Most people think bulbs are all about the spring, but in fact they can put on a good show in the autumn, Whether autumn crocus planted in sweeps in longer grass or in pots. or striking Nerines planted in flowers beds. These bulbs add a much need splash of late flower colour to the autumn garden.
Nerines are not fully hardy, but in a shelter spot in the south eastern corner of England, planted hard up against a south facing wall, where they can be suitably baked and in gritty free free draining soil, they should do very well. Otherwise they will grow well in tall pots of at least 10 to 12cm tall, in a cool green house or conservatory or sunny porch.
N. November Cheer: A bare stem reaching up to 50cm tall with a wide flower cluster of the classic trumpet shaped flowers in a delicate salmon pink, late October, followed by mid green foliage.
C. cartwightianus Albus: growing to 8 to 10cm tall flowers produced before the leaves, white with delicate veining. Ideal of group planting in the front of a flower bed.
N. Red Pimpernel: this eye popping red Nerine flowers mid to late October reaching to nearly 60cm tall, with a dense head of trumpet flowers. Followed by glossy foliage.
C.sativus: the original saffron crocus, need to be planted deep at 12-15cm and needs a hot and sunny spot. The flowers are a egg yolk yellow with the important bright red stamens that are used in cooking to flavour and colour food. The growing of this crop on mass in the fens is what gives Saffron Weldon it’s name. A great looking autumn crocus which is worth growing for the flower, even if you don’t intend to use the saffron.
N.White Supreme: An elegant Nerine reach about 45cm tall October flowering with clear white flowers in large heads.
C.speciosus: this is the classic autumn crocus and naturalises well, seen growing in great sweeps through grass land. Making a sea of pink-light violet flowers of up to 10/15cm tall in September -October.
Crocus grow well in full sun in well drained soil. Both of these bulbs need to be ordered about August for planting late August, follow the suppliers instructions about planting, spacing and depths for individual bulb varieties.
I hope I have inspired you to add autumn bulbs to your garden planting. If you want help with revitalising an existing planting boarder or developing a whole new planting area in your garden, the autumn is the perfect time to get planning,designing and ready for winter planting. I can help you, give me, Emily a ring on 01273 470753.