Add a splash of colour to your garden with pink-flowering plants

I was never one of those little girls who wore pink. Certainly not from head to foot, and possibly not ever. Yuck, etc. But when I was 10 I was seized with a violent liking for the sort of deep-fuchsia-pink that you nowadays see mostly on Barbie-trademarked products. It seemed at once both vaguely rebellious and punky, and a little bit footless-tights disco. Well, you know, it was 1979.

I rarely ever actually put clothes on in this eye-catching shade any more (not sure if that's a good or a bad thing) but it's still a staple colour of my garden at this time of year. Especially with the weather we've been having, which has produced lush foliage in a rich photosynthetic green to foil all that girly pink. And my, what a pink it is. In bright sunshine, white flowers fade into insignificance besides their bright fuchsia relatives. Tasteful blues look, well, a bit blue. Reds and oranges look too hot and fiery and heavy – it's still only June, for crying out loud. It's pink that we want, in buckets.

For me, one of the most permanently lovely pink-flowering plants is one of the most common – Valerian or Centranthus ruber (above). You'll see it dotted along the lanes in Cornwall this time of year, growing out of, well, anywhere it can get itself, frankly. In our London street it's growing from the top of a wall in the car park of the old-people's home. It has a stately way of doing it once it gets there, too, fanning out in tall raspberry-coloured stands, and reminding you that there are only another few weeks until the summer-holiday season. (You can buy it at jacksonsnurseries.co.uk, where a one-litre pot is priced £3.80.)

Next, there are the pelargoniums: the wickedest of these is the "Flower Fairy Berry", though "Sassa" and the Christopher-Kane-ish "Trend Neon" come close. However, these are all pretty gaudy; for a more tasteful bloom, try Sarah Raven's choice, "Ashby", bearing delicate (but still bright-pink) flowers on slim stems (one plant for £7.50 at sarahraven.com).

Some of the finest of the pinks, though, are rather more expensive to acquire: in particular the roses, with heavy perfume as well as great colour. But I have to say my favourite pink rose discovery of the summer is actually a rather pale one – the Alnwick rose. An extremely smart garden near me is entirely planted with this one variety, which has had absolutely perfect flowers on show for weeks now. Almost everybody making their way to Kew Gardens has had a sniff – and rightly so (£13.49 each delivered this autumn, davidaustinroses.com).

Get the look

1. Penstemons

For major pink presence all summer long, try a penstemon (inset left). If you feed and water them well, and give them enough sunshine, they'll brighten up the whole of 2011. One of the loveliest is "Threave Pink". £3.50 for a small plant, hardys-plants.co.uk

2. Gauras

Another reliable and continuous bloomer is Gaura, with "Ruby Ruby" wonderful value in flower terms. A small plant will quickly get big with a bit of love. £3.50, hardys-plants.co.uk

3. Oleanders

For a real blast of the South of France, go for an oleander. And not in tasteful white. Burncoose has one with reddish-pink flowers £17, burncoose.co.uk

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Training Officer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Training Officer is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Specialist - Document Management

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A leading provider of document ...

Recruitment Genius: Legal Secretary

£17000 - £17800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to work ...

Recruitment Genius: Ad Ops Manager - Up to £55K + great benefits

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a digital speci...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent