Gladioli, arums and dahlias are old favourites that continue to re-invent themselves. Dahlias range in height from 40cm to 2 metres, which makes them a very useful addition to the garden. Cactus, pompon, plate-size – the flower shapes are as varied as the colour range. Consider mass plantings of these in borders, or a focus planting of one showy specimen in a fabulous container. Experiment with single and combined colour mixes.
Many bedding plants – salvias in more vibrant colours than you can imagine, petunias, impatiens, marigolds, gaillardias – are great in containers too. Allow dainty gypsophila to trail from a hanging baskets; fragrant dianthus are versatile and carnations make classic cut flowers.
Sow sun- and heat-loving vegetable, herb and flower seeds – there are plenty to choose from on the seed racks. Look out for the easy sow-and-plant seed starter pots available on the market these days.
Explore the world of climbing plants – perhaps fragrant potato vine as a start. Many of these work just as well trailing over the edges of a large container.