Top 10 flowers that will add joyful colors to your garden

1. Fuchsia

This is too well known to need much description. It has the very great merit of thriving in shade and in containers in white, cream, violet, mauve and red. In shade, pale ones such as Roualeyn White Gold (above) gleam in the evening. Much loved by bees.

2. Beardtongue or Penstemon

Probably the best of late summer flowers are perennials grown in good soil in full sun with shelter. Their tubular flowers in pink, white, red and purple attract bees. Seed sowing is easy, but most plants are raised by cuttings taken now and do better if planted before flowering.

3. Hydrangea

These have been transformed by plant breeders, becoming more compact, floriferous and with rich colours and yet they remain easy to grow. Saori (above) is the best of these new hydrangeas, being RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year 2014. Buy now as plants.

4. Zinnia

In youth and old age, Zinnia elegans has many cultivars of up to 1.5m tall in white, red, pink, purple, yellow and orange that can be double, single, semi-double, anemone or cactus-flowered. Sow indoors in spring, plant out in June. Makes good cut flowers and loved by bees.

5. Sunflower or Helianthus annuus

Forever popular, especially with children, they have been greatly improved and their yellow, white, creamy, red and even ochre flowers on plants raised from seeds sown now make great border plants. The ripe seeds also attract goldfinches.

6. Hebe

Free flowering, slightly tender evergreen smallish (50-150cm) shrubs widely sold that have neat attractive foliage all year and abundant mid-late summer flowers in pink, white and purple. They will thrive in any garden soil in the sun. Another good bee plant.

7. Cranesbills or hardy geraniums

Invaluable perennials for sunny or partially shaded spots. They smother weeds, have no vices and are available in white, pink, purple, maroon and blue. Nimbus (above) is typical of the best geraniums being free-flowering over most of the summer. A great plant for insects.

8. Indian shot or Canna

Bring an exotic touch to summer gardens with dramatic striped, lush green or purple foliage and hot red, yellow or orange flowers. These tall (1.8m) tender perennials are best bought now as plants and given fertile soil and all the sun and warmth available.

9. Sneezewort or Helenium

Extraordinarily colourful and long lasting tall summer perennials (1.2m). It is well worth getting these to beef up late summer borders with long-lasting rich orange, red and brown flowers relished by bees. Best bought as plants.

10. Periwinkles or Vinca

These hardy low-spreading evergreens carrying abundant white, blue, indigo and violet, mauve and purple spring flowers have a place in most gardens – putting up with almost any soil and degree of shade. Widely sold now, they are easily propagated by cuttings.