Thursday, May 3, 2012

Gardening the lazy way

One of the joys of growing bulbs or tuberous plants is just how wonderfully lazy it can be. I have plants popping up all over the place in the garden right now. They look great. And what's more, I've done absolutely nothing to them since they were planted in the ground. I simply dug a hole, planted the bulb, covered it with soil and left it to its own devices. Talk about easy! That's my kind of gardening!

Whether it be common tulip varieties, or something a little more unusual, the pleasure that a bulb in flower can bring far outweighs the amount of work involved in growing it. There is a common misconception among non-gardeners that bulbs are just for spring flowers. However, as you are a more educated bunch, you'll know that this obviously isn't true. With some careful planning, it is easily possible to have garden interest nearly all the year using bulb species.

Tulip 'Queen of the Night' has fantastic maroon coloured flowers that contrast brilliantly with the acid yellow of this Euphorbia.
Despite the rather tiresome rain of late, I have managed to get outside with the camera. So, for your viewing pleasure here are a few photos of one or two plants that are in flower right now. No doubt I'll have more to share with you over the coming days and weeks, but for now, I hope you get as much pleasure from these plants as I do!

Here's a cool looking plant - Arisaema nepenthoides. Several are in flower at the moment. Hopefully I'll get some seed set from these beauties.

Another of Arisaema nepenthoides. It's fascinating checking up on how the unfolding leaves are doing!
Arisaema triphyllum are still performing. I've had specimens of this species in flower for a while now.

Another plant with deep purple blooms - Arum purpureospathum. What a colour!


  1. Ah, 'Queen of the Night'. One of my favourites. I planted 10 bulbs about 6 or 7 years ago and for once ignored the usual advice and planted them at twice the depth normally recommended. They still come up and flower every year despite the area now being increasingly shaded.

    I don't seem to do too well with Arisaemas. Poor drainage and slugs probably - but they are gorgeous and I'll keep trying.

  2. There are plenty of bulbs out there, all flowering at different times of the year and you can have fun with them through succession planting.

    We've planted more Arisaemas this year and most of them have sprouted already. Yours seems more advanced than ours and I'm looking forward to seeing their flowers and their equally fantastic foliage :)

  3. Hi Ben , Are these Arisaemas hardy or do you have to dig them up at the end of summer

  4. Hi Brummi,

    There are many Arisaema that are hardy in the UK, including A.nepenthoides and A.triphyllum which are shown in this post. The main requirements are shade and well drained soil - one that does not completely dry out, but does not retain too much moisture either. I leave most of mine in the ground all year.

    I've written a few growing instructions here:

    Cheers, Ben.

  5. I must admit that I cheat with my Ariseama and keep them in pots that are sunk in the ground in the spring. Just lift them in September, dry out and store the pots frost free.

    One bulb that I don't see grown enough is Galtonia candicans (and G.viridiflora too, although it seems more prone to rot in a wet spring).