If you’re starting to prepare your summer garden with instant bedding plants and foliage, you may want to consider adding seasonal bulbs. Plant in spring and these can flower from June right through to the end of September, maintaining an ever-changing, blossoming garden. As our British soil starts to warm up, there is no time like the present to get bulbs into the ground.
The list of bulbs and tubers to choose from to brighten borders and patio containers is endless, and can be somewhat overwhelming. As such, here are few of my easy-to-manage favourites:
Allium grow airy spheres of purple blooms followed by flamboyant seed-heads. Their upright stems add height and structure to well-drained borders or containers and can be grown in full sun or partial shade. Use large groups of Allium ‘Big Impact Mixed’ to see high summer through to late summer.
Begonia tubers can also be planted now and produce beautiful flowers over an incredibly long period, from summer all the way through to the first frosts in November. These are perfect candidates for a window box or hanging basket and are perfect for adding long lasting, vibrant colour to those tricky shady areas. Choose a fragrant variety such as Begonia ‘Lemon Fizz’ to hang close to doorways for the fresh scent of summer as customers come in and out.
Gladiolus offer exotic colour, extravagance and structure to all borders, pots and containers. For majestic, ruffled, mauve pink blooms choose Gladiolus ‘Tango’ and grow them in full-sun. They also make great cut flowers if you would like something homegrown to decorate tables with.
Crocosmia are my number one if you’re after fast growing plants, as they will multiply quickly and wander through borders all on their own. The upright, strap-like foliage, and arching stems tipped with starry flowers in red, orange or yellow are striking, have an air of the tropics and are perfect for summer.