Begonias are one of the most versatile bedding plants for summer. They are very popular for their large, flamboyant flowers in a wide range of colors and their ability to thrive in both sun and shade. Begonias bloom throughout the summer until the first frost. They can be planted upright or hanging and are suitable for beds, borders, hanging baskets and window boxes.
2. Sweet Peas
Peas are fantastic bedding plants for the cottage garden. Let them climb up obelisks, wigwams or netting where they reach a height of 1.8m, or try using dwarf peas as ground covers in the front of beds and borders. With their delightful fragrance and wide range of colors, sweet peas make excellent summer bedding plants and provide bouquets of beautifully scented cut flowers all summer long!
Incredibly valuable for shadier beds and borders, Impatiens summer bedding plants produce large flowers in a range of fruity colors, from pinks to reds through purples and whites. With a long flowering period and the formation of large, spreading plants, Busy Lizzies makes an excellent groundcover in beds and borders or quickly fills patio containers with color until the first frost.
A common bedding plant and for good reason! These hardy, sun-loving plants are well suited to hot, dry conditions and bloom all summer until the first frosts. Pelargoniums, commonly known as geraniums, are versatile bedding plants for summer and include hanging, climbing and upright varieties that are perfect for beds, borders, patio containers, hanging baskets and obelisks. They are available mainly in bright colors such as pinks, whites and reds, but also in soft purples, apricots and bold burgundy shades.
Very popular for their architectural flower spikes and incredibly long flowering time, Antirrhinums have fascinating mouth-like flowers that open when squeezed, making them a particular favorite with children. Available in a wide range of bold and bright colors, snapdragon bedding plants vary in height, from dwarf plants no taller than 25cm (10") to tall plants such as Antirrhinum 'Royal Bride' which reach 90cm (35"). Tall snapdragons make excellent cut flowers and add height to beds and borders; dwarf snapdragons can be used in beds, borders and patio containers. If you're looking for bedding plants that attract bees, antirrhinums are a good source of nectar and are especially popular with bumblebees.
The dainty flowers of lobelia make wonderful, dense waterfalls in hanging baskets and tubs, or plant the upright varieties as borders in beds and borders. They are easy to grow and bloom for a long time. They complement any summer planting and look especially pretty when mixed with bedding plants in hanging baskets. Lobelia usually come in cool shades of blue, purple and white and are ideal if you are looking for blue annual bedding plants.
Certainly the summer bedding plant with the most exciting blooms! Petunias are popular for their large trumpet flowers in a fantastic range of bright colors and patterns, including stripes and picotes. These vigorous, semi-hardy annuals can grow hanging or upright and look spectacular spilling out of hanging baskets, window boxes and containers, or in masses in beds and borders. Petunias are especially useful if you are looking for purple bedding plants. They offer shades of mauve, lilac-blue, or rich, deep purple.
Annual rudbeckias, also known as coneflowers, are hardy and cheerful bedding plants for the garden. They bloom from July to October and bring a fiery element to annual beds with their red, orange and yellow color palette. Compact varieties are great for beds and patio containers; tall varieties do well in beds and borders or planted among perennials and shrubs. Rudbeckias not only look fabulous in the garden, but also make excellent, long-lasting cut flowers for the vase indoors.
9. Californian Poppy
For bright colors, there's nothing better than a Californian Poppy! This hardy annual is sown directly into beds and borders and self-seeds effortlessly, producing effortless layers of color year after year. Traditionally orange in color, recent breeding has produced a wealth of new colors including yellow, pink, red and apricot. The intensely colored, silky flowers are borne above pretty clusters of feathery, blue-green foliage and are attractive to bees and hoverflies. They thrive in lean, dry soil in full sun. Simply scatter the seeds of these vibrant summer bedding plants where you want them to bloom and let them take care of themselves.
If you're looking for bedding plants that attract bees, look no further than Cosmos! The large, saucer-shaped flowers bob prettily on slender, wiry stems and are a great source of late nectar for pollinating insects. The wispy fern-like foliage adds texture to bedding schemes and works well in an informal cottage-style bed or border. These fabulous summer bedding plants are mainly available in shades of pink, red and white, although Cosmos sulphureus provides fiery yellows, oranges and reds. Cosmos bedding plants begin blooming in mid-summer and flower prolifically until mid-autumn. They also make fantastic cut flowers for a vase indoors.