A display of colourful summer bulbs and tubers

Photo credit: Langley Advance

Langley gardening: Container options provide lasting colour 

by Anne Marrison

When container spring bulbs are over and stored away or planted out in the garden, the vacant pots they left are a chance for a heart-gladdening display of colourful summer bulbs and tubers.
Some, such as begonias and dahlias flower repeatedly once they start while others such as acidanthera and Pineapple Lily keep blooming for many weeks.
Agapanthus is not outstandingly long-flowered at first, but its usually blue blooms are spectacular and their tall seedheads are pretty in winter vases.
When it’s kept happy with rich feeding, water and bonemeal, its tubers increase into large masses which in time produce masses of blooms. Agapanthus is well-suited to containers because it well-tolerates being potbound. But all the evergreen kinds are tender, and should be taken inside for winter.
There are hardier deciduous amaryllis but the variety I grew was much smaller than evergreen amaryllis but hardy overwinter in zone 7. My experience was with Cally Hardy mix (seed from http://www.chilternseeds.co.uk).
Containers are very suitable for slug-prone plants because it’s easy to wrap some copper slug tape around the pot, and they’re safe for a couple of seasons. That’s why aside from their huge range of colours and shapes, the smaller type containerized dahlias are carefree as well as gladsome once they start blooming.

Read the full article: Langley Advance


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.