Summer bulbs at the ready

Summer-flowering bulbs are available in abundance from March. Even though planting them will have to wait until the soil has warmed up enough (late April in our neck of the woods) you can at least begin deciding on a colour scheme for your garden. Which is it to be: pink, yellow, blue, purple or white?

Buy your summer bulbs at the garden centre or order them online now

The majority of bulbs that flower during the summer originally come from subtropical environments such as South Africa and South America where they thrive in warm temperatures and moist habitats. This means they tend not to survive severe winters and have to be lifted at the end of the season to store for planting the following spring. During a mild winter, leaving them undisturbed and protecting them from light frosts could result in their emerging and growing again without a problem. Of course, there are plenty of perfectly hardy summer bulbs that don’t need lifting; the lollypop-like ornamental onions (Allium spp.) and the long purple flower heads of the blazing star (Liatris spicata, pictured) are two of my absolute favourites.

If you are planning on planting summer bulbs for the first time there’s no need to worry about whether or not yours are green fingers. Planting them is easy and is one of those gardening jobs that’s a real pleasure. Remember that summer-flowering bulbs like to grow where other plants grow as well. By combining summer bulbs, corms and tubers with shorter, late-flowering plants that will remain attractive until the first frost and even afterwards, you can considerably extend the flowering season and make your borders that much more inviting.

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