This year I haven’t had chance to work or enjoy my garden as much as I usually do because with all the wet weather we’ve had I’ve found it hard going, a lot of flowers have come and gone hardly noticed. I’ve been taking out the dead flower stems so that they will put out some more flowers, maybe I shall see them second time round.
At the edge of my woodland wildlife garden is a clump of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, with flower buds forming. I remember planting a packet of 10 corms around 10 years ago and after only getting one plant I moved it further up the garden to an area that started off as a vegetable patch, but was unsuccessful because of trees shading it. Since then that one plant has multiplied forming a good sized patch of bright red flowers in summer and always look good as they stand out beautifully close to a variegated Holly called Ilex aquifolium’Golden King’. Sometimes it pays off to move a plant if it isn’t thriving. I can imagine that Crocosmia would also look great among tall ornamental grasses or in a hot looking sub-tropical border.
Crocosmias are wonderful border plants that have green sword-shaped leaves with red, yellow or orange funnel-shaped flowers on arching stems. Their heights vary depending on variety.
Another good flowering perennial is Hemerocallis otherwise known as the Daylily. I have various varieties around the garden making good sturdy clumps of green strap like leaves and producing lots of flower stems. Although each funnel-shaped flower only lasts a day there are usually lots of stems full of flower buds for each clump. They prefer fertile moist, but well-drained soil and sunshine although they will grow in partial shade.
A couple of my favourites are H. ’Frans Hals’ and H. ‘Bela Lugosi’, the first being deciduous, with flower stems that are about 2 feet tall and yellow flowers with a deep reddish-orange stripe. The latter is semi-evergreen a little shorter, producing large, fragrant dark purple flowers with frilly margins and a yellow-green throat, a real stunner. Propagation is easy, dig up and divide every 3 or 4 years in spring or autumn.