July border in pink and magenta colour scheme

Star plants in July: Eupatorium atropurpureum (back), Echinacea purpurea (left), Veronicastrum virginicum (centre), Phlox paniculata (right)
Image: Canva

After June’s spurt of fresh foliage and flowers, the heat of July can begin to draw some of the vigour out of displays. Here are 5 reliable perennials which will continue to reward throughout this month.

Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’

close up of Alstroemeria 'Indian Summer' flowers, trumpet shaped, burnt orange outer petals and yellow inside

Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’
Image: Thompson & Morgan

June is largely dominated by soft pastel colours but come July the garden palette begins to warm up. Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’ delivers a tropical punch with its fruity, burnt orange and yellow blooms set against bronze foliage. This is one of those ‘firework’ plants which has real impact in borders and containers. It certainly earns its place as it keeps blooming through to October and the flowers last for ages in a vase.

  • Height & Spread: 75cm (30″) x 60cm (24″).
  • Growing conditions: fertile soil in a warm, sunny spot
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Flowering season: Early summer until the first frosts

Echinacea ‘Rubinstern’

Close up of Echinacea 'Rubinstern' with pink ray florets and prominent, orangey-brown central cone

Echinacea ‘Rubinstern’ Image: Canva

Coneflowers are plants with real presence. They stand sturdily upright on unbranching stems which don’t require staking. The flowers have a pleasingly definite shape, each one crowned with a fat, spiny cone. Their strong silhouette combines well with ornamental grasses. ‘Rubinstern’ is one of the best selections, with a rich pink colour.

  • Height & Spread: 90cm (36″) x 50cm (20″).
  • Growing conditions: A sunny border in any freely draining soil which does not get waterlogged in the winter
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Flowering season: July to August

Diascia ‘Hopleys’

Close up of pink flowers with red eye of Diascia 'Hopleys'

Diascia ‘Hopleys’
Image: Canva

This long flowering perennial is much underused for such a rewarding plant. All summer long, Diascia ‘Hopleys’ produces tall clouds of small, dusky pink flowers which work beautifully in the middle of a sunny, well-drained border or as a free-flowering container feature.

  • Height & Spread: 90cm (36”) x 50cm (20”).
  • Growing conditions: Full sun and well draining soil
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Flowering season: May to October

Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’

Group of 'Totally Tangerine' flowers - single apricot blooms with ruffled centres

Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’
Image: Thompson & Morgan

This is a dahlia with real class and one of my favourites. The apricot to pink blooms of ‘Totally Tangerine’ have a distinctive luminosity in the evening sun and unlike some of the more garish dahlias, it’s a colour which works harmoniously in borders alongside other herbaceous perennials. It’s also sturdy and well branching and so makes a great specimen for a large container– try it with a contrasting violet salvia such as ‘Amistad’ surrounded by some airy Panicum elegans ‘Sprinkles’.

  • Height & Spread: : 80cm (24″ to 32″) x 45cm (18″)
  • Growing conditions: Full sun and freely draining soil
  • Hardiness: Tender
  • Flowering season: July to November

Phlox ‘Bright Eyes’

Close up of lilac-pink Phlox flowers with bright pink eyes

Phlox ‘Bright Eyes’
Image: Shutterstock

Phlox paint bold blocks of colour in a border like no other perennial, their domed panicles forming soft duvets of pinks and violets, providing a dreamy backdrop to other more structural perennials. Their other asset is fragrance – billowing clouds of sweet perfume which float across the summer garden. ‘Bright Eyes’ forms gorgeous drifts of pink in the middle and back of borders, each flower picked out with a darker pink eye.

  • Height & Spread:  80cm (31″) x 60cm (24″).
  • Growing conditions: Moist, fertile soil, in full sun or partial shade – the flowers lasting longer if given some shade. Good for clay soils.
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Flowering season: July-August

For more plants which are looking fabulous this month, see Looking Good on The Nursery.

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