Summer season bulbs provide a wealth of colours, scents and flower kinds, but are sometimes neglected in favor of their earlier spring-flowering cousins.
Nevertheless, with cautious planning, you may benefit from the altering planting palette and shiny colour contrasts because the backyard transitions via summer season, from a number of summer season bulbs.
They need to be deliberate to comply with in swift succession as soon as your spring bulbs begin to fade, for an enduring show for months on finish.
Summer season bulbs to develop
Summer season bulbs could be planted direct within the backyard as a part of your flower mattress concepts. Many additionally make fantastic shows as container gardening concepts, or are an important addition when you’re planning a minimize flower backyard to benefit from the blooms round your house.
‘Select summer season bulbs which flower at completely different factors throughout the season for successive colour. As an illustration, lilies for early summer season, gladioli for mid season, and the later flowering echinacea, and you can be rewarded with a long-lasting show which evolves as summer season progresses,’ explains Sue Sanderson, horticulturist at bulb and plant specialists Farmer Gracy.
Add a number of the following finest summer season bulbs to your planting palette.
1. Oriental lilies
There are numerous styles of oriental lilies you may select to plant. ‘These lilies are hardy and dependable, returning for a repeat present annually,’ says Sue Sanderson.
‘Lily ‘Apricot Fudge’ has fascinating double blooms that seem in early to mid summer season, and can return yearly. These are fantastic for the border or massive patio pots, and are simply as pretty as minimize flowers,’ provides Sue
One other selection she recommends is the fantastically scented ‘Tiger Woods’.
Crocosmias are a simple and dependable summer season bulb to plant, ‘and their fiery flowers and robust vertical leaves create dynamic curiosity. They mix properly with achillea, helenium and salvia,’ says Victoria Evans, gardener on the Nationwide Belief’s Packwood Home, which boasts excellent summer season flower borders.
There are a variety of types to select from. ‘Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ is the basic, tall, scarlet flowered crocosmia, whereas ‘Star of the East is the biggest flowered selection. Its orange star-shaped blooms persist properly into fall,’ says Victoria. It really works significantly properly when you’re hoping to create a up to date backyard colour scheme or like tropical backyard concepts.
As crocosmias unfold and develop very massive, gardening guru Monty Don recommends lifting massive clumps in early spring, separating them aside and replanting them in smaller teams. ‘They are going to reply with elevated vigor and flowers,’ he says.
Dahlias can bloom all through the summer season months and with many types to select from, as soon as you understand how to develop dahlias you can be actually spoilt for alternative.
There are a variety that Sue Sanderson singles out for consideration, together with Dahlia ‘Myrtle’s Folly’, with its massive ruffled blooms in shades of coral-pink and yellow from summer season via to fall; and dahlia ‘Rembrandt’ ‘with a neat, compact behavior, that may adorn patio pots with mushy pink blooms constantly via the season.
In the event you’re eager to incorporate flowers that appeal to bees then go for the one flower styles of dahlia.
4. Swamp lily – crinum
Crinum x powellii , or swamp lily, produces pale pink trumpet flowers in summer season.
‘It’s a plant with a stately presence, deserving a spot of its personal. Crinums wants a sheltered place in full solar, with good soil to thrive. Plant with the bulb tip above soil stage,’ says Victoria Evans.
‘They’re additionally good in a – very – massive pot, they usually flower particularly properly when the roots are constricted.’
One other summer season bulb that may flower via the season and into late fall, begonias tolerate shade in addition to a sunny place.
There are numerous selections, ‘akin to begonia ‘Angelique’ ‘which has a number of, massive blooms from summer season via to the primary frosts and has a wonderful perfume, too,’ explains Sue. Learn how to overwinter begonias to benefit from the blooms 12 months after 12 months.
Begonia ‘Picotee Sunburst’, however, will Illuminate a evenly shaded space with zingy colour from summer season via to late fall. ‘It’s a nice alternative for patio containers or borders,’ says Sue.
6. Arum lily – Zantedeschia aethiopica
‘The arum lily, with its hanging white flower spathes and shiny foliage, is proving more and more hardy for us at Packwood. We develop them in wealthy, moist soil in full solar, however in addition they get pleasure from partial shade and can be utilized as a marginal water plant for backyard pond concepts,’ explains Victoria.
Plant in pots or within the floor in spring and mulch established clumps in fall for cover.
Alliums are an important flower for any backyard, as they pop up amongst borders so as to add colour and construction, and are bee magnets and a technique to appeal to butterflies.
‘Alliums are true bulbs and absolutely paid up members of the onion household,’ says Monty Don in his e book The Full Gardener.
‘Most will obligingly reappear 12 months after 12 months – usually too obligingly as they may unfold dramatically by seed in addition to by new bulbs,’ he provides.
In contrast to most summer season bulbs, alliums are finest planted within the fall. The exception is A. sphaerocephalon, which can flower into fall and could be planted in spring.
‘It is a contrastingly small-flowered allium, which additionally enjoys a sunny place, its slender stemmed maroon flowers weave simply via different smaller vegetation,’ explains Victoria.
Alliums develop properly in a sunny, well-drained spot and are finest planted in drifts.
