These South African beauties are bold additions to any garden design. Perfectly hardy, these beautiful "African Lillies" grow equally well in pots as in ground.
Low maintenance and easy to get started, plant your bulbs 10-15cm apart, to a depth of 8-10cm. Ensure ample drainage to prevent rot and the best conditions for their roots to take.
In one summer season, your border will be transformed by their majestic, architectural flowers. Deciduous varieties return for successive seasons and are hardy through some of the toughest winter conditions.
Often considered best sown in late Autumn, Alliums can be planted equally well in early Spring. Sometimes known as "ornamental onions", their striking flowers come in a variety of colours spanning rich indigo to striking yellow.
Plant in a rich compost but not freshly manured soil, in the ground or in deep pots and thin out when the bulbs become densely clumped.
Space your allium bulbs out by 8-10 cm at the front or back of your border. Often alliums are planted amongst thicker, masking foliage as when they flower, the leaves tend to become straggly and die back.
3. Asiatic Lilies
Asiatic lilies are fiercely striking flowers which transform any border with free draining acidic soil.
Plant the bulbs within a hole 2 to 3 times the depth of the bulb and loosen the soil to a depth of 15 inches if possible.
Lily bulbs enjoy a good watering and feeding on regular occasions, especially in drier spells.
Enjoy the rich colour and intense smells these beautiful flowers produce.
4. Galtonia (Summer Hyacinths)
Galtonia prefer a free draining, rich soil in which to grow in mid-summer. Plant them now for a towering, spectacular display with pendulous white flowers and a rich scent.
Plant to a depth of 10cm, with 10cm gaps between each bulb.
At the end of the season, in colder areas it's good to lift the bulbs and store them somewhere for overwintering, much in the same way you would with gladioli.
These spectacular exotic flowering bulbs are often known as Guernsey or Cornish lilies. Flowering in late summer, the flowers arrive before the leaves.
Plant bulbs in spring into free draining soil or compost in a warm, sheltered site. These plants thrive in free draining soils, so if your soil is heavy and wet, it may be better to grow them in containers. Ensure the necks are sticking out from the soil and planted in congested areas, in which they will thrive. A walled area will also provide much-needed warmth and shelter.
In winter, cover planted bulbs with dry mulch to protect them from wintry cold frosts. Feeding with a rich, low-nitrogen liquid feed will help build up the bulbs for next years' flowering.