PLAN NEXT SPRING’S FLOWERS
As summer draws to a close the display of bedding plants begins to look a bit tired. Now is the time to look forward to next year’s spring flowers.
The spring this year was wet cool and lacked sun,
but this allowed spring flowers to last a long time, giving us the chance to
review the show and make plans for the next year. At the moment my tubs are
still flowering as tuberous begonias and geraniums continue to flower well into
autumn, but hanging baskets
with petunias, impatiens and lobelia are finished.
These will be the first to get planted up with spring flowers, and most likely
with pansies. I had some terrific colours in my mixed pansies so I saved the
seed and sowed it in August. I now have well over a hundred strong plants in
cellular trays ready for planting out. Each hanging basket takes about a dozen plants
with six for the top and six inserted around the sides as I hope to achieve a
round ball of greenery covered in flowers. The rest of the pansies can go in
other tubs and flower borders as well as areas of spare land where shrubs have
been removed. One
Ceanothus was fine for nearly twenty years, but then started
to die off so it got removed. The pansies will give us flowers while we decide
what to replace it with.
|Allotment flower border|
|Drift of Aconites|
|Mixed tulips in rose bed|
Last year we bought some really good polyanthus which got lined out once their spring display finished, and now they can be replanted back into some tubs. I also have a good batch of wallflower grown from seed on my allotment for planting in larger tubs and underplanted with tall tulips. My favourite tulips are the Darwin Hybrids Apeldoorn (red) and Golden Apeldoorn (yellow) but another border above a wall will get the tall
Fosteriana tulips Red Emperor and the white scented Purissima. This border is
also planted with tall scented Oriental Lilies flowering in mid summer. We keep
the soil bare, remove the old tulip leaves six weeks after flowering then sow
some fast growing annuals such as Candytuft, Cornflower, Godetia to grow
underneath the taller lilies.
|Mixed Fosteriana tulips|
More lilies are also planned for a summer display of large scented blooms amongst the Cornus in my coloured stem winter border. This border is attractive from autumn till the end of March when I then cut back all the shrubs to ground level. This gives the drifts of crocus space to flower followed by tulips before the Cornus starts to grow again. However there is a lack of interest in summer so a batch of the tall Oriental Lilies will get planted in this border.
|Narcissus Dick wilden|
Up on my allotment I keep a flower border at the front to add colour and impact and detract the eye from the rest of the plot just in case there may be an odd weed that has escaped my attention. This has been known to happen from time to time. Last spring there was a brilliant display of tulips, but very few white ones so I will buy some of the Fosteriana Purissima and plant these into the border. This border starts with snowdrops, then the yellow aconites and some narcissus ahead of the main tulip display. This year I will plant up the border with my spare pansy seedling plants to accompany the tulips to give two levels of flowering plants.
Over the years I have added Crocus all over the garden and allotment front border, so no need for any more, but they are perfect amongst tubs of pansies and polyanthus. Then after flowering I can always manage to find a spot to plant them out for future spring
herbaceous border is always a favourite for spare bulbs as the permanent plants
are slow to grow by which time the dwarf bulbs have flowered, produced their
leaves before the herbaceous plants need more space.
Drifts of daffodils and narcissus make a great show amongst deciduous trees and shrubs and although the garden is not short of these, you always find another variety well worth trying out. Growers can always breed something different to catch your eye. Last year it was Westward, Sir Winston Churchill, Dick Wilden and Replete, and this year it is White Lion, My Story and Decoy.
Wee jobs to do this weekPlant strawberry plants from runners taken from older but healthy
|Strawberry runners of Flamenco|