Summer flowering bulbs provide gardens with a riot of colour and fragrance and can be squeezed into even the tightest of spaces in borders and containers.
For the best displays, a little planning is required, but this is richly rewarded. Summer flowering bulbs are generally planted in spring, just as the risk of frost has passed. This task can be made even easier with the use of a handy bulb planter tool.
Hillier has an extensive range of bulbs available in store now, from the familiar favourites to the more unusual, new varieties.
When to plant
As an approximate guide, these are the best months to plant some of the most loved bulbs for a summer display.
March: Dahlias, for colour from July through to October.
April: Anemone; plant at the front of a border for early summer colour.
May: Gladioli; planted in May, these bulbs with produce imposing spikes of vibrant colour from July to September.
If you are a little late with your bulbs, don’t worry; you’ll still get a beautiful display, just slightly later!
Our Star Bulbs
Our top recommended bulbs, for quality and beauty of flower, are:
- Lily Regale
- Dahlia Orfeo (2018 bulb of the year)
- Gladioli Border Mix
- Agapanthus African Surf Collection (new for 2018)
- Begonia Scent of Angels Collection (new for 2018)
Appreciated for its intense fragrance, the award-winning Lily Regale is truly magnificent, with glistening pure white trumpets, golden throats and pink / purple streaks on the outside. Producing up to 25 blossoms per stem, this ever-popular variety can reach up to 120cm in height, with its sweetly intoxicating scent emanating from its blossoms. This lily makes an excellent border plant, providing striking colour and contrast to the perennial border. It likes well drained soil, a sunny spot in the garden, and preferably a little shade at its base. We recommend planting near a patio so you can enjoy the fragrance as you relax!
Dahlia Orfeo (2018 bulb of the year)
This stunning purple cactus variety is Taylors Bulbs Summer Flowering Bulb of the Year. Reaching a height of 100cm, it will flower all summer long bringing vibrant colour to your border display, and is also a great choice for the cut flower garden. It likes a sunny position in well-drained soil.
Gladioli Border Mix
This bee friendly mix of garden gladioli will flower from July to September. Grown on a sheltered site in full sun, it will brighten the border with sword-like foliage and striking flower spikes in a range of colours. Planting can also be staggered to provide a succession of blooms for cutting to enjoy inside the home, their vase life will be typically six to ten days.
Agapanthus African Surf Collection
The Classic Combination mix of Agapanthus Blue and Agapanthus White, can be grown in the border but also will look fabulous in containers on a sunny patio. Their strong stems make them great for cut flowers. Bearing the ‘Perfect for Pollinators’ logo, this exotic looking combination will be in flower throughout June and July and will make a fabulous addition to the wildlife friendly garden.
Begonia Scent of Angels Collection
A highly scented mix of Pendula Begonia Odorata Red and pale pink Odorata Angelique, this Classic Combination is ideally suited to creating elegant hanging baskets and filling containers that will provide a display of beautiful double flowers and sweet fragrance from July onwards. Prefers semi-shade in rich soil.