There are so many reasons to grow flowers in your garden; they provide beautiful colour, a much-needed home for bees and wildlife, and you can pick them and have an endless supply of fresh cut flowers in your house. So what’s not to love? Different flowers bring colour in different seasons: start your year off with daffodils and tulips in March and April; glory in the arrival of peonies in May; summer is the time for roses; while in autumn dahlias and chrysanthemums have their moment in the sun.
The most crucial thing to keep in mind when planting is timing: spring bulbs should usually get underway in autumn, while bare root roses can be planted in winter. Seeds can often be sown in the very earliest days of spring, though early autumn is also a good time to sow seeds for summer annuals. In accordance with the year’s chronology, here’s what you should be planting, when, and how.
Synonymous with early spring, tulips are a flower with infinite variety and charm. We love growing them in containers where their showy brilliance can be densely packed together. Bulbs should be planted in autumn, with November the ideal month. For more advice, see our guide to how to grow tulips.
The month of May is synonymous with the short but glorious flowering season of the peony, the popular flower that is so dramatic when displayed in a vase. There are a few simple but crucial measures that can be taken to get a strong flowering display, most of which hark back to the planting, which has to be done with considerable thought and care – get it wrong and you’ll be disappointed; get it right and the relatively tough and surprisingly accommodating Paeonia will largely look after itself. We have a guide on growing peonies with all the right information.
Wisteria isn't necessarily a flower, but it's the gorgeous, generous lilac blooms that it's most loved for, so it counts in our book. How to grow wisteria succesfully can be a tricky question and it is a tricky plant, but the experts can all the right advice to deliver a flowering crop year-on-year, from where to plant it, when to plant it and the all-important pruning advice.
One of the nicest things about homegrown sweet peas is that they are an inexpensive summer luxury - a packet of around 30 seeds will set you back between £2-£4. Seeds need to be sown under cover in a bright spot between October and March and then given the right support as they shoot up. Here's how to grow sweet peas…
With their heavily scented, sumptuous blooms, roses exude an old-fashioned charm that appeals to almost everyone and make the most romantic arrangements. Flower grower Rachel Siegfried recommends planting bare-root roses during the dormant season between November and March, which is cheaper than buying container-grown plants. She the prunes them throughout winter, ready for a June bloom bounty. Follow Rachel's advice for growing roses for scent and colour for a sure crop of flowers you can display in the house.
Established waterlilies provide a succession of blooms from June to September, with each flower lasting for between three and five days in sunny weather. Growing waterlilies is easy if you give the plants the conditions they need: plenty of sunlight, a position in still water away from any currents, and a reasonably shallow planting depth. Clare Foster can tell you everything you need to know about how to grow waterlilies.
Dahlias do best in an open, sunny situation in a fertile soil that doesn't get too dry. Usually grown from tubers, dahlias should be planted after the last frosts in spring, as these Mexican plants can be tender in our climate. Find out more about how to grow dahlias with our Garden Editor's indispensable guide.
This once-maligned flower is definitely having a comeback, and is set to challenge the dahlia as the trendiest autumn bloom. Sarah Raven recommends choosing from the ‘Spider' and ‘Decorative’ groups, with pale pinks, bronzes and deep crimsons her favourite hues. These do particularly well when planted from cuttings in pots, but for more advice, see Sarah's full guide to choosing and growing chrysanthemums.
These charming, delicate winter flowers are one of the loveliest things about January and February in the garden. Plant them in late spring or early summer and you'll be rewarded with flowers throughout the following winter and spring. See our guide to how to grow hellebores for more advice.
With blooms to brighten up the garden between January and March, the pretty cyclamen is a a welcome presence in the winter months. Cyclamen coum is the best-known variety, and do well when planted already flowering in pots in autumn. Read more in our guide to autumn bulbs.
For the less green-fingered flora lovers, there are some easy flowers to grow that require minimal attention and provide maximum colour. We asked five gardeners to recommend the least high maintenance flowers to grow in the garden, and they delivered 15 resplendent recommendations.
This story originally appeared on House & Garden UK