Most of us will recognise all the Spring bulbs, daffodils, tête-à-tête, snowdrops, crocus, aconites, hyacinth… and so on.
But what do we have when they are finished and borders or pots are full of spent flowers and leaves?
There are so many beautiful plants we can incorporate into the borders and one of the essentials for any border are the summer flowering bulbs. They come in every height, shape and cover the whole spectrum of colour. There is no excuse for not finding some that will suit your style of garden. They can be carefully chosen and planted to compliment and enhance existing shrubs and perennial plants.
The many varieties provide a huge choice from the bold and exotic Cannas to the riotous colour, size and shapes of Dahlias and Lilies.
Here I am going to share some of my favourites and explain why I couldn’t imagine my garden without them. In doing so I hope to encourage anyone who has never grown them to give them a try, also for those who have grown them before, then now is the time to maybe try some different ones. They are surprisingly easy to grow and to care for.
Kids will enjoy having a go at planting some summer flowering bulbs. Let them choose which they would like to see growing, bright colours entice children to garden.Fun Gardening Ideas for Kids They are planted very much in the same way as the spring bulbs, so it’s definitely worth having a go. Now is the time to do so as the soil is beginning to warm up, they don’t like to go in ground that is too wet or cold.
I have nicknamed them The Debutantes of the garden as they seem to preen and show off and call attention to themselves…”look at me”. They are wonderful showstoppers. Your friends and family will be wowed by them as they put on a full and showy display throughout the summer, some continuing on into autumn.Gardening for Well-being, Why Gardening is Good for your Health.
Summer Flowering Bulbs. A Colourful Addition to Summer Gardens
As spring merges into summer, borders become dominated by myriad colorful shrubs and perennials, but don’t forget that there are lots of colours, texture and interest to be added by bulbs that grow in the summer time too.
Summer bulbs also include corms and tubers.
Like spring bulbs they can be planted in the border or in containers.
Summer flowering bulbs take up very little space in the garden so there is always a pocket of earth in which to plant some.
For the best displays, a little planning is required. Begin to plant bulbs, corms and tubers in borders and containers in spring, just as the weather starts to warm up. Planting up lots of containers with bulbs means that you can place them around the garden to fill gaps in the borders as and when required. As a general rule of thumb, most bulbs should be planted at 3 times their depth in free draining soil but always check the growing information on bulb packets if you’re not sure at which depth to plant them as there are a few exceptions to every rule.
There are plenty to choose from, but if you need some inspiration then here are my top 5 favourites.
My top Summer Flowering Bulbs
There is a wide variety of Alliums, the tall purple Globe Master are firm favourites with gardeners and garden designers alike because they are suited to different styles of garden from traditional to the more contemporary.
Their tall stems give architectural structure to any planting scheme, large spherical deep purple flowers are really quite stately and make a great statement planted in borders or containers, flowering from May onwards.
Begonias are beautiful blousy flowers growing from tubers.
They are a great addition to the summer garden as they’re ideal for containers, window boxes and hanging baskets.Best Plants for Hanging Baskets
They provide a long-lasting display throughout the summer right through to the first frosts.
Choose a fragrant variety such as Aromatic or Fragrant Falls to add lovely scent to your summer garden and patio displays.
For me these are one of the most elegantly glamorous summer bulbs. Bearded Iris is a firm favourite, prized for their frothy, flounced flowers on tall stems in practically any colour to compliment your preferred garden scheme. There is an Iris variety to suit any soil type, so choose carefully the ones that will thrive in your particular garden space.
Regal blooms and a sensational fragrance make the Oriental Lily most popular for borders. There is something for everyone here and the large exotic blooms are really easy to grow. Their scent is just lovely when caught on a gentle summer breeze.
They definitely are the star of the summer show.
My garden wouldn’t be complete without some Dahlias.
They are prized for their long-lasting, prolific flowering. They come in a huge variety of form and colours, so again something for everyone.
Their beautiful shapes and vivid colours are an essential addition to any summer garden. There are several Dahlia groups each with their own distinctive characteristics which refer to their flower shape. All are equally beautiful and deserve a place in the border.
- Single dahlias
- Cactus dahlias
- Pompon dahlias
- Ball dahlias
- Waterlily dahlias
- Anemone dahlias
- Decorative dahlias
The jury is still out for me in regard to the big, blowsy, glamorous Gladioli. I do, however, love the Gladiolus italicus or Italian Gladioli. I particularly love the bright Fuschia pink with the cream/white stripe. Commonly seen growing on wasteland and in fields. It is often considered a weed, but I grow it in my garden. I think it goes well with the vivid lime greens of the Euphorbia
Summer Bulbs. Add some pizzazz to your garden this summer
Don’t despair when the spring plants are finished because by choosing some of the above bulbs or any from the wide variety available, you can achieve a stunning show of texture, colour and fragrance right through from May to the first frosts that will be envy of all your summer visitors.
All the bulbs that I have mentioned, and many others, make super cut flower displays for the home.
Bees, butterflies and other pollinators will thank you for providing nectar rich flowers. As the flowers go over they can often provide further architectural interest when the seed heads form as we move into autumn, especially when caught in early sunshine and/or frost. They will also give welcome winter shelter to insects.
These bulbs can be left in the ground or containers over winter if kept frost free, or lifted and stored ready to plant again the following year.
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