Gardening tips: ‘Best way’ to ensure ‘maximum impact’ with your summer flowers


Summer-flowering bulbs are a low-maintenance option for the garden, with most perennial varieties able to bloom year after year. They’re an easy way to add a splash of color to your outdoor space, no matter how small. They are popular with professional gardeners and beginners alike, thanks to their hassle-free planting, says Marcus Eyles, Horticultural Manager of Dobbies Garden Centres.

When planting summer bulbs, Marcus advises gardeners to choose bulbs that “complement each other.”

He said: “One of the best ways to achieve maximum impact with your summer blooms is to choose bulbs that complement each other in color and tone.

“There are many types of summer bulbs, but dahlias are one of the most popular and come in a variety of brilliant colors that will inject vitality into your garden during the summer months.

“With shades ranging from pink and purple to scarlet red, orange and yellow, these hot blooms can be mixed and matched to create an eye-catching display whether in a flower bed or a container.”

READ MORE: Gardening: ‘Rules’ to follow when planting bulbs for best results

“Begonia bulbs, for example, grow best in warmer soil, making them ideal for anyone looking to add color to a doorway or balcony.”

They also look fabulous in pots; plant two or three different types in layers to create an ever-changing display or pack with the same variety for a simple yet dramatic statement.

To ensure potted bulbs thrive this summer, the gardening pro suggests checking the planting depth of your chosen bulbs before planting.

He said, “Fill your pot to this depth with peat-free all-purpose compost.

“Once you’ve done that, place your bulbs in the ground, pointy end up.

“Make sure you space them out evenly so they don’t touch each other.

“Then water your bulbs well and move the container to your favorite spot in your outdoor space, before filling it to the top with compost.”

Whatever bulbs gardeners choose to plant right now, Marcus suggests two steps to always follow.

He said, “If you are using very wet or heavy soil, after digging a hole to plant your bulb, put a layer of sand at the bottom.

“This will prevent the bulbs from rotting if we have a particularly rainy spring.

“Once you’ve planted your bulbs, add a plant tag to the area, to remind you to dig them up after summer, once they’ve finished flowering.

“Most summer bulbs aren’t hardy enough to be left in the garden all year round and need to be stored through the winter months, ready to be replanted next spring.”


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