Spider Flower

Credit: Barbra Fairclough

Use it in a large container with a mix of annuals and perennials for a casual combination. Plant it near the pond with Ricinus communis (castor bean plant) and canna lilies for a more exotic look. Use in bold mass plantings, where its spidery flowers will create a breezy sea of colour.

Ornamental grasses are a natural with this one – try Pennesetum alopecuroides ‘Moudry’.

Cleome hassleriana tolerates hot and dry conditions, although it tends to be leggier in moisture-deprived areas. Put in bedding plants now or start seeds indoors next March and plant when the weather heats up in early summer.

Also called Cleome pungens and C. spinoca, it blooms from July until frost.