Hot bed, hot colours
Creating a tropical garden with hot colours, design cut flower bed
Earlier this year I planted out a secluded south facing bed with a hot and tropical feel, hot bed, hot colours. This tropical feel garden, with hot colours for cut flowers catches the sun all day and would be in view from our main outdoor summer seating area .
This area is currently occupied by lots of Nerines, so flowers for the late summer were already ahead. A Musa Basjoo Banana (£5 from a nursery at J1 on the M40) was key to the tropical feel. It just oozes tropics. Anchoring the bed at either end are Helianthus Lemon Queen and Romneya, the California Poppy Tree.
Filling in the spaces I used Zinnias grown from seed, Oesteospurmums from cuttings, and lots of bright Dahlias.
The objective of providing cut flowers from this bed would be bolstered by my first attempt at growing Alstromeria, the peruvian lilly. These are included as I read that they stay fresh in a vase for 3 weeks. I bought them mail order, and about half of them grew. Not ideal, but enough growing strongly to make up for losses.
Some Agapanthus I had been given are dotted in, with a view to them establishing to flower in forthcoming years.
So all planted and promises of hot coloured cut flowers all summer.
This bed also happens to be overlooked from my hallway, so is what we see coming downstairs in the morning. And what any visitors see when entering the house.
It started slowly, and I thought the dry summer would wipe out much if it. Not only did it survive, but it has thrived. The area is now our first call for cut flowers. They have been abundant from June and still plentiful going into October.
Hot bed, hot colours, lessons learned
I was caught out by the late season exuberance, and found many plants were not adequately supported. This meant they leaned forward into the grass path, and left the back of the bed looking open.
Some thought into what plants go where, and some discrete canes, should solve that for next year. And some planning to get through the dry weather. I will add further loads of compost. And install a leaky pipe irrigation system there, to make sure the water gets right down below the foliage and into the roots.
And the proof of the pudding? You can see that it is still bringing spectacular colour, especially for a cheap and fast go at a hot bed, hot colours idea. And especially compared to the perennials borders that lose colour fast from October.
And the great thing is that it will only get better. I love it!