The best thing about being a gardener in September is that it’s time to start thinking about planting flowers for next year. I love it – choosing shapes and colours, buying bags of knobbly bulbs, planning your planting scheme, and then the long wait over the dark winter months before you see the first of those flowers start to appear. Planting bulbs is also a great garden activity to do with kids, who can help with the planting and will love seeing things start to appear in a few months.
Here are four recommendations for spring and summer flowers that I love, but rarely see in gardens these days.
Purple Spears: Hermodactylus Tuberosus
Also called widow iris and snake iris, this spring flowering plant is far more attractive that the slightly off-putting names suggest. You’ll see its leaves start to poke through the frost in December, and its gorgeous deep purple flowers appear in February, making it one of the earliest flowering spring plants.
Exotic Crowns: Fritillana Imperialis
Also known as crown imperial, this exotic looking perennial grows up to 1.5 metres in height and has a spiked crown of leaves and hanging bell-like flowers. Plant now for flowering in April and May.
Firework Displays: Allium Schubertii
This is a wonderful allium with huge, spiky flowers that look like a pink firework display. They dry beautifully to be used in indoor displays too. Plant them now for flowering in June and July.
Scarlet Lanterns: Lilium Pumilum (Tenuifolium)
This gorgeous lily is easy to grow and produces a pretty display of scarlet flowers which survive well when cut. Plant now for early to mid summer flowering.