Choosing and Planting Summer Flowering Bulbs

March is a time for thinking ahead and anticipating the sunny spring and summer that are just round the corner. It is always important to think about the next season when gardening and just because it is spring and you have a lot to do in the garden, that does not mean that you should forget to consider the summer. You might be planting vegetables and seeding flowers indoors that will be transplanted into their outdoors positions in June. You may also be thinking of re-potting cuttings that cannot go outside until the weather warms.

One other thing that you may like to think about this month is planting summer flowering bulbs. Planting the bulbs, corms or tubers of summer-flowering plants at this time of year can ensure that you will have bursts of bright and lively colour all summer long. By choosing varieties and types of plant that are well suited to the conditions where you live you can get a great show all year round. Also, by choosing varieties that bloom in the late spring, early summer, mid-summer and late summer you make sure you keep the display going strong all through the year.

For Late Spring Colour:

Delicate alliums and anemones start to flower from late spring, taking over from the earlier spring flowering bulbs as they begin to fade. Planting anemone tubers from late-March will give you blooms as early as May, though these can also be planted later in the spring for blooms that will appear later in the summer. The alliums and anemones will be great and bringing bees to your garden and will help to pollinate any early crops. For another appealing late spring flower, consider the Arum lily, which will do well in wet conditions or even as a marginal plant for your garden pond. Camassius is another good choice for a damp spot.

For Early Summer Colour:

Angels' fishing rods dangle their magenta bells and seem to herald the start of the summer. They add height and drama to your garden. A number of lilium varieties are also reliable choices for some early summer colour.

For Mid-Summer Colour:

Agapanthus is great for some mid-summer drama, giving showy flowers and growing well in containers or in garden beds. Huge summer hyacinths also look very impressive when these tall spikes with their delicate bells are planted in large clumps. Both of the above are great for giving your garden a bit of a mid-summer boost.

For Late-Summer Colour:

Gladioli and crocosmia (montbretia) are wonderful staples for the late summer garden, imparting their rich, dense colours and lovely textures to the garden in August and beyond. Think ahead, plant bulbs now and throughout early spring and the summer colour will see you through right through until the autumn.

Plant bulbs to the depth specified on the packet and take care to provide the bulbs with the growing conditions they require and you will find that the simply act of planting a few bulbs now will make you happy throughout the whole summer long.