Planting your summer bedding

 

Planting your summer bedding

Bedding plants give a garden a decorative seasonal display for beds, borders, hanging baskets and pots. Bedding can be grown from seed, bought as seedlings or as pot grown specimens. Now is the time to start thinking about planting out.

Hardy annuals

These are plants that go through their entire life cycle in one season.

How. These can be sown outside in the open garden in spring where it is to flower. In many areas this carries with it the implication that it can happily survive the spring frosts as a seedling. These can be sown directly into the soil and will withstand frosty conditions.

What. Alyssum, Calendula (pot marigold), Iberis (candytuft) and Limnanthes Douglasii (poached egg plant).


Hardy biennials
These complete their life-cycle in two seasons.

How. In general, biennials are sown in late spring or early summer, so they have a generous amount of time to bulk up before flowering the following year. Sow them each year to ensure you have a regular supply to plant out in the garden, or in containers.

What. Alcea (hollyhock), Dianthus (sweet William), Erysimum (wallflower) and Myosotis (forget-me-not). Ornamental Brassicas (kale and cabbage).


Half-hardy perennials
These live for several years, usually flowering from the second season. Frost-tender, and often discarded at the end of the season, yet they can be overwintered if given frost protection.

How. Some half hardy annuals are tough enough to sow outside in late May and still flower prolifically from midsummer onwards. There are two key factors: choosing the right varieties and giving them the right conditions.

What. Bellis (daisy), Begonia, Pelargonium (geranium) and Lobelia, Busy Lizzies and Viola (pansy)


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As bulbs fade and herbaceous borders grow in leaps and bounds, it is now clear that summer is approaching. Sowing and planting out bedding can begin, depending on regional weather variations, and you can take softwood cuttings. It's also time to get back into the lawn mowing regime, as the lawn will be loving the warmer temperatures this month brings.

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