With one planting season over, it’s time to start looking forward to the next one. Spring planting season may seem far away, but it is never too early to start planning your beautiful garden displays. Get ahead and start planning for summer by learning when to plant summer-flowering bulbs.
When to plant bulbs
The optimal time for planting your favourite summer-flowering beauties is in the spring, between march and may. Early spring is the perfect time to start planting again when after all danger of frost has passed, and the soil has warmed up again.
The sun is out, spring flowers are at their peak, and summer is on its way! With June just around the corner, learn how to keep your garden looking beautiful all-season long with our top 5 essential summer gardening tips.
1. Watch the Weeds!
Weeds can be inevitable, even in the most well-kept gardens. As the weather gets warmer, the weeds come out, but there are ways of deterring them from growing in your garden. We recommend:
Weed after it rains when the soil is moist
There are many types of fertiliser on the market, so make sure to find a fertiliser will work best in your garden. The healthiest gardens use some type of fertiliser because most soil does not provide an adequate amount of nutrients to plants and flowers. A mid-summer application to boost the colour and condition during the hottest months
3. Watering Schedule
The very best time to water plants is in the early morning or late evening, while it is still cool. This will allow the water to run down into the soil and reach the roots of the plant without too much excess water lost to evaporation.
4. Pruning Shrubs
Early summer is the time to prune many of the spring-flowering shrubs such as Philadelphus and Weigela. Prune off growth that has just finished flowering down to an outward facing bud, along with any damaged or crossing branches within the shrub, which should be removed either to suitable growth or completely.
5. Finish Planting Annual Bedding Plants
If you didn’t have time to plant out your tender bedding plants in May, there’s still time to get them into the ground or their new containers as soon as you can in June. Make sure to place them in good light, so they do not become drawn and spindly in the shade.
Throughout summer, regular deadheading will keep them looking fresh and neat and you will quickly realise what brilliant value for money bedding plants are.Have a happy, flower-filled summer.
With Spring upon us and summer on the way, plan a spectacular garden with our list of essential summer garden plants. From colourful, pollinator-friendly blooms to gorgeous leafy foliage plants, discover our top choices for transforming any space into a nature haven in the summertime.
Essential Container Plants
Container plants are so versatile, add a flash of colour to patios, create a focal point in the garden and they’re perfect for smaller spaces; the possibilities are endless. Here are our favourite compact plants for summer pots:
With a rich assortment of flower colours, shapes and sizes, along with their amazing bloom time, are what makes Dahlias a staple of the summer garden. Our Dwarf Dahlia range are ideal for patio pots or the front of the border.
Planning a border is one of the most exciting aspects of gardening, where you can truly let your creativity flow. We’ve selected our favourites plants that are guaranteed to add colour, texture and character to the summer border.
Hanging baskets, with their colourful flowers and lush plants, add an extra dimension to houses, patios and garden walls. From bringing bees and butterflies flocking to the garden, to adding a burst of colour for small spaces, here are our top hanging basket varieties.
Blooming non-stop from early summer to autumn, Fuchsias are great for attracting pollinators and look amazing in baskets. With a colourful assortment of shades and sizes to choose from, the options are endless.
Fill your summer garden with the cascading blooms of beautiful Million Bells. With a rainbow of colours to choose from, add a dose of vibrancy to the summer garden with these prolific-flowering plants.
Are you in search of long-flowering, easy to grow flowers to add a burst of energy to your summer gardens? With Spring just a few weeks away, it’s time to get your summer bulb lists together in time for the spring planting season. With just a little planning, you can assemble a collection of summer flowers to bring joy and colour to your beds and borders.
To help you in your summer bulb quest, we’ve done all the hard work for you and put together a useful list of summer bulb companions to inspire you and your gardens:
Crocosmia and Agapanthus
A beautifully bold pairing. These glowing perennials combine vibrant shades and shapes of flowerheads to create a spectacular effect in borders. As an added bonus, most of these two wonderful varieties are drought tolerant too!
A colourful and easy to grow pairing. These wildlife-loving partners are perfect for livening up any garden with bees and butterflies in the peak of summer. These low maintenance flowers are perfect for beds and borders.
A fantastic plant combination for a long lasting display. These plants grow harmoniously together in soft pink and purple shades to add a fresh colour palette to borders and containers. Most of these perennials are top performers and some are award winners too!
The summer garden wouldn’t be complete without some beautiful containers. Whatever style you prefer, we’ve done the hard work for you, selecting a range of different flowers and colours to suit any garden.
Add class and colour to your summer garden with some pretty purple perennials! Take a look at a selection of our favourite purple, violet, mauve and lilac perennial plants below and spruce up your garden.
