Look out for summer-flowering bulbs, such as galtonia, in the garden centre. They’re great for filling gaps in the border.
If you don’t have a free spot at the moment, plant them in pots and temporarily place them in the border when they’re just about to flower, then move them back out of sight when they’ve finished.
Summer-flowering bulbs to try include: lilies, gladiolus, and dahlias. Most should be planted at three times the depth of the bulb, but check the recommendations on the packaging.
Now that spring has arrived, the temperature should be starting to creep upwards. But the lush new growth that this encourages is irresistible to slugs and snails, so be sure to take some controls now.
March may seem a bit too early to be watching out for lily beetles, but they often attack crown imperials (Fritillaria imperialis) – pictured above – at this time of year. Later on, they’ll attack lily flowers and foliage.
Squash any of the red adult beetles and the black larvae that you find or they’ll quickly shred the leaves and flowers.
The most effective way of improving the soil in established borders is to mulch the surface with a 3cm-layer of organic matter, such as garden compost or bark It will also help to suppress weeds and trap moisture in the soil.
Here Jeff shows us how to grow large Dahlia flowers, the largest in fact. If you want a truly remarkable show this summer, these Dinnerplate Dahlias are the perfect choice. As mentioned by Jeff, these spectacular flowers were for a long time out of favour amongst the British for summer garden displays. But these days