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Gerty’s top 5 flowers to plant in spring

Posted by Gerty the Garden Gnome, on April 11, 2022.

There’s nothing like seeing bursts of colour pop up in your garden. This, paired with the smell of freshly cut grass and bumblebees buzzing are the sure signs that Spring is here. With the warmer and longer days, what better time to start filling up the old forgotten pots from Winter with fresh colourful flowers? Maybe you want some sunny yellow flowers, or you’re looking to attract more wildlife into your garden in 2022. We’ve gpt you covered and here’s the top 5 flowers you can plant this Spring for long-lasting blooms all summer long.

Marigolds

Just from walking down the street, you’re likely to see Marigolds planted in most UK gardens. They’re a nation’s favourite for good reason too – they last all summer! With over 50 species of marigold available, in all different colours, they’re a must-have for your garden this year.

The common English name is derived from “Mary’s Gold”, yet the Latin name Tagetes is from Roman mythology, named after Tages who was the founding prophet of the Etruscan religion, who according to legend, appeared at plough-time and taught the Etruscans divination. Tagetes (Marigold) may have taken its name because it grows well in almost any sort of soil, with great tolerance to drought. It’s true that Marigolds are very easy to look after. So whether you have a green thumb or you just like to see pretty flowers in your garden, these little yellow bedding plants will be forgiving if you forget to water. All they require is deadheading every few weeks.

Petunias

Perfect Petunias are best placed in beds, borders and hanging baskets. But, they’re classed as tender perennials meaning you need to make sure all risk of frost has passed before planting out. They can be kept in the greenhouse and sown inside if you fancy growing your own. They have a trumpet-shaped flower head and are available in lots of colours.

Petunia is a type of flowering plant that belongs to the family of nightshades. There are 35 species of petunia that originate from South America. All types of petunia can be divided into 4 major groups:

Grandiflora

Petunias of this type produce large flowers of different colours and forms. Despite their large size, these plants are sensitive to heavy rainfall so they prefer to be in a covered spot.

Hedgiflora

Spreading petunias that grow quickly and cover large areas of soil in a short period of time. This type of petunia produces lots of flowers that can completely cover the foliage beneath them.

Multiflora

Usually two times smaller than Grandiflora type. They are hardy and able to produce flowers both during hot and wet seasons. Flowers are usually white, yellow, pink, deep red and purple coloured.

Milliflora

Produce the smallest flowers. They are usually only 1 inch wide, but they are brightly coloured and grow in abundance. This type of petunia blooms successfully without pruning so makes a great low maintenance flower.

Gladioli, Freesias and Lillies

These three summer flowers are to be planted in Spring. They all make wonderful cut flowers that last weeks in a vase and are available in a wide range of colours. Grow in moist but well-draining pots or borders, planting the bulbs and corms two weeks before your last frost date.

Relatively low maintenance, while in flower, give your Gladioli, Freesias and Lillies tomato feed or comfrey feed every couple of weeks. For tender varieties, and in colder parts of the country, lift the corms each autumn and overwinter them in frost-free conditions. For hardier varieties, cover with a thick mulch in autumn to protect from cold snaps. Divide congested clumps every few years for lasting flowers.

Wildflowers

The best way to attract wildlife and natural predators to your garden is by leaving a patch of your garden to grow and sowing wildflowers. Not only are they a beautiful sight, but Wildflowers also provide pollinators and insects with food from leaves, pollen, nectar, shelter and places to breed. Pollinators then return the favour by transferring pollen, enabling the wildflowers to develop seeds that produce more flowers.

Our favourite fruits and vegetables such as apples, strawberries, raspberries and more, rely on pollinating to produce a good crop. This job is carried out by pollinators that depend on wildflowers; without them, we would require artificial pollination, which is time-consuming and very costly. You can even sow wildflowers in a container, simply sprinkle and cover. Nature will do the rest. They do prefer quite basic and unfertile soil, so there’s no need to buy special compost.

Sunflowers

Also fantastic for pollinators and birds are Sunflowers. These towering yellow blooms will brighten up your day too. There are lots of different varieties of red, yellow and even pink blooms to choose from. Sunflowers are great for beginner gardeners or kids to sow as they’re low maintenance and can be sown straight into the ground. Just watch out for pesky slugs, but Gerty will look out for you.

Sunflowers can be grown in pots or in beds, they don’t all have to be skyscrapers either! Dwarf Sunflowers are now available for bedding plants. Annual sunflowers bloom from summer into autumn. Depending on the variety, they can take 11-18 weeks to flower from seed sowing. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to sow sunflower seeds every couple of weeks, so you’ll have a constant supply of beautiful flowers all season.

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