There is nothing more beautiful than the colour, form and often fragrance, you can create from growing bulbs and there are more to bulbs than the spring-flowering daffodils and jonquils. Summer offers an exquisite range of flowers and with a little planning in spring, a riotous display of colour can be achieved.
Lilies ooze elegance and are grown for their classic trumpet, bell or bowl shaped flowers in an exotic range of colours.
Christmas Lily - Lilium longiflorum
This beautiful bulb bears luminous white flowers and a sweet perfume that scents the entire room. It flowers during early summer - hence common name – and is a popular centerpiece for Christmas dinner tables. ‘White Fox’ is an excellent variety with large white trumpets and a long vase life.
This is another well-known group of lilies. They are the divas of the lily world, with giant, showy, strongly perfumed blooms. In fact the flowers are so large that Oriental hybrids tend to be top heavy, so they may need to be staked as the flowers emerge.
The cheapest and best way to grow lilies is to buy them as bulbs, which can be planted in spring for summer flowering. Lilies will grow well in dappled light in warmer areas or in sun in cooler climates. Liliums also do well in containers and make a pretty potted display on the patio or balcony. Plant bulbs at a depth of around 15 cm and take care that they don’t dry out souse a good quality potting mix.
Dahlias are an old-fashioned flower with modern appeal and there are many fabulous dwarf varieties available. Plant the tubers around mid-October for flowers that last all summer long and, if conditions are right, up until Mother’s Day. Dahlias love to soak up the sun and they also like to be well-fed so fertilise them regularly throughout the growing season, with a flower-boosting formula.
Blood Lily - Haemanthus coccineus
The bright red flower heads of this gorgeous bulb emerge between February and April. They're an unusual bulb, because the flower emerges before the leaves and is bright red - hence the common name. The leaves are just as distinctive. This plant is also known as the Ox-tongue lily because the leaves are big and look just like an ox tongue. They certainly create drama and intrigue in the garden.
Hippeastrums make a stunning impression in pots. In just 4-5 weeks, you'll have a show of 2-4 giant trumpets and with the right timing, you can have a flowering gift, just in time for Christmas! You’ll need 1 bulb per 18cm pot or 3 bulbs per 35cm pot and plant with neck of bulb above ground.
• Christmas Lilies flower earlier in the north of Australia and are known as November Lilies.
• Lilies make a beautiful balcony display but need 5-6 hours of sun a day.
• Bulbs should be fed twice a year. Once at planting and again when flowering finishes.
www.diggers.com.au - (bulbs)
www.gardenexpress.com.au - (bulbs)
www.scottsaustralia.com.au- (potting mix/fertilisers)
www.northcotepottery.com.au - (pots)
Garden of St Erth