Colourful garden flowers for effortless modern style

Streamline the palette of petals in your garden for easy style this summer.

Colourful flowers in modern garden

by Jules Barton-Breck and Val Bourne |

There’s a big trend this year to limit the tones of border blooms and create a garden palette that’s simple, sleek and stylish. Garden designers have been doing it for years, and for good reason, as it creates a sophisticated, cohesive look for very little effort.

The real joy of this trend is that once you’ve narrowed down the colour range, you suddenly start to notice the sheer beauty of the blooms. Because with the colour spectrum limited to a single hue, the range of tones within it, along with all the different shapes and structures, have a chance to shine.

So what’s your colour style? Is it uplifting red or calming blue, cool and classy white or cheery yellow, fun-loving pink or brooding black? Whichever, you’ll find our edit of the best easy-grow plants to create a show-stopping display that’ll be the envy of your neighbours.

It’s likely that you’ll already have plenty of blooms in your chosen hue in your garden so a little judicious shopping and swapping around of plants is all you need to make a difference. Gift the plants that don’t fit into your new palette to your friends and they’ll be happy too!

For the final touch, consider the colours of everything else in your garden such as furniture, boundary walls, and fences, and make sure they all work together, giving them a quick lick of paint in a light or dark tone of the same colour, or in black or white.

Shop our pick of the best colourful garden flowers

Wonderful white flowers

A mass of white blooms looks stunning grown among lots of fresh green foliage, especially if you go for flowers that have a touch of cream or pale pink to avoid it all looking a bit too glacial.

Anemone u2018Honorine Jobertu2019

white flower

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With masses of elegant, cup-shaped, white flowers on tall, wiry stems, this charming bloom will brighten up your garden in late summer right through to October. Best grown in partial shade. Height and Spread 1.2m.

Clematis u2018Huldineu2019

white flower

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Light up a shady corner with this pearly white climber, its star-shaped flowers giving off a wonderful perfume. It blooms from July through to September and creates a blanket of blossom when planted up trellis or along walls. Height 3m Spread 1.5m.

Rose u2018Sanders' Whiteu2019

white flower

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This July bloomer copes with a bit of shade and has super-pretty little flowers with a fresh and fruity fragrance. Grow it over a pergola as it can reach up to 7.5m if itu2019s not pruned! Spread 2.5m.

Malva Moschata Alba

white flower

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Beneficial insects love these elegant, white, bowl-shaped blooms that flower from June to October, giving your plot a fairytale feel. Grow in a sunny position. Height 50cm Spread 60cm.

Viburnum Opulus u2018Roseumu2019

white flower

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Well-deserving of its nickname, the snowball tree, this shrub bursts into bloom from early May and makes a great hedge. Height and Spread 4m.

Ammi Majus

white flower

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Also known as false bishopu2019s weed, this frothy must-have is happy in part sun and part shade with blooms from June to September. Cut stems will last up to 10 days in a vase. Growth height 90cm Spread 30cm.

Hydrangea Arborescens u2018Annabelleu2019

white flower

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For wow-factor, you really must include this easy-grow shrub with its masses of pom-pom blooms. Height 2.4m Spread 1.8m.

Uplifting red flowers

Mix and match dazzling scarlets and more subtle corals to bring an intense yet warming feel to your garden.

Pelargonium u2018Best Redu2019

red flower

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You canu2019t go wrong with the ever-reliable geranium and its seemingly endless blooms. From old-fashioned to oh-so cool, the humble geranium is now a must-have in any modern garden. Plant in a sunny or semi-shaded spot and, if you keep removing fading flowers, youu2019ll be rewarded with blooms from June to October. Height 45cm Spread 35cm.

Petunia u2018Surfinia Redu2019

red flower

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Oh how we love petunias with their large touchy-feely velvety blooms that last all summer long (just deadhead regularly to encourage more flowers). Plant in pots or baskets and admire their vibrant cascades. Height 50cm Spread 30cm.

Salvia Splendens u2018Blaze of Fireu2019

red flower

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Weu2019re big fans of this salvia which is happy growing in beds, windowboxes and pots and has plumes of scarlet flowers that look like mini fireworks. Pop these fab blooms in full sun for best results. Height and Spread 30cm.

Potentilla u2018Gibsonu2019s Scarletu2019

red flower

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This super low-maintenance shrub wonu2019t disappoint with a display of deep red flowers with gold centres on long, wafty, arching stems. Itu2019s best planted at the back of a bed and is very easy to grow, just give it a trim once a year. Height 45cm Spread 60cm.

