Garden centres are busy with people buying new plants to add colour to their garden.

The most popular group by far are bedding plants. They give instant colour to any border, container or basket. They are relatively short- lived — most die with the first frosts of autumn.

It doesn’t matter what part of your garden you need to brighten up or how difficult it is, there is a bedding plant to suit you.

In wet soils, Mimulus and Laurentia (also known as Isotoma) do very well. If you have a very dry soil with a lot of sun, Mesembryanthemums, Geraniums and Cineraria “Silver Dust” will do just fine. In a shady garden, you could plant Pansy, Viola or Begonia.

If this summer is not going to be too dry, the slugs and snails will be out in force, eating away at our precious plants.

So, if this is a problem, try planting Verbena. When all my other plants were attacked by slugs, the Verbena didn’t get touched. They are not as tasty because of the fine hairs on the leaves, which make them difficult to eat.

When choosing your plants, try thinking about colour combinations and texture. Last year, I planted one of my containers with a lime-green Lysimachia (creeping jenny), blue vein Petunias, white bush Lobelia and a large Nicotiana sylvestris, which has large white flowers, with a sweet scent in the evening for the centre piece.

The colours were simple but worked well. Some people like to have a complete mix of plants and colours and that works too. If you want plants to help feed the bees, use single-flowered varieties instead or double, so the bees can get to the pollen and nectar. Fuchsias and cosmos are very bee-friendly, as are single flower marigolds.

Remember, if you are planting up a container or basket, it really is worth using quality compost, such as Miracle-gro Moisture Control multi- purpose compost.

It has enough general fertiliser for the whole season and contains composted coconut husks, which have been compressed into little balls. They hold water and release it when the plants need it.

In addition to the fertiliser already in the compost, I always use Tomorite on anything fruiting or flowering in my garden, as it is high in potassium and makes the plants flower more profusely.

Don’t forget to deadhead any flowers which have died, as they will go to seed if you let them and then the energy is not used into making more flowers. They will also look better.

Gardening can be easy, and if you start off with simple bedding plants and a good compost (and remember to water if dry), you really can’t go wrong and your garden will look fantastic all summer.