With Spring starting to emerge its time to think about summer flowers and planting our gladioli! 

Gladioli  are fantastic additions to any garden bed or large container. With bright flowers and interesting foliage they add colour and height to the garden are a perfect summer flower that lasts well in a vase. 

My go-to varieties are the sumptuous black star and velvety wine hued, espresso

Gladioli corms can be planted directly into the ground in late spring, or you can get  (a head start and plant them into a container now started sooner by planting them in a container now, this will give you a head start and should allow you gladioli to bloom a little earlier.

To get started combine a peat free, multi purpose  compost with a good handful of horticultural grit. This is essential to allow for good drainage as gladioli will not thrive in heavy soil. Place you gladioli corms into a large container or use a smaller pot if you plan to plant them outside later on. Make sure the corm is facing upwards and pop into the compost about 15cm deep.  Give your planted gladioli corms a water and place undercover in a cold frame or in a greenhouse. 

You can bring out your container or plant out into beds in May, once the last frosts are over.

Expect divine blossoms from mid summer onwards.

PS make sure you check out my monthly gardening tips over on Vanessa Feltz’s show on BBC Radio 2!