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Fill your garden with colour

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Add colour and aroma to your garden with these top-performing flowers.

If there’s one question that crops up for gardeners all over Australia, it’s how to bring more colour into our gardens. The answer is rather simple: flowers. Like the addition of spices to food, flowering plants add aroma, colour and interest to the structure of our gardens. In the edible garden, flowers also bring pollinators for fruit and beneficial insects for pest control. Here are two of Karen Sutherland’s favourites.


Cosmos (Cosmos species) are tall annual plants that do well at the back of a garden bed, but need to be sheltered from strong winds. They like full sun and a well-drained soil. Mulch during hot weather. Flowers come in a range of bright colours including pinks and reds, but there is also a lovely clear white that helps to cool a summer garden. All attract bees and beneficial insects.


Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) is the queen of flowering annuals and can be grown from one end of the country to the other. Nasturtiums come in clumping or trailing varieties, with the latter often spreading triffid-like over everything in their path! Enjoy nasturtiums’ natural tendencies in hanging baskets, or place a trellis in their path and let them make a temporary fence cover. Flower colours vary from the soft lemon of the trailing ‘Milkmaid’ to the deep red of the clumping ‘Empress of India’. The old favourite ‘Alaskan Jewel’ is a mix of hot colours.