To help you get the most from your flower garden, we asked some of our favourite green-fingered bloggers for their expert tips and advice. From planning your beds to pruning, here’s some great advice to get your flowers blooming like never before.
Resist the temptation to plant anything until you’ve had chance to think about the kind of display you’d like to create, says Emma at Palais Flowers. She emphasises just how important it is to think about colour:
“Block colour makes a real statement whilst clashing tones remind us of the wonder and diversity of flowers!
And do consider how your planting scheme will keep you in blooms throughout the growing season and beyond. Dave at Wild Nature Blog loves year-round colour. He goes for “winter and spring flowering clematis, verbena bonariensis for summer into autumn, and late-flowering species such as sedum.”
Keeping the blooms coming is great for nature too, wildlife loving Dave says: “Insects are a critical part of any food web, so this will benefit all wildlife in your garden.”
You want your flowers to bloom for as long as possible, and while staggering your planting is one approach, regular and judicious pruning and deadheading will make all your flowers last longer and produce more blooms.
We all know that bedding plants can get a bit leggy later in the summer, which is why Carol, aka The Sunday Gardener, pinches out the growing tips of her bedding plants during May and June. She says:
“It makes the plant grow more bushy and throw out side shoots so the plant has more flowers.
Try this technique with “verbena, begonias, geraniums, busy lizzies, petunias, lobelia, fuchsias, and just about all bedding plants, including sweet peas”. Carol also recommends deadheading your plants regularly to help them bloom until October.
Don’t leave it until your blooms are past their best to deadhead them, says Sara at My Flower Patch. She says, picking flowers encourages more to take their place, meaning you get to enjoy all your favourite blooms inside your home as well as out. To give your cut flowers the best chance of lasting, she says to:
“Pick freshly opened buds in the cool of the morning, or as the temperature cools in the late evening with a sharp pair of scissors or flower snips.
Pop your cut flowers into “a bucket or jar of water, and leave them to ‘condition’…Then choose your favourite vase to arrange them into.” Her favourite flowers from the garden are, cornflowers, cosmos, ammi visnaga, sweet peas, scabious and antirrhinums, all of which will go on to produce more blooms as you pick.
Wondering when’s best to prune your wisteria? Horticulturist, Lou Nicholls says to get the best display, remember the old adage:
“Longest cut, longest day; shortest cut, shortest day.
By pruning the “long whippy growth at midsummer back to 5 buds” you’ll encourage plenty of side shoots for next year’s flowers, Lou says. Then come midwinter, reduce all those extra side shoots to two buds, and you’ll have lovely “big flowering spikes” to look forward to.
As well as pruning, keep your eye on new growth on your climbers says Thomas at Thomas Stone Horticultural Services:
“Look at any climbing plants like roses or clematis at least once per week and tie in any new growth with 3 ply twine.
Do also remember your foliage, as well as flowering plants, Thomas says. Try treating your “box hedging, and topiary, as well as other plants with liquid seaweed which will strengthen the foliage and make them stronger to fight foliage diseases.”
If you have a tip for making your garden bloom, we’d love to hear from you. Just drop us a line via our Facebook page. In the meantime, we’ll leave you with this lovely daffodil tip from Susan Rushton:
“Don’t cut daffodils, pluck them.
She says by gripping at the base of the stem and pulling, you leave the end of the stalk sealed; with the sap still inside the flower will last longer and won’t contaminate the other stems in the vase.