• Allium bulbs

    Allium Carinatum Pulchellum Allium Carinatum Pulchellum

    Alliums are surely some of the most dramatic of the garden bulbs. They provide architectural elegance with fabulous flowers in all shapes and sizes. Every garden has room for Allium bulbs whether it be in broad borders or small patio pots. They can be planted from September to November.

    There are over 750 species alliums, all of which have a distinctive onion aroma. Alliums are the largest members of the Amaryllidaceae/Alliacaeae family.

    Alliums are herbaceous perennials and fairly drought tolerant but moisture is important especially from late April to July as the root system does not like to dry out. Poor flowering is generally due to the wrong growing conditions such as shallow planting or plating in wet soil or soil that is too dry.

    Alliums love full sun, give them a good nitrogen/potash fertiliser every couple of weeks as soon as you see the flowers appear. Fertilising can be stopped once the flowers fade. Alliums are usually pest free although they are prone to attack from allium leaf miner, slugs, snails and onion maggot. Onion maggots will bore into the allium to feed and destroy the bulb. You will see the leaves turning yellow and stems wilting at which point it is best to remove the plant and destroy it. To avoid this problem it is advisable not to plant allium bulbs where you have previously planted onions.

    Alliums are perfect for cut flowers  and the larger flower heads make excellent dry flowers. Spraying the dry heads with a little metallic make fabulous festive decorations or floral arrangements.

    Allium foliage is not the prettiest. As the flower bud begins to grow, the foliage of many allium bulbs naturally starts to turn yellow and dies back. It’s best to use companion planting to camouflage the leaves as they die back. Plant them amongst Hostas, Roses, Geranium, Paeonies and Lavenders or any green or silver leaf foliage to add contract to the tall stems and round heads of the larger varieties.

    Allium Schubertii Allium Schubertii
    Allium Christophii Allium Christophii

    Allium Purple Sensation and Aflatunense are popular alliums the flower heads are around 12cm in diameter and grow around 60-100 cm in height.

    For drama Globemaster and Ambassador have one of the largest heads around 20cm in diameter on top of strong thick stems which reach a height of around 80 cm.

    Allium Schubertii is a real firework in the garden resembling a sparkler in full flow. It may only reach around 40 cm in height but the fantastic flower more than makes up for the lack of height.

    Allium Christophii has lovely metallic lilac star shaped flowers on large heads that gleam in the sunlight they stand proud at around 60 cm high.

    The flowers of the Allium Sphaerocephalon (also know as the Drumstick allium) appear in July which extends the flowering season of allium bulbs. They flower on wiry stems which bend in the breeze to add a wonderful compliment to grasses or meadow planting.

    Allium Siculum (Nectaroscordum) is the circus performer of the alliums. The flowers appear from the seed heads starting upright then drop their heads. The lovely, nodding bells of muted mauve and greenish white flowers bring a little architecture and height to the border. When the flowers fade they stand back up straight again.

    The following Allium bulbs have all gained the Royal Horticultural Society AGM. Aflatunense – Azureum (Caeruleum) – Beau Regard – Carinatum Pulchellum and Album – Christophii – Flavum – Giganteum – Gladiator – Globemaster – Karataviense – Moly Jeannine – Purple Sensation – Schubertii –Unifolium.

    http://bit.ly/199Xg6I

  • Planting Crocus

    Crocus_chrysanthus_GoldilocksCrocus bulbs are one of the most popular choices of bulb. Crocus bulbs grow into beautiful, cup-shaped flowers that can be yellow, purple, lavender and white. Crocus bulbs can be planted both indoors or outdoors and come into bloom during spring. Crocus bulbs grow best when they have full exposure to the sun and can grow in soil of poor to average condition.

    The best time to plant crocus bulbs is during autumn, when the weather is cool but not cold. Crocus bulbs should be planted in shallow holes and covered by half an inch of soil. It is best to plant crocus bulbs in areas which are less likely to be dug up by animals, thinking they are food. Squirrels, mice and rabbits are common offenders. A protected, sunny flowerbed is the ideal place to plant crocus bulbs. Try planting near Colchicums rabbits will leave the Crocus bulbs alone, there is a toxin in Colchicum that they hate.

    If you don’t have a garden or just want to brighten up your home, plant your crocus bulbs in small pots which have a layer of gravel or small stones on the bottom. Place sterile potting soil an inch and a half below the rim. Crocus bulbs should be potted with an inch in between each bulb and the bulbs should be pointed end up. Water the crocus bulbs and then leave them to drain. Put the crocus bulbs in a cold, dark place for six weeks, then once they are being to grow, move them to a sunny area of the house and keep them at room temperature. It’s as easy as that!

    So, what are you waiting for? Go out and get yourself some crocus bulbs to add a splash of colour to your house or garden

  • Alliums

    IMG_0311_1In the new catalogue we have over 30 varieties of Allium from the short Karataviense Ivory Queen at 20 cms to the tall 150 cms Giganteum; Allium have a distinction all of their own and will suit most gardens, starting from as little as 10p a bulb for Sphaerocephalon the drumstick allium.

    If you want an allium with a large head then Ambassador. Globemaster or Beau Regard are the one for you with heads around 20cms they will make a striking impression or if you prefer something tall with a more manageable head then Purple Sensation, Aflatunense, Violet Beauty, White Giant or Mount Everest are for you to, allium will bring structure height to your border

    The beautiful new Amplectens “Graceful” with its lovely pure white flowers with a hint of lilac pink; the stamens are a delicate shade of lilac. Plant in pots or the front to middle of the border they are bound to make a statement.

