Have you got a spot in the garden that needs a good filler plant that
won’t grow too tall but still provides spectacular flowers? Well, believe
it or not, there are many great filler plants that will tick all the boxes.
Bidens is an older class of plants that have been around the gardening scene for many years. But in recent years, these classics are having a much-needed comeback. Many Biden species range from annuals to perennials which are all floriferous plants, making it easy to find the right fit for any garden. Their star-like blooms come in many bold and beautiful colours ranging from yellow to buttercup, red and bicolours. Flowering time is from early Spring, with many varieties repeating flowering in the Summer.
Bidens is often confused with Coreopsis and it is easy to understand why as their flowers are very similar. Bidens flowers are high in pollen and nectar, making them a favourite food source for many native and exotic bees and pollinators. Bidens is the ideal choice for rockery gardens, hanging baskets, or to be used as a filler plant. Thanks to modern-day breeding, new varieties are starting to emerge with compact, upright growth habits.
sprawling habits ideal for use as a groundcover in the garden. These plants grow best in a position that receives all day sun in well-draining soil. Bidens are fairly robust plants that are water-wise, but they will require watering to keep them happy throughout the summer months.
A Spring garden wouldn’t be complete without at least one of these plants growing in it. Commonly called Million Bells, Calibrachoa is found in the same plant family as Petunias and is often mistaken to be the same plant. Calibrachoa has smaller flowers and is a true perennial in the garden, unlike Petunias. These plants come in almost every colour of the rainbow, making it easy to create colour themes throughout the garden. Calibrachoa looks wonderful planted en masse as a living mulch. They can be a great option for hanging baskets or in containers where they can provide colour to patio areas, balconies and smaller spaces. They perform best when grown in all day sun. If grown in too much shade, the overall growth will be poor. Calibrachoa thrives in soil that has good drainage as they dislike being kept too wet during colder periods. Flowering time is from early Spring to late Summer.
First up on the list is the genus of
Coreopsis. If you are searching for
long term flowers with a great selection of intense fiery colours, you can’t beat these plants. Flowers come in an array of shades ranging from reds, yellows, pink-plum,
orange and even bi-colour forms.
Coreopsis is an evergreen perennial that often has a neat, upright growth habit. However, this can vary a little depending on the variety. Some species will be slightly
taller and others much more compact. Native to North America, these perennial plants are no stranger to harsh weather conditions and will tolerate sun, drought and wind. But
this doesn’t mean they don’t want to be looked after. Coreopsis prefers to grow in all day sun. If they get too much shade, the plants won’t flower!
Coreopsis is the ideal plant for a hot
a sunny spot in the garden where not
much else will grow. They can even look beautiful planted under standard plants to add colour towards the base of the garden. on the drier side, but watering will benefit the plant during Summer when temperatures are at their peak.
Overall, Coreopsis is a great plant that requires very little maintenance. They look great in the garden or when growing in containers, but best of all they are a pollinator-attracting plant.
Dianthus is another classic garden perennial that has been widely used in many gardens. Newer varieties have improved flower performance, fragrance, and colour. Pictured top left is Dianthus Rebekah, a fiery red with a strong fragrance to match. Dianthus Rebekah is a frost-hardy plant with a neat, rounded growth habit that will grow to 40cm wide and between 20-30cm tall. Dianthus are evergreen perennials that will tolerate drier conditions with minimal care. Once established, they require minimal watering throughout the year; like most plants in the peak of Summer, occasional watering will keep the plant thriving. These are great plants for rockeries, container gardens and general garden plantings. Many Dianthus species will produce clusters of tall stemmed flowers that can be used in floral arrangements. If you have been looking to create your own cut flower garden, this is a must!
Until next time, happy gardening!
By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs