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Summer Flowering...

Summer flowering bulbs, rhizomes, corms and tubers are planted during spring from March onwards as the soil begins to warm up they like well drained soil that's in a nice warm sunny spot, they are superb for filling gaps in between existing perennials and shrubs in garden borders.  Planted in pots, containers or hanging basket arrangements they create an outstanding displays of colour.

There are many different bulbs out there for sale making a massive choice of summer colour to choose from they are easy to grow and many only need to be planted once,  they offer great value for money providing long lasting colour and dramatic displays.  Many have delicious scent and make excellent cut flowers for the house.

It is possible to plant bulbs so that they continually flower from early summer onwards, pretty anemones and tall alliums offer dramatic architectural spheres and are usually some of the first to flower from late spring these are then followed by an array of showy lilies, spectacular dahlias then from late summer onwards there are the vibrant colours of the crocosmia and the dramatic spikes of pretty gladioli to name a few.

As a rule plant the bulbs twice the depth of the bulb and around two bulbs wide or follow the planting depth on the packaging.  Make a hole either with a trowel or bulb planter place the bulb facing upwards sometimes it is hard to distinguish between the top and the bottom of the bulb, if this is the case plant the bulb on its side. Replace the soil and press down firmly to ensure that there are no air pockets keep these moist.  If you want to get a head start or the weather is unpredictable plant any bulbs or tubers in plant pots keep them in a light frost free area such as a green house or tunnel then plant them into their final positions in the garden when the risk of frost has passed.

Bulbs planted in pots can be a valuable addition to the patio area bringing exceptional long lasting colour different types of bulbs can be planted for mixed display or the same bulbs of one variety give an effective colourful show.  Choose your container ensuring it has drainage holes and place broken pots at the bottom of the container for extra drainage fill the container with a multi purpose compost adding a handful of slow release fertiliser as the bulbs can be hungry and they work hard to produce their blooms. Plant the bulbs by placing them with the top of the bulb facing upwards press down firmly to ensure the compost surrounds the bulbs with no air pockets, backfill and water. Make sure the compost is kept moist and use a high potash liquid feed to keep the flowers blooming.

Some tubers such as dahlias and begonias can be frost tender and will need lifting and storing or given some protection if they are to stay in the ground over winter in milder areas of the country. When the first frost has arrived and blackened the stems cut them down to the ground before lifting the tubers, shake off any excess soil and allow them to dry naturally, store these in a box in a cool dark frost free place such as a shed or garage. If the tubers are to be left in the ground cut the stems down in Autumn after the first frost and apply a thick layer of mulch such as compost or bark.

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"Fill your garden with easy to grow summer colour by planting a host of mixed bulbs in borders and container displays."