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Summer flowers of UK

blue flowers.jpgThere are some annual climbers, such as morning glory, trailing nasturtiums and black-eyed Susans seen blooming in summer. But some flowers are perennials on their exotic home turf that act as annuals in the UK climate - which are every bit as colourful and versatile.

They are sown in early spring, or bought now as young plants from specialist nurseries or larger garden centres. They can be planted to clothe walls, climb through shrubs and trees whose moment of glory has passed, or scramble up wigwams or obelisks to bring height, as well as colour, to the border. If they are given the right support, many will also grow well in containers, especially large ones in which the compost is not prone to drying out.

Annual climbers are also great for cladding bare pergola poles while there are long-term climbers such as clematis, jasmine or grapevines to establish, or for covering the bare stems of climbing roses.

Cobaea.scandens.jpgThe plants to be planted are Cobaea scandens, the 'cup and saucer plant', whose flared purple bells open from milky green buds to sit in the 'saucers' formed by their open green calyxes, and Rhodochiton atrosanguineus, the gorgeous purple bell vine. This vine, with long, deep purple dangling bells emerging from magenta outer petals, looks spectacular teamed with blue or purple morning glory.

The snapdragon vine, jasmine flowers another climber in the yellow colour range, which looks splendidly exotic, is Ipomoea lobata, with its spikes of small flowers that change colour from scarlet through orange to yellow and cream as they mature. Each spike has up to 12 flowers in the full spread of the different shades.

Tropaeolum speciosum, the scarlet flame creeper, this is best set off by a dark green backdrop.

Another fiery favourite is the Chilean glory vine (Eccremocarpus scaber ), with its ferny foliage and flowers in a range of exotic reds, tawny oranges and peach.

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