Penstemon u2018Red Riding Hoodu2019

red flower

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Add height and drama with this stunner that grows up to 80cm and looks amazing planted in a row of pots up against a wall. With striking red-orange, bell-shaped flowers on tall stems, it likes a sunny or partially shaded spot. Height 80cm Spread 45cm.

Feel-good yellow flowers

Who doesn’t love a frothy display of sunny flowers that are guaranteed to make you smile? A yellow palette isn’t as scary as you might think as there are lots of creamy, pale-yellow blooms that you can use to balance out the bright show-offs.

Cephalaria Gigantea

Cephalaria Gigantea

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This gigantic but easy-going, airy plant has the palest yellowy-green flowers and is great for cutting from June to August. Plant in sun or part shade. Height 2.4m Spread 60cm.

Helianthus u2018Lemon Queenu2019

yellow flower

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This sunflower is a perennial so grow it in full sun and itu2019ll be back next year with lots more large (15cm) lemon-yellow daisy flowers from July to September. Height 2m Spread 45cm.

Achillea u2018Moonshineu2019

yellow flower

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Liven up a sunny border or gravel garden with large, flattened clusters of canary-yellow flowers. Long-blooming from June to September, itu2019s a perfect partner for ornamental grasses. Height and Spread 60cm.

Echinacea u2018Sombrero Lemon Yellowu2019

yellow flower

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This cheery bloom is perfect for adding vibrant colour to patio pots and beds in bright sunshine, June to August, and bees and butterflies canu2019t resist it. Height 50cm Spread 45cm.

Heliopsis u2018Summer Sunu2019

yellow flower

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Instead of a standard sunflower, go for this stylish beauty with lots of bright yellow blooms July to September. Pop it at the back of a sunny flowerbed because itu2019s lofty! Height 1.2m. Spread 60cm.

Rudbeckia Fulgida

yellow flower

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Give this stunner full sun and itu2019ll show off with blooms August to October before dying back to reappear in spring. Height 60cm Spread 45cm.

Osteospermum u2018Voltage Yellowu2019

yellow flower

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Wow! This crazy daisy is happy being a bit neglected water-wise and will produce bright yellow flowers from now till September. Height 20cm Spread 40cm.

Brooding black flowers and plants

This is the most dramatic of colour schemes, especially if you plant or position pots against a light-hued backdrop to make the blooms and foliage pop.

Petunia u2018Back to Blacku2019

black flower

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Black flowers arenu2019t really black, theyu2019re very dark shades of other hues, but these velvety blooms are as black as you can get! Plant in full sun and snip fading flowers regularly for blooms from June to October. Height and Spread 30cm.

Calibrachoa u2018Can-Can Black Cherryu2019

black flower

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This super-dark, almost-black bloom looks fab in a hanging basket. Height 25cm Spread 35cm.

Aquilegia u2018Black Barlowu2019

black flower

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Best planted in direct sun, the intensely coloured blooms sit atop tall, upright spindly stems. Height 50cm Spread 40cm.

Mondo Grass u2018Kokuryu'

black plant

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This stunner has purple-green leaves that turn jet-black when grown in full sun. Grow it along the edge of a flowerbed or as a focal point grouped in large pots. Height 20cm Spread 30cm.

Heuchera 'Black Pearl'

black plant

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HEUCHERA u2018BLACK PEARLu2019 One of the darkest-leaved plants around, this sun-loving evergreen has ruffled foliage topped by frothy pinky-white flower spires in summer. It keeps its deep dark leaves all year round. Height and Spread 45cm.

Phormium u2018Plattu2019s Blacku2019

black plant

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Also known as New Zealand flax, this will add a touch of the exotic with its long, arching, sword-like leaves. Grow in containers in full sun. Height 90cm Spread 60cm.

Fun-loving pink flowers

The trick to getting this glorious riot of a colour scheme right is to keep it simple and super-minimal with the same tones of pink.

Geranium u2018Patriciau2019

pink flower

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These large, gloriously bright pink blooms stay in flower through to autumn. Height 75cm Spread 90cm.

Rose Campion

pink flower

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Enjoy striking, magenta blooms from July to August and feathery, silvery foliage too. Position in full sun. Height 90cm Spread 45cm.

