By Stewart Mcginn, MD Baycroft Care Homes

If you want to create a colourful, floral oasis in your garden this summer, spring is the perfect time to put in the groundwork and plant bulbs that will bloom in those sunnier months.

Dahlias
Dahlias are beautiful, bee-friendly summer plants that come in a range of vivid colours – from reds, pinks, and purples, to oranges and, finally, yellows. Also great for taking cuts from to pop in a vase in your home.

You can plant your Dahlias in several ways, from large potting containers to allowing them to grow freely around the borders of your garden.
These flowers are fairly easy to look after but thrive best in well-drained soil in a warm and sunny spot that’s sheltered from the wind.
The best time to plant is between mid-April to early June, once the last of the frost has disappeared and the warmer temperatures are approaching.
Top tips: To keep your Dahlias blooming and flowering it’s important to deadhead the plant when necessary. You can also grow your Dahlias in other areas of the garden by taking cuttings from the plant or seeds.

Lilies
Lilies are a popular flower with Asiatic – and Oriental Lilies being the most common types planted in most UK gardens. The favourability of the two can be due to their exquisite appearance, alluring fragrance and variety of colours available.
Oriental Lilies are better planted in containers as they bloom better in acidic soils, whilst Asiatic Lilies thrive better in alkaline soil, making them a better option for the borders of your garden.
Plant them no later than early April, and though Lilies in general benefit from being positioned in the sun, however, they can still grow in areas of light shade.
Top tips: Though pretty easy to maintain – remember Oriental Lilies can grow to 6 feet tall, whilst Asiatic Lilies reach around 4 feet, so it’s important to ensure that their stems have ample support where needed. Also, if you own a cat or dog, be wary of planting Lilies in your garden as they are extremely poisonous to our furry friends.

Sunflowers
The yellow, sun-worshipping flower is a must-have in the garden for summer, blooming vibrantly in the warm months. The flower attracts a variety of wildlife, from bees to birds, making it a great addition to create a tranquil oasis in your garden. 
Thriving in direct sunlight, plant it in well-drained soil and sheltered from the wind, as they can become more fragile the taller, they grow. The best time to plant your sunflower outdoors is in late April or May.
Top tips: Sunflowers will require regular watering to keep them hydrated and feeding them with tomato feed can really help them to grow.

Begonias
The low-maintenance, brightly coloured Begonia is the perfect plant for UK gardens. This is because they thrive in shaded conditions, perfect for our hit-and-miss summers, and you won’t need to spend time deadheading them either.
The ideal growing condition for Begonia is to get the morning sun and the afternoon shade, planted in a place sheltered from the wind. Light, fertile and well-drained soil is also essential for your Begonia to bloom beautifully and are best planted in late spring when the temperatures are warmer and the soil is free from any frost.
Top tips: It’s best to plant your Begonia somewhere out of direct sunlight, as the leaves can be scorched during the hottest parts of the day.

Daisies
A summer garden would be incomplete without daisies, with their bright white petals and sunny yellow centres.
Whether you’re opting for the Bellis Perennis, the smaller daisy most seen in fields and meadows, or you’re opting for larger kinds like the Gerbera Daisy – they are low maintenance yet guaranteed to brighten up your garden.

Daisies should be planted in fertile, fast-draining soil with full access to the sunshine and plenty of watering, to allow them to bloom to their full potential. They are best planted in early spring when the temperatures are increasing and more sunlight is available. This is essential as daisies require ample sunlight to germinate.
Top tips: Try to water your daisies in the morning, to allow the soil to dry in the sun throughout the day, as this will prevent the soil from becoming too moist.