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Summer bulbs and perennials: the perfect match

Summer-flowering bulbs make a wonderful addition to perennials in a border. They add just that little extra - sometimes even exotic - touch to your garden.

The combinations are endless

Try planting summer bulbs in between tall and short perennials, or among perennials that have already finished flowering early in the summer. The Good Luck Shamrock (Oxalis), for example, looks charming among low-growing plants. Another good match would be ornamental grass with Abyssinian Gladiolus (Gladiolus callianthus ‘Murielae’) or dahlias. Lilies also make perfect partners for ornamental grasses. After all, they come in so many different colours that you can always find just the right one. Actually, the combinations are endless. The Dahlia, Gladiolus, Pineapple Lily (Eucomis), Canna Lily (Canna) and Calla Lily (Zantedeschia) - all can be planted among perennials. And they'll add the most gorgeous colours to your garden!

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The popular Crocosmia

Crocosmia, also known as Montbretia, is a decorative summer bulb that produces medium-sized, brightly coloured flowers one above the other on the same stem. The most common flower colours for Crocosmia are red, orange and yellow. Its corms can remain undisturbed for years and will naturalise - increase in numbers - very easily. The Crocosmia's sparkling colours and long flowering period (July - September) have made it all the rage in recent years. It looks spectacular when combined with many perennials such as Sneezeweed (Helenium), Purpletop Vervain (Verbena) and Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia). But it also goes nicely with other summer bulbs such as the Lily (Lilium), Dahlia and Canna Lily (Canna).

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Sunny spots

Summer bulbs will feel right at home anywhere, even in poor soils. This is because their flower bulbs contain food reserves. Choose a sunny spot to plant your summer bulbs where they will produce even more flowers and a fragrance that becomes even sweeter on those warm summer days. For a natural look, plant them here and there among other plants. Summer bulbs are also perfect for filling bare spots in the border. If you choose varieties with different flowering periods and heights, you can enjoy the most beautiful flowers from June to the end of October.

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Planting and caring for summer bulbs

Plant summer bulbs in the garden in April or May, when the risk of ground frosts is past. Plant them twice as deep as they are tall. The exception to this, however, is the Dahlia; plant dahlias so shallowly that last year's stem protrudes just above the soil. Although summer bulbs prefer soil that's not too moist, they can sometimes suffer from drought. For this reason, water them regularly.

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