One of the greatest pleasures in life is having a garden which is continuously filled with flowers. There is nothing better than seeing flowers spilling onto a lawn and pathways surrounding the garden, or tumbling out of pots and hanging baskets. Creating exceptionally long flowering gardens is not as complicated as people would think.
One can start by creating long flowering foundations in the garden, that is by choosing a few plants which will form the foundation of the flowering display. It would be ideal to have plants which start flowering in spring, continue through summer and then well into autumn; but since it is not easy to find such long flowering shrubs, one can choose the different plants according to the flowering season, to ensure that there is always something blooming.
These ‘foundation’ plants can be used as continuous drifts that meander through the garden beds or can be repeatedly planted in bold clumps at regular intervals. In this way these wonderful plants will ensure that there will always be at least some flowers in the garden from spring until autumn.
Viburnum – winter
Polygala – almost year round
Rhaphiolepis – spring
Medicago – late winter / spring
Cassia – late summer
Lantana – early spring to autumn
Solanum - almost year round
Nerium – summer
Hibiscus - early spring to autumn
Duranta – spring / summer
Once the foundations of your garden are in place, you can fill in all the gaps with your favourite bulbs and perennials. At this point it’s important to include a blend of spring, summer and autumn flowering selections to ensure that there are always lots of things in flower.
Late winter / early spring flowering bulbs: Freesia, Crocus, Daffodils, Ranunculus
In winter Pansies, Cyclamen, Dimorphoteca, Cineraria, Nasturtium and Lobelia will provide colour.
In full summer, when little else flowers, Sun Jewels, Portulaca and Vinca will brighten up the garden.Other very good performers are Tulbaghia, Agapanthus, Convolvulus, Felicia and of course Geraniums.
You can get more flowers from many of the popular perennials by simply trimming off the fading flowers after each big flush. By doing so you will be further filling your garden with colourful blooms!