Fuchsia u2018Pink Galoreu2019

pink flower

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These enchanting, bell-shaped blooms are reminiscent of little ballerinas in tutus with dusky pink petals gracefully floating atop luscious green leaves. Grow in sun or part shade. Height 20cm Spread 50cm.

Veronicastrum Virginicum u2018Ericau2019

pink flower

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These tall, two-tone spires grow well in almost any type of soil and bloom, bending in the breeze, from June-Sept. Height 1.5m Spread 60cm.

Japanese Anemone u2018Paminau2019

pink flower

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These deep pink, double, cup-shaped flowers are impossible to ignore when they burst into life from June through to November, extending an open invitation to bees and butterflies. It loves sun or semi-shade. Height 80cm Spread 40cm.

Clematis u2018Princess Dianau2019

pink flower

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For a burst of autumn colour, this sun-loving clematis will disguise a bare wall with vivid, tulip-shaped flowers from August to October. Height 2.5m Spread 3.5-4.5m.

Geranium u2018Mavis Simpsonu2019

pink flower

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Great for covering up bare soil, this low-growing gem with sugary-pink blooms is excellent for edging a sunny flowerbed. It quickly forms dense drifts of trailing stems covered in pretty, pink-veined flowers from June to August. Plant in sun or semi-shade. Height 30cm Spread 1m.

Awesome orange flowers

If you want to create the ultimate wow-factor border then orange is the way to go, with tones ranging from warm coral tints via bold and spicy tones to hues that are almost luminescent.

Peony u2018Coral Charmu2019

orange flower

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In a sunny spot, these too-beautiful blooms change from salmon to a subtle pastel orange, the opulent show of blousy blooms providing a wonderful warming glow from July to August. Height 90cm Spread 75cm.

Helenium u2018Sahinu2019s Early Flowereru2019

orange flower

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This sun-lover provides a dazzling mix of streaky orange and yellow flowers that are real bee pleasers. Plant in a sunny spot and keep the soil moist to enjoy these blooms from June to October. Height 1m Spread 35cm.

Geum u2018Totally Tangerineu2019

orange flower

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Weave these bright and lively apricot flowers on slender stems through a sunny border for blooms from May to November. Height 60cm Spread 45cm.

Euphorbia Griffithii u2018Fireglowu2019

orange flower

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This will thrive in a lightly shaded spot and produce vibrant, orange flowers from June to September. Height 75cm Spread 90cm.

Calendula Officinalis u2018Indian Princeu2019

orange flower

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Enjoy these one-summer-only orange flowers with pretty, red-tinged petals from June to August. Grow in sun or semi-shade. Height and Spread 45cm.

Dahlia u2018David Howardu2019

orange flower

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Glossy, chocolate-coloured leaves contrast with the orange and ochre flowers which last for longer than almost any other dahlia from July to October. Grow in full sun. Height 60cm Spread 75cm.

Nasturtium u2018Alaskau2019

orange flower

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Every part of this can be eaten and the flowers look lovely in salads as well as in patio pots! Grow in full sun. Height and Spread 50cm.

Calming blue flowers

These soothing hues will bring a peaceful but opulent vibe to a modern garden. Plant these azure blooms among silvery foliage for the best effect.

Delphinium u2018Magic Fountain Sky Blueu2019

blue flower

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Make your garden a shimmering haze of relaxing blue with these bloom-filled towers thatu2019ll add an elegant touch to a sunny bed June to August. Height 90cm Spread 60cm.

Geranium u2018Orionu2019

blue flower

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Huge, brilliant blue flowers with violet veins smother the foliage in summer, producing a carpet of weed-supressing foliage. And slugs hate it! Height and Spread 45-60cm.

Lupin u2018The Governoru2019

blue flower

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These summer spires of blue and white flowers are easy to grow and care for. Theyu2019re excellent as cut flowers and loved by bees, too. Height 90cm Spread 60cm.

Felicia u2018Magic Blue Daisyu2019

blue flower

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Cute as a button, blue daisies rise up above spreading foliage from June through to September. Fill patio pots with these adorable blooms. Height and Spread 45cm.

Salvia Uliginosa

blue flower

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Ethereal spires of intense sky-blue flowers will wow from July to November. Height 140cm Spread 60cm.

Agapanthus Headbourne Hybrids

blue flower

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If you want to grow agapanthus in beds rather than pots, these are the best ones to choose. Height 90cm Spread 60cm.

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