Planting Summer flowering bulbs
Now is the time to look at summer flowering bulbs – a wonderful addition to borders and a great infill between perennials and shrubs.
Try the Bishop series of Dahlias: Llandaff (bright red with black leaves); Leicester (pink) and York (pale yellow). Cannas’ 100cm height gives an exotic feel to borders – Wyoming (bright orange) or Tropicanna Black (red flowers and black leaves).
Try Apaganthus and Lily varieties.
All of the above should be started off in pots filled with multi-purpose compost, initially in a conservatory or greenhouse, before planting out in May when the threat of frost is over.
Other bulbs such as Crocosmias and Irises will survive throughout the winter in borders.
There are many Irises to choose from – tall bearded varieties such as Jane Phillips (pale mauve flowers), or Sable (dark purple flowers), both growing to 90cm.
Smaller varieties such as Iris Pallida (lavender blue flowers) grows to 60cm. Look on the internet and in books for colours and varieties to suit any border.
There are several sizes of Crocosmias to choose from – flowering from August onwards. Taller varieties such as Lucifer (dark red flowers);
Masonorum (orange flowers) and smaller varieties such as George Davidson (lemon/yellow flowers) or Emberglow (orange flowers).
It’s definitely worth adding some summer bulbs into your garden as they are low maintenance, popping up each year to give additional colour in your garden.
Plants of the month
Hellebores are small evergreen perennials that start to flower from February through to April. Cut off old leaves to see the flowers and then cut off the old flower heads in May.
Helleborus Harvington; Double Purple;
Helleborus Winter Beauty
Carex oshimensis Evergold
A small evergreen grass which brings brightness to a drab winter garden.
Things to do in the garden in March
- Clean greenhouses, sheds and tools
- Prepare vegetable beds and cover with cloches
- Buy potatoes and leave them to chit in a cool dry place
- Prune winter flowering shrubs if they have finished flowering – see websites such as Crocus and The RHS website. The RHS Pruning and Training manual by Christopher Brickell and David Joyce is a good reference book
- Cut back any ornamental grasses before new growth appears
- Prune evergreen hedges
- Divide snowdrop clumps if finished flowering
- Move established deciduous shrubs – but not if the ground is waterlogged as the roots will rot
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