Get Ahead: Plan your Summer Bulb Displays Now
With the new year approaching we can look forward to warmer weather and new growth appearing in our gardens, and now is the perfect time to be thinking of your summer display. Summer-flowering bulbs add an injection of colour to any garden and make for eye-catching borders and displays. Whilst often planted out in spring, many bulbs are suited to being planted as early as February. Be one step ahead and take inspiration from our selection below of Must-Have Flowers for 2020!
Summer Flower Top-Picks:
Lilies add a touch of the exotic to the garden, and their large, brightly coloured heads are bound to attract the eye. These flowers are a striking addition to pots and borders and provide a beautiful scent. Planting time is December to April.
This Dwarf Oriental Lily is a must for fronts of garden borders, or perfect in a patio pot or container. With a wonderful fragrance, these lilies would also make a lovely cut flower arrangement.
Our Double Flowering Asiatic Lily produces an abundance of vibrant deep red-orange flowers, and is sure to liven up any display or border.
The bright zesty petals of this Dwarf Asiatic Lily contrast splendidly with its glossy dark leaves, and is a refreshing addition to front of border displays.
Begonias are extremely popular for their versatility and reliability. From hanging baskets and window boxes to borders and pots, these colourful favourites are a centerpiece in the garden. Planting time is from February onwards.
Begonia Multiflora Richard Galle produces clusters of apricot-orange flowers with hints of yellow. They have a fantastic flowering period from June right through to October.
Our Begonia Double Pink has spectacularly large bright pink blooms which can reach a diameter of 15cm. The tubers can be lifted, stored, and replanted the following year making them great value.
Begonia Fancy Frills is a sunshine yellow Fimbriata Begonia with bright ruffled petals. This flower is sure to bring sun to any garden.
Gladioli are a classic flower which have added excitement to summer displays for generations. Available in an array of bright and bold colours, they are often referred to as the ‘sword lily’ for their blade-shaped foliage. Planting time is early March to May.
The Gladioli Video yields elegant lavender-pink petals from tall flower spikes, reaching a mature height of 90cm. Perfect for adding height to borders.
Our Gladioli Cha Cha has beautiful butter yellow flowers which are sure to brighten up any border or summer display.
The Gladioli Espresso produces striking velvety-red flowers with contrasting white stamens. This large, vibrant flower will bring excitement to any garden this summer.
Eucomis descend from South Africa and have an unusual pineapple shape. Their long-lasting flowers and attractive foliage are an exotic feature point of borders, pots and flowerbeds. Planting time is from February, if into pots and containers.
The Eucomis Sparkling Rosy gives deep maroon flowers in summer and follows with delicate pale pink star-shaped flowers, nestled between glossy green foliage.
This Eucomis Bicolour most lives up to the name of ‘pineapple lily, as it’s flowers bear a striking resemblance to the fruit. It’s petals are pale green an edged with maroon.
Our Eucomis Autumnalis Alba produces white flower spikes with a bright green tuft, atop broad, wavy edged leaves.
Bulb Planting: A Guide
The general rule for planting bulbs is to dig deeper than the obvious. The usual guide is two to three times the depth of the bulb itself, however you will do less harm by planting too deep than too shallow. The other general rule is that bulbs need good drainage. The best way to achieve this is to mix grit into the general area or container of planting.
Many summer bulbs are ideal for growing in patio containers, especially tender species. These can then be lifted in winter and stored.
Step by Step:
Planting in borders:
- Dig a hole wide and deep enough for your bulbs. Most bulbs require planting in a hole two to three times their depth.
- Place the bulbs in the hole with their shoot facing upwards. Space them at least twice the bulb’s own width apart.
- Replace the soil and gently firm. Avoid treading on the soil as this can damage the bulbs.
Planting in containers:
- Dig a hole three times the bub depth, and plant the bulbs one width apart.
- Water bulbs once after planting then regularly when in active growth. Reduce watering once the leaves die down through the dormant season.
- If you bring pots of hardy bulbs indoors for flowering, put them in a sheltered spot outside as soon as flowering is over.