Gardening: Best of the bunch - Geum.

Geum: Bold colours with sizzling perennials.
Geum: Bold colours with sizzling perennials.

These sizzling perennials provide a splash of colour before other early summer blooms have emerged, offering shades varying from fiery red to orange and zingy yellow.

Growing to around 60cm (2ft), they look good in the front of borders or in containers or as cut flowers. Some types look good in rockeries and others go well in wildflower gardens.

The popular clump-forming types, which grow to 30cm or more, produce flowers from late May until July and make easy border plants. Their bright colours, particularly the oranges, go well with deep purple plants or dark-leaved shrubs, such as smoke bush or purple berberis, and contrast well against lime green euphorbias.

Geums thrive in most soils, as long as it’s not too dry or too waterlogged, in sun or partial shade. Cut back the old stems after the first flowers.