For summer flowers, sowing should take place between January and May. If the weather does not allow it, prepare the soil at the location where you intend to install your nursery or place your pots as desired so that they are ready for the warm season. Then, begin the initial work by choosing the best seeds and cuttings. Your garden will adorn itself in colours and will bring you much joy and satisfaction.

Often sensitive to the cold, most of the summer flowers are planted during spring, when the risks of frost are virtually non-existent. To obtain beautiful summer flowers, do not hesitate to resort to a high-quality planting soil rich in potassium and magnesium to be added to your flowers in boxes and containers. As for in-ground planting, the soil’s preparation must be well cared for by incorporating organic manure.

Summer bulbs

There are several varieties of summer bulbs that each deserve to be better known for their exoticism, generosity and originality. The bulbs are planted in spring, just after the frosting periods. Apart from tuberous begonias and buttercups that bloom in partial shade, the other bulbs like the sun. Native to Mexico, the dahlias are classified into several types including cactus, decorative, balls, pom poms, dwarves and topmix. They carry single or double flowers of different colours and petals of various shapes. Gladioli, in turn, are ideal for putting together sumptuous bouquets due to the bright colour range they offer including pink, red, white, salmon, orange, blue, purple and black. They are planted 4 inches (10 cm) beneath the ground’s surface and must be spaced out 8 inches (20 cm) apart. While tuberous begonias have bushy 8 to 12 inch (20 to 30 cm) bearings for flowers that reach 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter, double begonias have large flowers that come in various colours and petals which may be serrated. Similar to the banana tree, the canna has a long stem with green or purple oval leaves. It is planted at a depth of 4 inches (10 cm) beneath the ground’s surface and must be spaced out 23 inches apart (60 cm). Very elegant and fragrant, lily has trumpet-shaped or star-shaped flowers that come in many colours. For beautiful flowers in summer, place them at a depth of up to 8 inches (20 cm) underground.

Planting and maintaining climbing plants

Summer is the best season for planting climbing plants. Sold in containers, they must be planted between September and April. To plant them, you must dig a hole near the support to which the plant will cling. Start by tilling the hole’s entire bottom. Then, after removing the plant from its container, dip it in water so that it can rehydrate and leave it in until there are no more bubbles. The clod will be positioned at a slight angle. Fill up the hole, fashion a small bowl, and then water. The planting area will be mulched with a 2 to 4-inch (5 to 10 cm) thick layer of grass clippings to avoid the ground from being compacted too quickly and in order for it to better retain moisture. The varieties of climbing plants are very broad. The deciduous species, such as clematis, are sought for their flowers, the kiwi for its fruit, the Virginia creeper for its autumnal colour and honeysuckle for its fragrance. You also have other available choices regarding woody plants such as trumpet vine or wisteria, grasses such as morning glory, nasturtium, sweet pea, colocynth or black-eyed Susan which you will put in a greenhouse prior to transplantation in the garden. As for the maintenance of climbing plants, it is limited to regular cleaning and pruning of the branches in autumn. Notwithstanding, remember that plants that bloom in summer can only be pruned in winter.

How to plant and maintain perennials?

Perennials offer an unlimited variety of shapes, colours, flavours and textures. They are sold in cups or containers. Although they can be planted year-round, it is better to plant them in autumn or just after winter in order for them to produce beautiful flowers in the summer. Summer perennials include achillea, acanthus, bellflower, common hollyhock, oxeye daisy, cornflower, carnations, larkspur, knotweed, phlox, Scabiosa, sage and many more. The maintenance of these perennials consists of weeding them from time to time, limiting the proliferation of the more invasive species and providing them with a supply of manure in late winter. Perennials are often propagated by dividing clumps although sowing, the taking of cuttings and layering can also be used.

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Published in Flower guide by Alexander on 06 Jul 2011