Flowering seasons will overlap, especially when the weather is variable. Research the plants you like to check that your garden can provide their growing requirements; for example, whether the plants need a sunny spot or shade, sandy or moist soil, and so on.
If you love pink flowers you’ll be spoilt for choice in every season, from palest pinks to sugar pinks.
Pink flowers for a spring garden
Spring flowering shrubs come in a whole palette of pinks, from the deep pink rose-like of showy camellias with their shiny evergreen leaves to the magnificent pompoms of double-flowering cherries to the large waxy candle- or cup-shaped magnolias.
- Camellia japonica ‘Wilamina’ has double flowers
- C. japonica ‘Australis’ has open, peony-like flowers
- C. japonica ‘Nuccio’s Jewel’ is more of a salmon pink
- ‘Leonard Messel’ has semi-double blooms
- ‘Susan’ – one of the deepest pinks
- ‘Ann’ – pale pink
- ‘Star Wars’ – rosy pink and fragrant
Pink cherry blossom trees (Prunus)
Japan celebrates cherry blossom season every year and so it’s no surprise that some of the best blossom varieties are Japanese.
- ‘Kiku-shidare-zakura’ has double deep pink flowers
- ‘Okamé’ has small single flowers but lots of them
- ‘Shirofugen’ has double flowers that turn pink as they age
An unusual small tree for spring
Cercis siliquastrum, the Judas tree, has bright pink pea-type flowers that sprout straight from the trunk, usually before the heart-shaped leaves appear.
Pink spring bulbs
Tulips come in all shades, from ‘Fancy Frills’ a deep rose-pink with frilled petals, to pale pink ‘Angelique’, streaked with green, to ‘China Pink’.
There is even a pink daffodil, ‘Pink Pride’. Allium unifolium is an early-flowering allium with characteristic domed heads with up to 20 small flowers.
For pink hyacinths, look out for ‘Queen of the Pinks’ and ‘Lady Derby’. Less well-known are the dog’s-tooth violets, Erythronium species, which have vaguely cyclamen-like petals that point backwards.
Pink flowers for your summer garden
Summer flowering shrubs
There’s another explosion of pink blossom in summer, from the simple open flowers of the tree mallow, Lavatera maritime, to the clusters of bells of Kolkwitzia amabilis, to the neat little flowers of Escallonia species that make pretty evergreen hedges.
There are bushy narrow-leaved Hebes, big (‘Carnea’) and small (‘Pink Pixie’), the sun-loving Mediterranean rock rose – Cistus x argenteus ‘Silver Pink’ has soft grey foliage to offset its papery pink flowers – and old favourite Deutzia with clusters of star-shaped blooms – try Deutzia x hybrid ‘Mont Rose’.
Pink flowers for a summer border
It seems everything comes in pink, from hollyhocks to scented stocks, perennial poppies to hardy geraniums. Alcea rosea is the single-flowered hollyhock while ‘Chater’s Double Rose Pink’ has ruffled flowers like pompoms.
Annual poppy ‘Pink Fizz’ is easy to grow from seed and has two-tone frilly pink petals. Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’ is an RHS-award-winner for its magenta flowers with a distinctive black eye and attractive lobed foliage.
You will also find pink lilies, pink penstemons with their foxglove-like flowers, pink alliums with great globe-shaped flower heads and prolifically flowering daisy-like osteospermums.
Summer flowering climbers
Jasmine beesianum has deep pink flowers rather than the usual white and there are many shades of pink clematis: ‘Markham’s Pink’ has nodding bell-shaped flowers in early summer; ‘Nelly Moser’ has big striped flowers; ‘Comtesse de Bouchaud’ has fainter stripes.
Sweet peas come into this category too – train your favourite pink ones up a wigwam or trellis for scent and colour all summer long if you keep picking them.
There is a vast range of pink roses to choose from, from the big, blowsy, blush-pink flowers of ‘Anna Pavlova’ to clear pink ‘Queen Elizabeth’ with long pointed buds.
Pink flowers for your autumn garden
Autumn in the flower borders sees Japanese anemones flourishing: Anemone x hybrid ‘September Charm’ has pale pink petals, ‘Bowles Pink’ are two-tone and ‘Prinz Heinrich’ has the deepest pink flowers. Nerine bowdenii deserves to be more widely grown with its sugar-pink small lily-like flowers blooming in autumn before it puts out leaves. The autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale) is also in flower now; again the flowers precede the leaves. Look out too for miniature pink hardy cyclamen.
Pink flowers for your winter garden
In the depths of winter Viburnum x bodnantense produces little tufts of sweet-smelling pink flowers on bare stems. Equally sweet smelling is Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postii’ an evergreen that flowers in late winter. At ground level the pink varieties of Helleborus x hybridus are often in flower – named varieties include ‘Cherry Davis’ and ‘Gladys Burrow’, both of which have speckled petals.