Posts Tagged ‘growing from seed’

Lilium regale from seed

November 5, 2009

Seeds are continuing to ripen in the garden. If you grow Lilium regale, a beautiful Chinese species lily with richly scented trumpet flowers in July, the seed cases should be starting to split to spill their copious seeds – assuming you didn’t dead-head them after flowering.

Lilium regale seedhead

The seed cases of Lilium regale start to split around this time of year

Sow the seed in small pots topped with grit, then leave them to get on with it. Within three years – sometimes within two – the bulbs will be large enough to flower. Further details are in my November newsletter – to receive this (it’s free), drop me an email (

While this is the easiest of all the lilies, I recommend growing it in pots, especially if you have heavy soil as I do. Then you can move them round the garden at will. I like the idea of a few large containers next to a bench where you’ll be sitting next summer enjoying a well-deserved drink. That’s the thing about gardening – even as the days are shortening, you are planning for the future.

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’

August 6, 2009

I mentioned Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ in my August newsletter, happily flowering in my garden despite the wet weather.

The late Alan Bloom, who introduced the plant into the UK, rated it as the best – and who could argue with that? Certainly, it’s a superb plant, with arching stems that produce tapering clusters of orange-red flowers among sheaves of pleated leaves. The flowers at the base open first, as you can see in the picture – I’m not sure that the ones at the tip ever do.

Crocosmia 'Lucifer' - the flowers are much larger than those of any other variety

Crocosmia 'Lucifer' - the flowers are much larger than those of any other variety

Apparently, they are recommended for cutting, though I think the flowers wouldn’t last long in water – the point is to wait for the seed heads (which are attractive) to form, then use these. Incidentally, the plant can’t be grown from seed, so unless you are planning to do some flower arranging – something I never do – cut the stems back after flowering.

While bold clumps are the ideal, the underground corms quickly become congested and can fail to flower (as with daffodils). They need dividing regularly – I’ll post details of how to do this in the autumn.