Striking bulbs for every situation

Published on September 5th 2018
I know I’ve talked about autumn crocus previously (see Crocuses), yet there are some other bulbous plants which deserve a mention and will take your garden through to the solstice and beyond.

For a south-facing border...

Plant it with some nerines (N. bowdenii). They send up their candy pink flowers throughout autumn and will form good clumps, giving a bold display. Their cousin, the belladonna lily (Amaryllis), which has singularly beautiful pink blooms, rich in fragrance and born on long stems ahead of their leaves makes a good companion as do the golden goblets of the autumn daffodil (Sternbergia). All these bulbs enjoy a good baking over the summer to ripen their bulbs in time for autumn flowering.

For damper ground...

Try growing the Hesperantha which bears starry flowers in pink, white and, notably, red hues, which can go all the way through to December. They establish slowly by means of rhizomes and prefer moisture-retentive soil.

For a wooded area...

The delicate fairy-tale effect of cyclamen is unbeatable. Cyclamen hederifolium works perfectly in a wooded area, naturalising effectively (always buy growing plants, not dried corms for best results). Plant Cyclamen coum alongside to take over in December and stretch your growing season into the new year.

For full Sun...

Speaking of fairy-tales, the rare and ineffably delicate autumn snowflake (Leucojum autumnale) looks like it’s been crafted by the hands of pixies. A real speciality for those who like to try something different, the white bells appear well ahead of the grassy leaves.
Autumn Snowflake Leucojum autumnale

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