Keen gardeners will be well aware of the added value of planting seasonal flowering bulbs. Autumn a time when colour in the garden begins to fade to shade of rustic hues, oranges and yellows a plenty, this is when late flowering bulbs like the feminine Nerine takes to the stage.
Dormant for most of the year these lifeless bulbs can often be disregarded and forgotten, often placed in a neglected corner or tucked away under a shrub or tress. The Nerine deserves some notoriety and in fact if you want it to perform, actually demands a prized location with rich fertile surroundings.
Translucent pinks, darkening over time gives the Nerine a playful edge, sending up rigid flower stalks with tightly held buds in early September. Holding aloft a parasol of flowers clustered on short reddish stalks that support the furled petals of a seven petal vivid pink trumpet.
Variations in flower colour make the Nerine and interest border plant, often planted alone due to its demands for a rich fertile growing medium, the Nerine can infect make a good companion plant for several sub-shrubs or low growing perennials. Personally I like to plant Nerine’s with Erysium ‘Bowles mauve” or Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’ both compliment the colour shades and habit of the lofty Nerine flowers that stand above these long flowering woody perennials.
As the flowers fade Nerine’s produce a dark burgundy seed head that would look at home on an evergreen shrub rather than a flowering bulb and adds further interest to this one of my favourite Autumn flowering bulbs. I hope you are encouraged to plant Nerine’s in your own Garden and perhaps you will try my suggestions for companion plantings? I would love to know how you get on, your comments are most welcome.