‘Summer breeze so softly blowing, in my garden pinks are growing..’ went a childhood ditty I had memorised sometime in pre-school. May have forgotten a major part of the lyric, but what stays with me is the way flowers that bloom in the summer seem to instantly soothe. Summer flowers bring a melange of colours and allure to a place throughout the hot season. Roses, mogras, frangipani, zinnias and several others are a valuable addition to any garden – whether constrained by space or not.
The season also requires special care and attention maintaining our summer florals.
If you are constrained by space, you may have missed the bus to plant zinnias, roses etc in pots or containers, but you can still plant balsam, cockscomb and sweet basil.
If you do not have time on your hands but would like bright corners in your home, you can still pick up perennials such as Begonia, Blue Sage, Aster, Gloriosa Daisy, Portulaca, Zinia, Gazania, Ageratum, Globe Amaranth, Sunflower, Woodrose, Spider lily, Ball lily, Day lily, Hawain Ginger lily as they are all hardy summer plants that will bloom nonstop right up till fall.
Summer flowers in patio pots, window boxes, and hanging baskets are pleasingly gorgeous. The containers can be kept outside but require to be fed properly as the season progresses. Every week add a teaspoon of used tea leaves to the soil – do take care to rinse it well in the water at least twice. This will keep the soil moist.
Also, spread a thin layer of sand on the soil – again so that the soil retains the moisture.
Do take care to add plant vitamins once a month to your precious blooms.
Your green thumb can also be a socially useful tool. Plant a few colourful shrubs in the avenues and lanes around your house or place of work. Tecoma, oleander and kaner are sturdy summer plants. Even if placed on the roadside they do not get targetted by cattle because of their poison content. Madhu Malti or Rangoon creeper flowers through the summer and rainy season. A fitting reward to gardening enthusiasts. One can see it climbing up the balconies, electricity poles, boundary walls and rooftops with gay abandon.
Text and images by Aarti Kapur Singh