There are some splendid bulbs, corms and tubers for your summer garden. Most are well known, with some surprise inclusions that botanically belong in this section. The stars include richly scented, beautifully colored lilies and gladioli, beautifull Allium, Begonias, Agapanthus and Dahlias.
Summer bulbs are seldom used in large drifts, or with other bedding plants, as are spring bulbs. The majority of them are best treated like ordinary plants in herbaceous or mixed borders, or perhaps used to add foreground interest and color in a shrub border.
Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) consists of over 300 species of flowers including the carnation (the common name refers to Prince William, Duke of Cumberland (d. 1765), who put down the Jacobite risings). Originating in southern Europe and Asia, with some varieties found as far north as Russia, Sweet William is a biennial that comes in a variety of pink colors.
Sweet William is a biennial plant with a two-year life cycle, producing only leaves in the first year. Sweet William plants, which look very similar to carnations, can be grown from seeds, cuttings or plant divisions. If planting seeds, plan on starting them indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost for spring blooms. The young seedlings generally transplant well and can be set outdoors after the last frost. Seeds sown in the first year bloom in the spring of the second year.
Planting lavender (Lavandula) is a great way to start off the spring gardening season. Easy to grow, these fragrant flowers can be pink, blue, grey, white or purple. A little effort now will pay off for years to come as this low maintenance perennial yields its aromatic and useful blossoms. Purchase a plant from a nursery, choose the right location, prepare the soil and plant. Just add a little fertilizer and water and watch it grow. Following these simple tips will provide a high likelihood of success.
The easiest way to plant lavender is to start with an established potted plant purchased from a nursery. Many lavender varieties can be started from seed, but that is more difficult and doesn’t have a high success rate. Choose a plant in a 4″ to 8″ pot with healthy leaves that are green (or gray depending on the variety) but not brown.
Water in the garden – whether a formal pool, a small stream, a short cascade or a wildlife pond – will allow you to grow many plants that do not thrive in any other conditions. Even in the smallest plot you can have a trough with dwarf water lilies floating in it. In a larger garden a formal or informal pond can create a strong focus and set the garden’s style. It may incorporate a fountain or waterfall to create movement, sound and liveliness and water lilies will complete the scene.
Floating plants, marginal, deep water and bog plants all add to the interest of a water garden but need to be catered for carefully. Ponds should be made with shelves at different heights so that pond baskets can be put at the heights best suited to the various plants.
Hyacinths are a beautiful, scented spring bulbs. They are the most popular of all indoor bulbs. Hyacinthus orientalis (Dutch hyacinth) is the common garden Hyacinth. The leafless flower-stalks bear 30 or more crowded bell-like flowers with a fragrance that can fill a whole room. Roman hyacinths differ in a number of ways – 2 0r 3 stalks are produced by each bulb and the flowers are smaller and less tightly packed. The flower-stalks are thinner and the color range is restricted to white, pink and blue.
Growing hyacinths in your garden is a process that starts with bulb selection. The bulb is actually planted and left dormant before any flower is seen. Based on the growth climate, growing hyacinths are relatively easy. Follow these 6 steps to grow hyacinths in your yard.
Freesia is a type of about 14 different species and all the Freesia species are of African origin. 12 of the 14 species are native to Cape Province in South Africa and the other two are native to tropical Africa. Freesias are very fragrant and usually come in white or yellow.
Growing freesias is relatively easy because these plants are hardy and can survive in a variety of different climates. They do best, however, when they are kept in well-drained soil and not allowed to get too hot. Freesias should be planted in full sun during a season that will give the plants plenty of time to establish their roots and to flower before the heat of summer sets in.