Summer-flowering bulbs for stunning garden displays

Bring your garden to life this summer by planting your bulbs now!

Summer flowering bulbs

by Eleanor Weaver |

Now the weather is beginning to warm for spring, it's the perfect time to start planting your summer-flowering bulbs and tubers for a gorgeous summertime display.

Summer-flowering bulbs are probably the most easy-grow, high impact plants you can add to your garden borders with easy upkeep and minimal room required to plant.

They'll bloom into a beautiful array of colours and truly bring your garden to life in time for some hopeful garden gathering and BBQs later in the year.

We've listed our favourite flowers and some of their varieties of bulbs and tubers below. Take this as your reminder to pick your summer-flowering bulbs now for a beautiful garden you can't help but admire – happy planting!

Allium

Alliums
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You know summer’s on the horizon when dramatic displays of Alliums appear!

These strong stemmed perennials have ornamental rounded heads of flowers that'll pop up among other plants with bold impact. If you're really looking to make a statement with these flowers, plant them in groups of at least five or more if your variety of choice has smaller, slighter forms.

Alliums will bloom from May/ June in time for summer and although they look good nuzzled among other flowers, make sure they still get plenty of light and air to continue to grow healthily for years to come.

The best time of year to plant them is in the autumn, so if it's not quite time yet take this as inspiration for next year! Plant them about 3-4 inches deep in moist, but well-drained soil.

Varieties to buy

Begonia

Begonia
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Used in flower bedding, hanging baskets and everything in between, Begonias are a classic flower that can bring colour to your garden or patio throughout the whole of summer.

They thrive in sun and shade and are therefore a really easy summer-flowering bulb to work with - they're only sensitive to the cold and frost.

With long-lasting large flowers, they come in an array of colours from vibrant bright sprays to softer pastels.

As a tropical plant, make sure to plant your Begonia bulbs in spring when the soil is warm and position about 1 inch below the soil surface. Water as needed (at least once a week) and you should begin to see sprouts appear within 4 weeks.

Varieties to buy

Freesia

Freesia
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The Freesia perennial is a great addition to the garden, bringing an alluring floral perfume and an abundance of long-lasting delicate flowers.

Ideal for borders and tightly planted together in pots, you can cut them too to make marvellous long-lasting displays in the home to bring that gorgeous scent and character in.

These bulbs are effortless to grow - simply bury 2 inches into a damp soil and make sure they’re in full sun.

Varieties to buy

Gladioli

Gladioli
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This showy bulb is one of the most popular summer flowering bulbs available in Britain and it's very likely you'd have seen it frequently in cottage gardens or in the gardens of heritage homes.

Grown for their exquisite semi-dwarf or tall spiky stems and funnel shaped flowers, they make superb cut flowers and are a must for summer flower arrangements.

From frilly pastel blooms to vivid, fashionable colours, there's an array to choose from to spice up your garden borders.

Plant your Gladioli in a sunny spot of your garden in well-drained soil. Plant every couple of weeks over the course of spring for your flower to bloom in succession right through the summer.

Varieties to buy

Crocosmia

Crocosmia
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These pretty, fiery summer-flowering bulbs have unfurling arching stems in the later summer months.

Their colour, usually a spicy blood red-orange with yellow tinges is sure to bring the sunshine into your garden even if the great British weather can't deliver!

Originating in damp South African grasslands these bulbs love moist, rich soil, a good bit of sun and to be watered well.

Plant your Crocosmia bulbs 4 inches deep and in succession over the course of May for continual blooms from June-September.

Varieties to buy

Cannas

Canna Lily
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Cannas have dramatic foliage and striking blooms that'll fill your summer garden with vibrant colours and bring that tropical holiday-feel to your very own garden.

Found in complimentary hues of orange, red, pink and yellow, they'll flower from June through to October for a terrific summer display that goes the distance.

Get planting these tender perennials in your garden borders or containers between now and the end of April and leave any young shoots exposed above the soil. Keep your soil warm and well moistened for a plant that'll grow nice and quickly.

Varieties to buy

Agapanthus

Agapanthus
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Agapanthus is another South African beauty that is nothing but elegant, with little trumpet flowers making up large bright blue, purple or white globes.

Their fluffball blooms stand out handsomely from mid to late summer. When they die down in autumn and winter, their ethereal seed heads can be left as a structural feature.

Great for pots or open borders, plant your bulbs 2 inches below the surface of the soil in a sunny spot, making sure to water them weekly. Get these planted from the end of March into April for a thriving summer display.

Varieties to buy

Dahlia

Dahlia
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Dahlias hail from Mexico, but are classic British cottage garden plants that simply thrive in our climate with showy colours ranging through the spectrum with pastels and brights.

These flowers are easy to grow and extremely worthwhile as a floriferous plant - it'll continue to produce masses of huge, spectacular flowers throughout the summer months.

Blooming in July and continuing to flower until around October time, this summer-flowering bulb likes fertile, well-drained soil in the sun without too many neighbours close by.

Get planting your Dahlia variety of choice towards the end of May, whether this be a tall feature plant or a smaller variety for compact bedding.

Varieties to buy

Watsonia

Watsonia
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The delicate flowering Watsonia bulbs usually come in a range of orange and peach hues. As a garden plant, Watsonia blooms in midsummer, providing subtle colouring to a flower border and attracting bees and bird alike.

With fragrant, trumpet shaped flowers, giving it it's alternative name as the Bugle Lily, this is another perennial perfectly suited to a tropical style garden.

Plant your Watsonia bulbs in spring, 4 inches deep in a well-drained soil with full sun exposure to help it thrive.

Varieties to buy

Sparaxis

Sparaxis
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With kaleidoscopic centres, the star shaped flowers of the Sparaxis are sure to dazzles any garden visitors.

With an amazingly diverse range of colours including orange, red, white, yellow, pink and magenta, the Sparaxis flower stands atop delicate stems and bloom in the early summer.

Make sure to plant the Sparaxis bulbs 2 inches deep in well drained, fertile soil when all signs of frost have passed. This could be in late autumn or in spring but the bulbs prefer a warm, protected spot in your garden.

Varieties to buy

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