Advanced search

Summery things like tulips.

(29 Posts)
civilfawlty Tue 26-Apr-16 19:44:09

Hello clever gardeners. I'm looking for flowers for the summer which pop up as vibrant and singularly as, say, a bright red tulip. I have some alliums, and delphiniums. What else is there?

(Does the question even make sense??)

Starman16 Tue 26-Apr-16 19:48:32


RubySparks Tue 26-Apr-16 19:53:44

Cosmos though they are more pink/white, crocosmia for late summer, sunflowers could be good, rudbeckia and helenium for later summer too. I have some deep blue acquilegias that are early summer, can also get them in a strong maroon colour and lime green.

cavalo Tue 26-Apr-16 19:55:08


RubySparks Tue 26-Apr-16 19:55:47

Or alliums! Allium Christophi are huge big purple globes.

civilfawlty Tue 26-Apr-16 22:03:13

Lovely suggestions. Thank you!

bookbook Wed 27-Apr-16 08:40:26

One of my favourites - into autumn
Schizostylis - (Kaffir Lily )

shovetheholly Wed 27-Apr-16 08:49:28

ALLIUMS ALLIUMS ALLIUMS ALLIUMS ALLIUMS! They are like money and books - you cannot have enough of them, in enough varieties.

For this time of year - where we ought to feel like we are heading towards summer, but are apparently not at the moment - camassia look amazing planted singly through something like grasses. There are Nigel Dunnett verges in my city planted this way, and it looks sensational.

Later summer - nerine looks lovely. Eremurus if you have sun and want something taller.

Kr1stina Wed 27-Apr-16 11:22:01

Can I just check - you want something with large dramatic flowers in bright colours ?

Do you have a preference for colour ?

Tell us about your garden - sunny or shady, soil type, wet or dry , windy or sheltered ?

Are you able and willing to do annuals - plants you have to sow from seed or buy as baby plants , they only last one summer ?

civilfawlty Wed 27-Apr-16 14:30:45

Garden is in bright sunshine. I think what I want to create is bright dots of colour within other plants, rather than clusters of plants per se. Does that make sense?

I'd like a mixture - some annuals, with some more permanent, so I feel like I am really building a garden.

Thank you!

Ferguson Wed 27-Apr-16 20:14:06

Fuchsia come in a vast range of colours, are easy to propagate, and can be trained to be tall 'standards' or compact bushes.

Heuchera have many varied leaf colours, are easy in borders, and have some small flowers; virtually evergreen, so there all year.

shovetheholly Thu 28-Apr-16 08:29:28

Can you post a picture of the kind of look you're after civil?

A word of caution about this. I tried to do something similar in the central bed in my garden. I filled it with summer bulbs - tulips, irises, and several kinds of alliums. And planted grasses around this. The idea was that it would be a kind of haze of grass, punctuated with flowers.

What it actually looked like was a bit of a mess! I am no design expert, but I think it might be a problem of scale. If you are like Beth Chatto and have acres to play with, then it's possible to do a 'run' of grass that is literally a couple of dozen plants long, and then plant alliums in it (prairie planting style). And because it takes up really quite a lot of space, it has a coherence to the eye. Whereas in a small garden, where you have three or five plants of something, it tends to dissolve into incoherence. I'm not saying it can't work - it probably could, but you would have to restrict yourself quite strictly and severely to a small range of repeated plants. And I do not have the discipline for that. I like lots of different plants!! So I am going back to a loose, clumpy look.

dolkapots Thu 28-Apr-16 08:36:30

Red geraniums look amazing.

MuddhaOfSuburbia Thu 28-Apr-16 08:44:18

How about agapanthus

funnyperson Thu 28-Apr-16 14:50:18

Alstromeria? Lilies?

Kr1stina Thu 28-Apr-16 16:46:12

LOL holly you are the Sheffield school

Kr1stina Thu 28-Apr-16 16:54:19

Something like this style , OP? < Dunno why link is so long >

civilfawlty Thu 28-Apr-16 18:29:20

Ha! Didn't occur to me to attach actual pictures...

I think what I want to achieve is this:

civilfawlty Thu 28-Apr-16 18:30:26

And, although it is beautiful, I do not want to do this:

civilfawlty Thu 28-Apr-16 18:31:36

But I don't have a huge garden - 45ft - so perhaps it would look messy rather than free and dappled. Perhaps if I restricted the pallet...

ChishandFips33 Thu 28-Apr-16 19:01:14

That first picture is beautiful - want it!

shovetheholly Fri 29-Apr-16 08:38:02

OK, that first picture (the one with the red poppies) looks like someone has sown a meadow mix. This could be a great way of achieving the look you want. The only word of caution I'd sound is this: a lot of people think a wild flower meadow is a low-maintenance option. That's not necessarily true. Yes, you pretty much leave it to do its thing all summer, but it will need cutting, and it will need resowing, weeding and replenishing in the longer term (thinks like yellow rattle can help, as it's parasitic on grass). Otherwise, the grass will take over.

The second picture, with the lillies, is very different. Here, someone has planted lots of little plugs of plants of perennials together. I am a bit suspicious of it, because if you look at the placing of the plants it looks slightly photoshopped - however, this could just be a result of seeing the picture really small on Mumsnet! Anyway, the effect can easily be achieved by putting together lots of different things. The challenge is to keep it looking good year-in, year-out because plants naturally want to grow and clump up, and this effect is basically about preventing them from doing that - so constant division and replacement will be needed. A restrained colour palette is also pretty important. Also, bear in mind that, where you have a lot of things that are out together in late summer (as in that picture), it will need some effort to stop it looking like a non-descript sea of greens the rest of the year, and the whole thing will die back to virtually nothing over winter and look quite bare.

The third picture, with the nigella growing through alchemilla, is actually more clump planted. You have just two things that contrast strongly with each other and flower synchronously planted to trail through each other. I think it's easier to achieve a really good effect with this in a small space - it's clever and controlled. Sometimes I think that gardening is like co-ordinating a year-long firework display. You want a variety of coordinated big bangs that come pretty incessantly, and this is one way of doing that. You might find Christopher Lloyd's book Colour for Adventurous Gardeners inspiring if you like this - it is full of lovely illustrations of similarly bright combinations. This kind of style is also easier to achieve, and lower maintenance than the second option, because you're working with the natural tendency of plants to form clumps.

Note: for both option 1 and option 2 you need sunshine, ideally a south-facing garden that isn't on heavy clay!

RubySparks Fri 29-Apr-16 08:49:44

Love the nigella and alchemilla together! I'm stealing that idea, currently have cat mint and alchemilla together but the stronger blue looks great. I think cornflowers would work too.

ChishandFips33 Fri 29-Apr-16 20:34:12

Note: for both option 1 and option 2 you need sunshine, ideally a south-facing garden that isn't on heavy clay!
Ha! That's me beaten on all 3 counts then

I've learnt so much from these boards - your knowledge Shove is enviable!

shovetheholly Sat 30-Apr-16 09:35:02

Dinnae fash thyself, there are still loads of lovely options. You WILL get your sensational, colourful pairings just with different plants. What soil/aspect do you have?? If it's northfacing and clay, come join my shade garden thread and those of us in the shadows can think up some pairings!!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now