It’s so lovely to see lots of colour in the garden with the Daffs, Tulips , Hyacinth, Primroses, Cowslips, Violets, Grape Hyacinth, Camellias, Magnolias and the first of the Bluebells and when the sun comes out they just look even more fabulous.
A lot of the colour at this time of the year is down to spring bulbs planted in the autumn but bizarrely we’re not so good at planting “bulbs” that flower in the summer and autumn. I don’t know why as they’re just as colourful and reliable, ok some need a little more work (however so do some spring bulbs) but there are lots that don’t and now’s the time to get out and plant them.
For the most straight forward ones go for Crocosmia (commonly known as Monbretia) with arching stems of orange, red or yellow flowers in August and September. Galtonia – 3ft tall flower spikes covered in white pendulous bell flowers, likes to be planted deep (6-8 inches) and be left alone. Lilium (trumpet lilies) have a reputation for being difficult but in actual fact the more modern hybrid ones are great, very glamorous and come vast range of colours. As with all bulbs plant them as soon as you buy them and go for the large fat bulbs, if your soil is very heavy put a layer of grit in the bottom of the hole to stop them sitting in water during the winter which can lead to bulbs rotting.
Others to try for summer and autumn interest are Nerine, Schizostylis which are both hardy. Not so hardy are Crinum powellii and Amaryllis belladonna but will survive outside in a sheltered spot and look amazing. Ones that need lifting for the winter and kept frost free are Dahlia, Freesia and Gladiolus.
I know gardening wise it’s a busy time of year but I promise it’s worth the effort planting summer flowering bulbs as they give lots of colour in late summer and autumn when there’s not so much about.