Top 5... sum­mer-flow­er­ing bulbs

Plant hardy va­ri­eties now for a bumper crop of blooms

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1 Ca­mas­sia

Thick-rooted peren­ni­als pro­duc­ing a tuft of lin­ear leaves in late spring. Slen­der spires of starry, blue, pur­ple or white flow­ers from mid-late May. Any moist, welldrained to damp soil in sun or semi-shade. H: 60-90cm (2-3ft), S: 45-60cm (1½-2ft). Tip Ideal for nat­u­ral­is­ing in rough grass­land.

From www.tre­canna.co.uk; tel: 01822 834680.

2 Al­li­ums

Strik­ing bulbs with glob­u­lar heads of flow­ers, mainly in shades of pink, pur­ple, blue and white, from late May. At­trac­tive seed heads. Good for pol­li­na­tors. Any well-drained soil in sun. H: 15-90cm (6in-3ft), S: 15-30cm (6in-1ft). Tip Pro­vide suf­fi­cient space to avoid them be­ing swamped by sur­round­ing peren­ni­als. From www.sarahraven.com; tel: 0345 092 0283.

3 Gla­di­o­lus byzanti­nus

The hardi­est species pro­duc­ing spires of cerise-pink, fun­nel-shaped blooms from late May and June. Makes a good cut flower. Any moist, well-drained soil in sun. Plant corms 10-15cm (4-6in) deep on a bed of sand or fine gravel to aid drainage. Tip Part­ner with al­lium ‘Pur­ple Sen­sa­tion’ for a dra­matic ef­fect. From www.cro­cus.co.uk; tel: 01344 578111.

4 Dutch iris

Rhi­zoma­tous peren­nial with sword­like leaves, pro­duc­ing dra­matic multi-coloured blooms in ev­ery shade, but par­tic­u­larly blue, yel­low, white and bronze in June and July. Any moist, well-drained soil in sun. H: 55cm (1¾ft), S: 20cm (10in).

Tip Plant a range of va­ri­eties to use as a cut flower.

From www.de­jager.co.uk; tel: 01622 840229.

5 Lilies

Pop­u­lar bulbs pro­duc­ing tall stems cov­ered in pen­dant cap-shaped or fun­nel-shaped blos­soms. Trum­pet and Ori­en­tal hy­brid types have a strong, sweet scent, oth­ers are more sub­tle. Asi­atic types are un­scented, but the eas­i­est to grow in moist, well-drained soil in sun or semi-shade. H: 60cm-1.8m (2-6ft), S: 15-30cm (6in-1ft).

Tip Plant fleshy-leaved bulbs three times their depth so they es­tab­lish strong root sys­tems.

From www.hwhyde.co.uk; tel: 01189 340011.

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