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Planting summer flowers is the easiest way to brighten up your garden throughout the warm season, and there are plenty of vibrant blooms which can be dug into beds and borders right now. Tender varieties will thrive as the soil heats up throughout spring, but what are the best varieties to add to your outdoor space? Express.co.uk reveals the five stunning flowers that can be planted in late March and exactly how to get them growing.
This popular garden flower offers a brilliant burst of colour from May through to October, and a fresh scent which just can’t be beaten.
Not only do geraniums make for the perfect bedding plant, but they are also known to thrive in traditional terracotta pots – a welcome addition to a tired patio space.
According to Gardeners’ World, geraniums can be grown in garden soil of any type but will benefit from a neutral or alkaline soil.
For best results, plant these delicate blooms in moist but well-drained soil in full sun.
Astrantias (also known as Hattie’s pincushion or masterwort) are summer-flowering perennials for mixed beds or borders.
Their starry flowerheads are easy to grow, but a moisture-retentive soil is best for these tall-stemmed flowers.
Gardeners’ World said: “Generally, astrantias prefer sites with dappled shade, for example under trees or around shrubs in a moist border.
“Darker varieties, such as ‘Hadspen Blood’, will perform better in a sunnier spot, so do check before choosing.”
For perfectly planted bare-root astrantia, you should:
- Soak the roots in water for three to six hours prior to planting
- Plant them in temporary pots with multipurpose compost
- Choose a pot which comfortably fits the bare roots
- Transplant into beds or borders by the end of April ahead of their flowering period
These flowers are cherished for their flamboyant appearance, though time is running out to plant them in your garden.
The final weeks of March provide the perfect planting conditions for both oriental and Himalayan poppies, and it can be done in a few simple steps.
Larger, perennial oriental poppies are perfect for growing in a border, ideally at the front or middle.
Dig a large hole and add in some well-rotted matter to enrich the planting site.
Remove the bare root poppy from its pot and place it in the hole at the same depth it was in the pot. Backfill the hole and firm it in place.
These summer flowering blooms look particularly enticing when planted alongside low-growing perennials, such as hardy geraniums, that will fill the gap in July when the foliage dies back.
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Also known as the butterfly flower or “poor man’s orchid”, the schizanthus is a good choice for an annual border.
These tall-stemmed flowers can be sown directly into the soil right now from seeds, though you can also sow them indoors around eight to 10 weeks before the last frost has passed.
Schizanthus should be grown in a sunny part of the garden and should be spaced in even rows according to their size.
As a general rule, you should sow:
- Smaller varieties 25cm apart
- Medium varieties 40cm apart
- Large varieties 60-80cm apart
Keep the planting site enriched with plenty of organic matter and ensure the soil is well-drained.
Plant Schizanthus with cineraria and Primula malacoides for an impressive summer display.
Dahlias are one of the easiest varieties to grow, offering plenty of vibrant blooms with very little maintenance.
These tender tubers won’t survive a frost, so always wait until the very end of March until planting them directly into your garden pots or containers.
English gardener, cook and writer, Sarah Raven said: “Plant the tubers just under the soil surface and ensure they are approximately 75cm apart.
“Insert a stout stick to act as a stake when planting as they can make sizeable plants when fully grown.”
You should always mulch over the top of dahlia tubers or protect them with a cloche or horticultural fleece to get them growing in early spring.
Whether you choose to raise your dahlia tubers outside in the garden or undercover, you should always pinch out the tips of the main shoot once three pairs of leaves have grown.
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