Cold hardy garden plants for the summer of 2016
Whether you’re planning to take advantage of the glorious British summer this year or you’re looking for something new for your garden, we’ve compiled our favourite hardy plants for the season. We’ve included information about hardy plants and their best times to plant them, and when they flower and fruit. If you need more information, see our handy guide to the different types of garden plants.
What is a hardy plant?
Some plants have been adapted to survive in very cold, very wet or very hot conditions. This helps to keep their numbers in our gardens high. For instance, the herb chives grows as a spring ephemeral and then in the summer begins to grow very quickly. The stems swell and thicken, and there are masses of delicious edible stems and leaves to harvest.
Some plants also have a wider range than others and are available as autumn ephemerals, evergreen perennials, or spring bulbs. The broad bean is a spring-flowering legume and provides great spring colour in the garden. This also means that the fruit will be on the plants well into the autumn and you’ll get another flush of summer’s flowers.
We also looked at plants that flower all year in the flower garden. They tend to be hardier and have an impressive number of flowers to set the scene for the winter. In 2016, we’re seeing more and more of these sorts of plants, and the garden centres are full of all kinds of unusual and colourful flowers to choose from.
All of these plants have a similar advantage – they take a while to reach the height at which they’re at their best. They can even flower later in the season and so are a good choice if you have limited time or space to get into the garden.
Best times to plant hardy plants
If you’re planting bulbs, you should start thinking about what type of weather you’ll have and plant them accordingly. Bulbs grow very well in very cold weather. In fact, in much of the country, hardy bulbs can be planted now and will flower just before Christmas.
Some bulbs need a light frost in early spring to open properly. They tend to flower for weeks at a time and you can leave them to flower for several years if you want to. But if you plant them now you’ll get a good display in the winter and will start flowering in the garden the following spring.
As the autumn progresses, you should think about what will go in your garden over the winter. You’ll want to plant as early as you can to help your plants survive the winter. You should also think about what kind of plant will flower first. You’ll need to start thinking about hardy perennials, biennials or short-lived perennials.
So you can get a head start on your gardening in 2019 and enjoy all the colour and life you’ve missed in the past few months.