Not quite green fingered as you would like to be? Creating a fantastic garden is as much about experience and experimenting with plants, as it is about skill and in-depth plant knowledge. I’ve teamed up with Rattan Direct to bring you this list of 10 easy to grow and easy-to-care-for plants, so you can have a blooming garden this spring and summer.
A flower commonly planted and cared for by children, sunflowers are perfect for adult gardeners too. With seeds that are easy to handle, pop a seed in some compost in an empty yogurt pot and keep moist. Keep it on a windowsill until the seedling is strong and healthy. Plant it out in the garden or in a pot when the danger of night time frost has passed (usually round about now at the end of May). They’re fun to watch grow, especially when they take over your kids in height! There are a wide variety of sunflowers, all with resplendent yellow heads full of seeds that can be used next year too.2. Zinnia
With its daisy-like head, these are also easy to grow and care for summer plants. Available in reds, oranges, yellows and pinks, there are many different varieties. Growing from seed is simple too; follow the packet instructions and make sure that the ground you plant the seedlings in is moist and full of nutrients. This ensures a really blousey-bloom head so be sure to space them out well.
What’s not to love about the cheery bloom of the marigold? You can grow from seed or buy in trays from your local nursery. They’re usually at the lower-end of the scale in terms of price if you’re buying them ready-grown so are a budget-friendly option. Some marigolds have a delightful heady scent, so plant them at the front of border for a lovely waft of scent or, better still, plant them in clusters in pots and position around the patio.4. Pansies
Another flower that you really can’t go wrong with. Buy in big numbers ready-sown and blooming in trays, or grow your own at half the cost. Plant at the front of borders or use in hanging baskets and pots. Dead head the flowers throughout the summer – if you remove the faded blooms the plant can put its energy into creating more flowers and not seeds – and you will have a flowers galore through spring and summer. Keep moist but not overly wet or their delicate and shallow root stems will rot. Feed from time to time too.
Also known as Busy Lizzies, these plants are simply stunning with a delightful bush shape that make them perfect for containers and pots. Either buy seedlings and young plants or sow seeds direct into rich compost in containers and pots. Keep in the greenhouse or in a sheltered spot until the weather really warms up. They thrive in sun and partial shade, and like regular watering and a weekly feed with a good quality liquid feed product.6. Begonias
Their shiny deep green leaves and overlapping petals make begonias such a pretty plant. Available in a range of colours, gardeners often use begonias in containers and pots, as well as a zing of colour in hanging baskets. They like to be kept moist, especially when in pots and hanging baskets and, like the other flowers on my list, will give an even better eye-catching display of colours when fed regularly.
You probably remember these from your childhood. With a delightful flower, snapdragons come in a range of colours and sub-species too. The reason why they are popular starter plants for children and newbie gardeners is because they really can withstand all kinds of harsh conditions and weather – and still stand strong, bold and colourful. Plus, it’s fun to pinch the flower to make it ‘snap’! 8. Daffodils
Daffodil season has just finished, but this flower is a sign that spring is on its way so you might want to plant some bulbs ready for next season. For a newbie gardener, investing in bags of daffodil bulbs will give spring colour year after year. Most daffodil bulbs also multiply the number of flowers they grow year after year too, so one bulb this year will yield one flower, two the following year, until you have delightful clumps of yellow daffs all over the garden. Plant in clusters in the border, or let they pop up around the lawn for a natural effect. Cut dead heads as soon as the flower is done. Growing flowers from bulbs is easy and there are many colours and varieties available.
Similar to a large daisy head with the colour of sunflower varieties, Gaillardia is also known as the blanket flower. Super-easy to grow, they make great plants for borders and pots, with an abundance of colour with little effort on your part.
There are many species of geraniums, some with a lovely floral scent. With the cluster of mini-flowerheads, they are available in a range of colours. Admire their beauty in the borders of your garden or enjoy their scent in pots and hanging baskets whilst reclining on your rattan garden furniture.
Rattan Direct has a range of high quality garden furniture and accessories that make for easy and comfortable admiration of your gardening efforts. I’m delighted to collaborate with them on this handy gardening blog post.