August often gets a bad rap as a month that’s lacking in interest, but of course there are plenty of August-flowering plants to grow, not least bulbs.
To accompany the blooms, don’t forget to grow a generous helping of foliage plants. Ornamental grasses like hakonechloa are easy to grow, as are ferns and hostas. For something more unusual, try Aralia cordata.
Discover some of the best summer-flowering bulbs for August, below.
Lush, colourful and dramatic – cannas are the perfect remedy for a fading later-summer garden. Cultivars can vary wildly in their flowers and foliage, so every garden should be able to incorporate a canna. Watch out for canna virus.
Purple canna foliage
Just as other flowers are starting to flop and fade, Galtonia candicans will step into the spotlight. White, lightly-fragrant flowers appear in late-summer and autumn. Grow in full sun with well-drained soil.
White bell-like galtonia flowers
The flame or glory lily (Gloriosa rothschildiana) is a gorgeous, tender climber grown from bulbs. For easy growing advice, take a look at our feature on growing gloriosa from bulbs.
Vivid pink and yellow glory lily flowers
Not to be confused with winter-flowering Cyclamen coum, C. hederifolium should just be beginning their late-summer and autumn display in August. Extremely hardy and shade-suited, they’re easy to grow in pots, or left to naturalise in the ground.
White flowering cyclamen hederifolium
Eucomis are exotic bulbous perennials suitable for planting in pots and containers, or in the ground, in which case they may require lifting over winter. Good drainage is key, and full sun will encourage the best blooms.
A bed of tall spears of pink eucomis flowers
Like kniphofias and proteas, dierama, or angel’s fishing rods, are South African natives with graceful blooms and grass-like foliage. Grow them in full-sun, in moist, well-drained soil.
Pink flowers of dierama on grass-like stems