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
News
people

Arts and Entertainment
JJ Abrams' seventh Star Wars, The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of Episode VII has gone online after weeks of anticipation
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special
art

Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax

PROMOTED VIDEO
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: IT Cloud Support Engineer

£25000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a team player who likes...

Recruitment Genius: Skilled Machinist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of additional skilled machini...

Recruitment Genius: Toolmaker

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of additional skilled toolmak...

Langley James : Head of IT; e-commerce; Blackburn; up to £55k

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Langley James : Head of IT; e-commerce; Blackburn; ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game