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Bedding bedlam - time for an explosion of colour!

May is quite possibly one of the busiest months for gardeners up and down the country! The risk of frosts is diminishing (but they can have a habit of surprising us from time to time with a cold night), the days are lengthening and the temperatures are really beginning to warm up. What better way to signal the start of the true summer season then by planting out your summer bedding plants? Below are a few of Longacres top picks for adding colour to your garden now that will last all summer. Marigolds Marigolds are must have in any summer bedding scheme or planted container. With the African types that bear large showy blooms or the smaller but unbelievably free flowering French marigold, both come in an array of reds, yellows, oranges and whites! Top Tips
  • Keep out of any frost - make sure that if we are going to have a sharp cold night you protect your bedding with frost fleece
  • Make sure the soil is light, nutrient rich and free-draining - keep well watered in the dry summer months
  • Dead head regularly and dead head the old flowers to prolong their flowing period
  • Plant FRENCH marigolds near your other plants or vegetables to help deter white fly
French Marigold
Upright & Trailing Geraniums Arguably the most recognisable of any summer bedding plant, the geranium is a real treat for the eyes with their lush green foliage and showy colourful blooms in just about any colour imaginable! These versatile plants are also fairly drought tolerant and need little care except for a drink every now and then, a spot of dead heading and a feed from time to time. Trailing geraniums are perfect for hanging baskets while upright geraniums look stunning in a bedding display or as a container centre piece. Top Tips
  • Don't over water your geraniums - this can cause grey mould to develop on your plants
  • Protect plants from slugs and snail using copper wire, or organic pellets
  • Dead head the old flowers to prolong flowering and remove any yellow or damaged leaves as you see them to help the plant thrive
New Guinea Impatiens New Guinea Impatiens is a stunning species of the impatiens family, the ‘bigger sibling’ if you like of the common bedding impatien. These large annuals provide stunning colour all season long and are not affected by the damaging, and deadly, impatiens downy mildew disease like their smaller bedding counter parts are. Due to the size of these plants they best as the central feature in a container or in a larger bedding display. Top Tips
  • Plant in full sun for the best flowers, deadheading the older flowers to prolong the flowing period
  • Water regularly in high summer - don't let your New Guineas dry out
  • Use the exotic & lush foliage as a feature as well as its showy flowers
Hopefully this has given you some summer bedding inspiration to add some wow factor to your gardens not just for now, but for all summer long. With the RHS Chelsea Flower show just around the corner there’s plenty to view, get inspired by and learn from in this garden orientated month!