February invites the first signs of spring into our gardens; days are lengthening, bulbs begin to emerge from the ground, and colour in the garden is just around the corner. This month is about cleansing (after the Latin word februum which means purification), and there’s no better time than now to give your garden a little TLC in preparation for spring.
Remove faded flowers, such as Winter Pansies and Violas, from containers to encourage them to flower more during spring and prevent from going to seed.
Deadhead early flowering plants such as Primulas regularly to encourage fresh flowers.
Remove any dead or decaying leaves from container plants to avoid encouraging slugs and snails in early spring.
Deciduous grasses which have been left unpruned over winter should now be cut back to the ground.
Remove dead material from evergreen grasses to make space for new growth in the coming months.
Tidy up decaying material around perennials and remove any leaf litter to discourage the slugs and snails as they arrive in early spring.
Prepare your cut flower beds by removing any stubborn perennial weeds, such as brambles or bindweed, which may be hiding.
If the soil is particularly stony, it can be sieved and raked until the texture is nice and fine.
Borders can also be given a boost by adding organic feed such as chicken manure and seaweed.
Looking after your lawn:
Remember to keep off the grass when there’s a frost, as the blades are more susceptible to damage which could lead to lawn diseases and other problems.
Ensure you brush off any debris or leaves which have fallen onto your lawn, as they can smother and cause discolouration to the grass.
Towards the end of the month, if the grass has produced some growth, you may be able to give your lawn a light trim with the lawnmower.
Planting Summer Bulbs
There are many lovely late-spring and summer bulbs which although usually planted in the autumn, if you missed that slot, early spring provides another opportunity. Below are some beautiful bulbs suitable for planting this month.
Adding colour to your summer garden could not be easier with our exciting range of 10 premium UK-grown hanging baskets. These summer flower baskets have been pre-planted to save you time and effort, meaning they’re ready-to-hang for an immediate display.
On arrival simply unpack our pre-filled hanging baskets, hang them up securely in their chosen location and then after watering they are ready to go. A simple, easy and carefree approach that is quickly becoming all the rage. Buy online now for £19.99 each or order two of one mixture for only £29.98, saving £10.00 off RRP.
Hanging baskets typically need more water than flowers in a garden, as any excess water drains from the bottom of the basket – meaning it is fairly hard to overwater them. How much you water your baskets will depend on temperature and time of year. In spring, watering your baskets
As the flowers die, make sure to remove them by pinching them off where they meet the stem. Not only does this make your baskets look better, but it will also promote the formation of new flowers.
Fertiliser will replenish any nutrients in the soil which are depleted with watering and will help to keep full, healthy looking baskets. Make sure you fertilise when the soil is moist, not when the plants are wilting, and follow the directions on the specific fertiliser you’re using.
If your plants are starting to look a little straggly, don’t be afraid to trim them back once or twice a season. Trimming your hanging plants will increase denser new growth and create a fuller looking basket for the rest of summer.
ROTATE YOUR BASKETS:
It can be a good idea to rotate the location of your hanging baskets occasionally – particularly if one spot receives more sunlight than another. Swapping their location every week or so can ensure that when having multiple baskets, they each receive equal opportunity for sunlight and growth.
Spring is usually the most popular time for planting out summer flowering bulbs. However! February is a great time to begin planting some of the hardier varieties, or for putting them out into pots and containers for a fabulous display. Generally, bulbs prefer a light, well-draining soil – so try to avoid wet and heavy soils. But don’t worry if your garden soil isn’t well-drained, as all the bulbs below are suitable for pots and containers.
Lily bulbs can be planted any time from autumn to spring in a sunny spot, in rich well-drained soil, around 15-20cm deep. If your soil is heavy, wet or badly drained then you could plant in pots or containers for a lovely patio display.
This bright and attractive mixture will produce upright flowers that will add a splash of colour to your garden in the summer. This selection is perfect for exotic-looking pots, containers and borders.
Eucomis bulbs are usually planted in spring, however February is not too early to plant them into pots and containers. If planted in well-drained soil the bulbs should be hardy to around -6 °C . Plant the bulbs 15cm deep in pots for a summer display, or out in the border once actively growing – but only after the last frosts.
Liatris are tough herbaceous perennials originating from North America, and are great for attracting wildlife such as bees and butterflies. They produce large blooms which eventually form a clump and can be later divided in spring. Plant in light, well-draining soil around 5cm deep.
Begonias are a fantastic summer plant to grow, and very rewarding. In the British climate they will flower abundantly from June right through to October. As such versatile plants they look fabulous in pots or containers on the patio, or equally as beautiful in a flower bed. At J. Parker’s we have a huge range of Begonias to add colour to your garden. Take a look below where we have compiled a few of our favourites from each variety.
The salmon-orange petals of this Superba Begonia add zing to borders and patio pots. These giant flowers look wonderful in the garden or make equally as beautiful cut flowers. Flower from June to October.