    Care should be taken when planting allium ursinum (Wild Garlic) it can be invasive which makes it ideal for woodland planting, some forms of allium are excellent for drying to use in flower arrangements you can spray the spent allium flowers for Christmas decoration with metalic paint.

    Allium provide colour and height in the garden after the spring bulbs have faded, try plating around Hosta to help hide the foliage which starts to die back early the taller varieties also work well with grasses.

    http://bit.ly/199Xg6I

  • Iris

    Iris_reticulata_Katharine_HodgkinIn our new 2013-2014 catalogue you will find a good selection of Iris from the dwarf to the tall, these iris are not to be confused with the Iris Germanica and Iris Siberica varieties which are in our spring section and sold as plants.

    Iris Reticulata and Species are the first to flower from February in the cold days of winter they produce their flowers on short stems. The colour range is mostly in shades of purples except for Iris Frank Elder, Katherine Hodgkin and Sheila Ann Germany with slightly larger flowers in muted shades of bluish green, purple and lilac blue with splashes of yellow.

    Iris Danfordiae is very early flowering canary yellow with dark grey spots and the lovely new Clairette sky blue with purple falls marked white. Reticulata/Species Iris are ideal for the rockery or in pots also planted close to the path where there flowers can be best seen; this group of Iris start at 10p per bulb.

    Dutch Iris are the taller iris ideal as cut flowers. Flowering in June in white, Bronze Queen has lovely muted shades of blue and amber yellow, Sapphire Beauty has petals of blue-bird blue with yellow stripe. Dutch Iris are upright and stately and provide colour and height in the garden, Dutch Iris are an ideal bulb at only 12p each.http://bit.ly/14Mpabh

  • Crocus Species & Dutch Crocus

    MixedIn our new catalogue you will find over 20 varieties of Dutch Crocus and Crocus Species, these varieties will flower from February through to March.

    Crocus species are the smaller spring flowering crocus varieties with their open flowers these spring flowering crocus will appear as early as February. Crocus Tommasinianus is excellent for naturalising and will happily seed itself and reward you for many years, the delicate Snowbunting with its glistening white flower will brighten a dull corner in the garden, crocus species start at 9p per bulb.

    Dutch crocus have the larger goblet shaped flowers and tend to come in straight colours from purple, white, yellow, striped to lilac blue, they usually flower a little after the species crocus, late February early march, they are ideal for planting in grass, and at 12p a bulb a real spring delight.

    Yalta is a lovely Crocus new in the catalogue this year it resembles Tommasinianus with it's silver violet flowers and alternate purple petals but is much large in flower.

    http://bit.ly/17iOK3D

  • Autumn Crocus

    Crocus_AitchisoniiIn the new catalogue in the Autumn Crocus, Colchicum sections you will find over 15 varieties that will flower from October through to November.

    As summer begins to fade the first of the autumn crocus appear bringing a hint of things to come in spring. For the cook amongst you autumn crocus Sativus the Saffron Crocus will give you a few sprigs of this lovely spice. The speciosus varieties in the autumn crocus section have colours from white to deep violet and at 13p a bulb autumn crocus will bring colour to the autumn garden.

    Colchicum or naked ladies as they are also known have large flowers which emerge from October the colchicum have large leaves that appear as the flowers fade. Colours range from the pure white of Autumnale Album to the dark Speciosum You could try planting colchicum amongst your other spring bulbs as they have a toxin that squirrels and rabbits do not like and will try to avoid.

    Sternbergia can also be found in this section with their lovely gleaming yellow flowers, they are bound to brighten a damp autumn day, plant in full sun to keep them happy and allow them to multiply over the years.

    This link will take you to our website where you will find all the Autumn Crocus, Colchicum and Sternbergia. http://bit.ly/17xZZUD

  • Hyacinths, Narcissi and Amaryllis for indoor flowering

    IMG_1375In the new catalogue you will find Indoor and Outdoor flowering bulbs from Prepared Hyacinths for Christmas flowering which have had heat treatment to bring them into flower early, excellent value at 60p a bulb for last minute gifts. Why not try the lovely Yellow Queen considered by some to be the best yellow hyacinth.

    Bedding Hyacinths are ideal for the garden, pots both indoor and outdoor, these hyacinths if planted indoors will not flower for Christmas; Hyacinths make an excellent gift for children to plant as a present for mother’s day, at only 50p a bulb an inexpensive gift and a good way to introduce children to gardening. Blue Eyes is a beautiful new hyacinth soft blue which ages to ice blue.

    Double Hyacinths are multi petalled they have a fuller richer appearance, the Multi-Flowered Hyacinths produce several stems from the split bulb the flowers are much looser up the stem. Festival Hyacinths have a similar appearance to the multiflora type, this new type of Hyacinth have several stems from one bulb.

    Indoor Narcissi such as Paperwhites and Grand Soleil D’or will flower around 8 weeks from planting. In the same group are Avalanche and Erlicheer they will flower around February/March. This section of Narcissi has a beautiful strong perfume.

    Amaryllis are fabulous with there large heads producing around 4 to 5 flowers to a stem, Red Pearl with it’s deep dark red flowers is a close replacement for Benfica which due to crop failure is not available this year. Charisma is a lovely variety with it's unique colouring flushed red on white. Amaryllis are a statement bulb for the indoors.

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