laurentia ‘Indigo Stars’

If your bedding and basket plants don’t usually last beyond August, then try this…

Laurentia ‘Indigo Stars’

This sparkly little plant originates from the Australian scrubland, so this gives you an idea of how hardy, robust and drought tolerant these plants can be. They’ve had to grow up the hard way!

Seldom available in garden centres, laurentia (also known as isotoma) is one of summer’s best kept secrets. The plants are like mini footballs of star-packed colour; thousands of blooms (count them!) from June to October, and… I’ve saved the best until last… they’re fragrant too!!

Give them a go, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

Make a change to your plant choices - 3

Peruvian Lily ‘Indian Summer’

If you’re looking for 5 months of flowers, then look no further:

Peruvian lilies are spectacular border plants, with flowers like orchids. They’ll last for 5-6 months, throwing up in excess of 50 stems!

Alstroemeria are also hardy down to -10C, tough and resilient and untroubled by pests and diseases. Try them in borders, or maybe in giant patio pots – their beach ball habit will just keep throwing up flower stems. Remember to pull them rather than cut down and you’ll get more!

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