This bold design brings together rich colors and contrasting flowers and foliage to create an easy-care summer border. Ideal for well-drained soil and a sunny site, these plants rarely need watering once established.
When to Start: Early spring
At Its Best: Summer
Time to Complete: 1 hour
Choose a sunny, open site and, a week before planting, spread a 3-inch layer of organic matter over the soil, and dig it into the top 6 inches.
Starting at the back of the border, plant the crocosmia, then plant oxeye sunflower and sedum in front. Take care not to bury their stems, which may cause them to rot.
Plant a line of lavender at the front, ensuring that the stems are above the soil. Spread a gravel mulch. Water the plants regularly for the first year, until they are established. Apply a granular fertilizer each spring.
For a really low-maintenance border, try these shrubs. They look after themselves once established and tolerate periods of drought. Simply trim them annually to keep them in shape, removing dead, diseased or damaged stems.
'Sunshine' daisy bush (evergreen, prefers sun) (Image 1), 'Aztec Pearl' Mexican orange blossom (evergreen, prefers sun) (Image 2), Wagner mahonia (evergreen, prefers shade) (Image 3), Siebold viburnum (deciduous, prefers sun or partial shade) (Image 4)