HOW TO PLANT A GARDEN FOR ALL YEAR FLOWERS
To create a garden that flowers all year round use the following approach :
Spring Flowering Bulbs - Buy in late Summer, arrive early Autumn, dig in Nov to Jan.
Summer Flowering Perennials - Buy from Spring to Autumn, plant anytime of year except during Winter.
Summer Flowering Bulbs - Buy in Winter and plant in Spring
Direct Sow seeds - Buy anytime of year, use as the soil warms up and weed seedlings start to appear.
Winter flowering Trees and Shrubs - Buy and plant anytime of year
HOW TO PLANT SPRING FLOWERING BULBS
If you are going to dig a hole for some bulbs you may as well dig a deeper one and add a bulb 'lasagne'. A bulb lasagne gives six months of colour. Something all bulbs hate (unless noted otherwise) is sitting about with wet feet all winter. I highly recommend adding horticultural grit to the bottom of the planting hole and mixing grit through the soil/compost to aid drainage. The bulbs mentioned here like to be in an open sunny spot, but will tolerate a semi sun position. The months shown below are the flowering times. The bulbs all go in together in November / December.
Spring Bulb Flowering Times
Spring Bulb Planting Depths
USING DIRECT SOW SEEDS
Direct sow seeds also known as 'throw and grow' seeds are the cheapest and easiest gardening you will ever do. Weed the area you want to sow, you don't want to be nurturing a patch of dandelions. Give the soil a gentle rake to loosen the surface. Water the area really well before you start . Then sprinkle the seeds as you wish. You can cast a single variety of seed to create drifts of one flower or mix them all up to create a jumble of flowers.
Little tip, it's easier to spot the weeds amongst a drift of the same seedlings. Space them out well. I hate 'thinning out' which means removing the weaker baby seedlings to give the bigger ones more space to grow. It feels cruel and judgemental and wasteful. I sow every three weeks from March to June. This means as some have flowered, more are still coming through and this gives months of colour.
SUMMER TO AUTUMN FLOWERING PLANTS
The bulk of summer plants should be Hardy Perennials. Choosing plants based on the correct sun levels is crucial for a happy, easy to look after garden. Full sun plants love to bathe in sun all day and evening, 6 hours would be the minimum. Part Sun plants like to get a bit of sunbathing done but will wilt and sulk if left in all day sun. 3 to 6 hrs is perfect. There are two types of shade:
Full shade for instance under trees, areas where it feels gloomy and dark.
North facing or other areas which don't receive direct sunlight but are not dark. Use a combo of shade and part sun plants.
These are well covered in other areas of the site.
WINTER FLOWERING PLANTS
Winter flowers are the most valuable. Cut through the winter gloom with flowers and fragrance. Shown below are Viburnum x bod Dawn, Lonicera a flowering, scented climber and Daphne odorata.