If well-known green designer and plant specialist Jacqueline van der Kloet got her way we would all be doing things the French way: making more of our public green spaces. She has been responsible for numerous public planting schemes using summer flowering bulbs in towns and villages across France. In those places, you won’t find many roundabouts without a luxuriant growth of perennial plants, decorative vegetables, annuals and summer bulbs.
And of course you can also use summer bulbs and corms in your towns, villages and parks: even if it's just one roundabout to start with! You can use annuals like Cosmea, Nicotiana, Salvia, Tagetes, Felicia and Rudbeckia to create delightful combinations delivering months of floral pleasure and visual enjoyment. You might think about spicing things up with a little competition, which can be a good way of boosting motivation and energy. In France for example they have the long-established ‘Ville et villages fleuris’ competition with annual prizes. This is a great way to encourage the provision of greenery in public spaces. The awards are based on a variety of criteria including the landscape heritage, the flora used and the respect shown to both setting and environment.
Several roundabouts in the town of Woudenberg have been planted with maintenance-friendly, vigorous and tall-growing Crocosmia "Lucifer". This is a summer bulb with perennial characteristics that survives most winters without difficulty. This perennial beauty even propagates itself gracefully, without any invasive tendencies. The sword like leaves and flaming red flower spikes look particularly appealing against an underplanting of low-growing woody plants.