8. Canna or canna lily
‘The luxurious, colourful foliage of canna lilies delivers a jungle vibe to borders and containers all through the season, topped off with a vibrant flower in late summer season,’ explains Sue Sanderson.
These tall, slender vegetation look incredible when grouped collectively in borders. They’re among the many unique vegetation that have been in style in Victorian backyard design.
Agapanthus have fabulous, massive globe-shaped flower heads, normally in purple, blue or white, so make an important addition to your assortment of summer season bulbs.
‘To get agapanthus to develop, you do want to limit its roots,’ says Monty Don in an episode of BBC Gardeners’ World. ‘You do want to ensure they’ve excellent drainage. But additionally you do want to ensure they’re fed. So it’s getting a stability between sufficient meals and water however not an excessive amount of.’
He advises including quantity of grit to the compost and placing three vegetation right into a pot that is simply sufficiently big. ‘There isn’t a level in placing an agapanthus into too huge a pot, as a result of all you’ll get is a lot of leaves and no flowers,’ he says.
‘Put them someplace in most daylight, water them as soon as per week, feed them as soon as each two or three weeks, after which on the finish of the summer season, take them someplace cool – it doesn’t need to be heat in any respect, however simply frost free.’
10. Pineapple lily – eucomis
‘Eucomis, the pineapple lily, lends an unique contact to a planting,’ says Victoria.
‘Eucomis ‘Glowing Burgundy’ has pale pink flowers and maroon flushed leaves, we develop it in the direction of the entrance of a border to offer architectural presence,’ she provides.
Additionally they make supreme vegetation to develop beneath glass when you’re planning a greenhouse.
‘Barely tender, they want good drainage and a sheltered spot to outlive year-round. In colder gardens they’re finest grown in terracotta pots,’ she provides.
Plant the pineapple lily 15cm deep and provides them loads of area. The elegant leaves are gradual to emerge from dormancy, however the flower stems persist for months.
When ought to summer season bulbs be planted?
Summer season bulbs are typically planted when dormant, which could be between late February and mid Could, relying on the zone the place you reside.
‘Hardy varieties could be planted straight outside in borders or pots, whereas tender or half hardy bulbs, akin to dahlias and begonias, must be began indoors in frost-free situations if planting earlier than Could, or earlier than the soil has warmed up,’ says Sue Sanderson.
Tropical vegetation could be transferred outdoors as soon as in progress and when night-time temperatures stay constantly above 50°F (10°C).
‘It’s finest to plant all summer season bulbs as early within the spring as attainable to provide them a head begin for the summer season season,’ provides Sue.
Good drainage is essential, and fertility is necessary if they’re destined to remain within the spot for an extended whereas. ‘A excessive potash and phosphate feed, akin to bonemeal, included at planting time works properly,’ explains Victoria Evans.
How do you plant summer season bulbs?
‘The time period ‘bulbs’ is usually used to seek advice from all bulbs, tubers, rhizomes and corms, however they do all require completely different planting depths and rising situations. Make sure you test the really helpful rising directions for every species as they fluctuate considerably,’ advises Sue.
All the time plant bulbs throughout the identical season that you just obtain them. They won’t retailer till subsequent 12 months.
‘Don’t overwater bulbs when they’re first planted. They don’t use any water whereas they’re nonetheless dormant and might rot when left to take a seat in moist soil which doesn’t drain freely. As soon as your bulbs have sprouted, you can begin watering them extra steadily,’ says Sue.
Whereas summer season bulbs could be planted within the floor, gardening guru Monty Don likes to plant them in containers to raised management their soil situations and to make sure a seamless succession of colour within the backyard.
Maybe an important consideration when planting summer season bulbs is to offer sufficient drainage. ‘With most bulbs you may by no means have an excessive amount of drainage – they may develop the higher for it,’ says Monty in an episode of BBC’s Gardener’s World.
Because of this, he prefers to make use of terracotta pots, which drain higher than many different container varieties. Nevertheless, he acknowledges that almost all of us don’t have an countless provide of them left mendacity round to dedicate to summer season bulbs – ‘your tulip pots will probably be occupied for one more couple of months’.
To resolve this difficulty, in his video, Don revealed an excellent tip for doubling up pots for each spring and summer season flowering bulbs, demonstrating planting gladioli right into a lattice pot used for subaquatic vegetation. ‘They’ll drain properly, the roots can come out if they need; however you are able to do it in only a regular plastic pot,’ he explains.
‘Then after the tulips are completed, they will come out and might dry off – after which I’ll plunge these into that pot, and when the gladioli are completed in September or October, they will come out and the tulips could be planted.’ Following this methodology will imply your pots will probably be in fixed use via the 12 months.
No matter you plant your summer season bulbs in, it’s important to have the proper compost that gives efficient drainage. ‘Add a little bit of grit to the compost – and you may’t actually overdo this so don’t be coy about it,’ says Don.
Are there any bulbs that bloom all summer season?
There are some summer season bulbs that can bloom all summer season lengthy with the proper situations.
Crops which flower all through the entire season, embody the likes of dahlias, begonias and callas. Mix these with bulbs that flower at completely different instances and you’ll get pleasure from a continuously altering flower mattress show.