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Well-sized orbs of starry purple flowers develop in late spring and early summer on green stems reaching up to 1m (3ft). Perfectly placed in the centre of a flower bed with blue camassias and tulips.
Planting in open ground
Bulbs prefer free-draining soil. Digging about a week before planting and adding some coarse sand or grit will aid drainage if soil is heavy or compacted.
Rake some fish, blood and bone or dried/pelleted chicken manure into the surface of the soil before planting.
Dig a hole to the correct depth for the variety of bulb. (3 times the height of the bulb as a general rule of thumb.)
Loosen the soil in the base of the hole, if it is heavy clay add a cushioning layer of coarse sand or grit to the bottom, and place the bulb on top.
Ensure the bulb is the right way up. Mix the soil with some compost and backfill the hole, firming the soil gently to ensure there are no air pockets.
Planting in containers
Planting in containers allows you to extend the flowering area of your garden, and allows you to grow flowers on a balcony, if indeed you don’t have a garden. You can create lovely displays by growing bulbs in a collection of containers all grouped together.
When planting, ensure the container has good drainage holes. Place broken crocks or polystyrene in the base of the pot but make sure you don’t block the drainage holes. Crocks positioned randomly within the container soil will further aid drainage. Be aware of sharp edges though and wear gloves when emptying the soil at a later date.
Fill half to three quarters of the pot with compost and place bulbs on top.
Cover bulbs, firm compost gently, and water well. Label with date and variety to keep track.
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