How to choose plants for your summer garden

(BPT) - Whether you’re new to gardening or have a green thumb, summer is the perfect season to start your own garden. Now is the time to start thinking of all the possibilities the warm weather brings!

“The first step to start your summer garden is considering what plants make you happy and what types of things you’ll use or enjoy most throughout the season,” says Emily Murphy, author of Pass the Pistil blog and “Grow What You Love” book and podcast. “In gardening, as in life, I say, grow what you love — find the things that make you happy and grow them.”

The Gilmour Planting Map can also help you determine what to plant based on your zone. If you’re not sure where to start, consider these ideas to inspire your summer garden.

Garden like a chef

From fresh herbs like sage and basil to easy-to-grow kitchen staples like carrots and tomatoes, there’s nothing like growing your own food. With an edible garden, the possibilities are endless to take you from garden to table throughout the season.

“Incorporating seasonal foods and herbs into your summer cooking adds fresh, new flavors,” says Murphy. “Try planting carrots, kale, tomatoes, chard, blueberries, beets or summer squash, as they are star ingredients in many delicious summer dishes.”

Vegetables like lettuces, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, celery and asparagus are all great seasonal options. Some are even companion plants, so planting them near one another can increase plant health, optimize soil, prevent weeds and more. However, these veggies are "thirstier" than others, so make sure you have the proper watering tools for them to grow successfully. The Gilmour Thumb Control Watering Nozzle with Swivel Connect is an essential tool for watering, as it moves with the hose to reduce kinking. It also has eight clearly marked spray settings, so you can adjust for each area of the garden.

Plant for visual beauty

If you’re more interested in looking at your garden than eating it, consider planting your favorite colors. Choose flowers that look gorgeous outdoors and indoors as vibrant and colorful bouquets. Cosmos are a great seasonal choice and range in colors from shades of white, yellow and tangerine to pink and magenta. Another bountiful option is the Clematis, which bloom all summer long in shades of lavender, pink and purple.

If you’re looking for shade or a little privacy for your yard, Hollyhocks are another great option, as they grow up to six feet tall.

Flowers tend to spread quickly, so using a sprinkler to water them makes gardening a lot easier. The Gilmour Rectangular Sprinkler with On/Off Flow Control eliminates trips from sprinkler to spigot, making the watering process easier and faster. It also has independent length and width control tabs, so you can easily customize the spray patterns to fit the needs of your garden.

Attract pollinators

There are many options that will bring beautiful pollinators to your garden as well. Honeysuckles are a magnet for butterflies, hummingbirds and bees because of their sweet scent. Easy to grow, Honeysuckles simply require full sun and generous watering. Milkweed and nectar-rich flowers such as Asters are other great options that attract monarch butterflies.

To attract pollinators all season long, make sure your hose is up for the job. Choose something that is durable and will hold up season after season, like the Flexogen Super Duty Hose. Designed to resist kinks, you’ll be able to weave around your landscape to water all your flowers with ease.

No matter what your gardening goals are this season, if you choose to plant what you love, you can’t go wrong. For more gardening tips and products, visit gilmour.com.

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