Summer is just around the corner (allegedly!), so now is an excellent time to think about introducing some colourful summer bedding plants into your garden. We have a great selection of bedding plants, but if you need a bit of help choosing the right plants, here is a quick guide to the most popular plants.
What are Bedding Plants?
Bedding plants are annuals. They are used to create blocks of colour in beds, tubs, and hanging baskets. Most gardeners discard their bedding plants at the end of the season, but you can keep some of them going over winter if you wish. Some species, like geraniums, can be lifted, potted, and placed in a conservatory or greenhouse, and then replanted the following year.
You can grow your own bedding plants from seed if you have the time and inclination, but most people prefer the convenience of purchasing seedling plug plants in trays or more mature specimens in pots and multi-packs.
The Best Time to Plant Summer Bedding Plants
Bedding plants typically go out in May/June. By now, the weather has started to improve, and early morning frosts are a thing of the past, although some species are hardy and can withstand frost. You can also add bedding plants to your garden in September/October for a last burst of colour before winter arrives.
Popular Species of Summer Bedding Plants
- Petunias come in a wonderful array of colours. They are vigorous, hardy annuals that are suitable for beds, containers and hanging baskets. You can even train some of them to climb a trellis or frame!
- Lobelia are the perfect addition to a hanging basket. They are very easy to grow and when in full bloom, you can look forward to a dense waterfall of blue, lilac, and purple flowers.
- Geraniums are everyone’s favourite. They love hot, sunny sections of the garden and will continue to flower all summer long. Geraniums come in a selection of vibrant colours including red, pink, purple and white.
- Begonias have large, flamboyant flowers. They are happy in full sun or shade, which makes them very versatile. Some varieties can be lifted over winter and replanted the following year. You’ll find begonias in a range of colours. Plant begonias in beds, hanging baskets, and window boxes.
- Bizzy Lizzie or Impatiens have a long flowering season and offer excellent ground cover in beds and borders. Busy Lizzies will last until the first frost of autumn, so you get plenty of value for money. They don’t mind shade, so use them to fill areas of the garden around trees, large shrubs and hedges.
- Sweet Peas are a classic cottage garden bedding plant. They will grow up a trellis, netting, and any kind of structure, creating a wall of vibrant colour. Sweet Peas flowers are wonderfully fragrant, which makes them a perfect choice for any garden.
Plan your beds in advance of buying plants. Choose a colour scheme and select plants based on whether they like shade or full sun. These plants work best when used to create blocks of colour and fill gaps between more established perennials.
If you need any more advice about bedding plants, just ask one of the team!