Monday, 15 June 2015

Lachenalia - such little show-offs

Lachenalia bulbs, or `Soldier Boys` as my nan called them, are such bold little flowering bulbs...I just love them. Like so many things I grow in my garden, these remind me of my grandma and her beautiful garden. As a little girl, my nan would take us around her garden and show us all the bulbs emerging, surrounded by swaythes of frothy linaria flowers. She would point out all the little pansy faces watching us and entertain us with the moving beards of snapdragons. Yes, it`s no wonder I turned out a gardener - we all did. So when a friend of mine offered me some Lachenalia bulbs whilst showing me around her large country garden, I jumped at the chance.

I started off with just a handful of bulbs which have quickly multiplied over the last 5 years, so this year I sent a parcel of them to my mum! 

As you can see, I just pick out all the big healthy bulbs to replant, after all, how many do you need. Each bulb makes lots of baby bulbs each year and will overcrowd your display. So when I dig them up at the end of each season I just put them in a seedling tray with an onion bag laid out and let them dry out. Next season, I give the whole lot a good shake to loosen the dirt and baby bulbs, then pick out what I want to keep and share each year and toss out the littlens. You know when it`s time to take action planting, when they start to shoot.

This year Iv`e put them in a big sandstone trough on the verandah. I just add some milled cow manure and some slow release fertiliser to the potting mix then pop them in. They don`t have to go very deep cause they`re only little bulbs, but I put lots of them in for a great display. 

I always get excited when the foliage starts to appear. Up close, you can see the foliage is marked with lots of little dark spots.

This was last years display in a wide urn that has a statue in the middle. 

Worth a bit of mucking around each year as they really are a set and forget bundle of bright and bold cheeriness on a dull day - one that you can share as they multiply!
Thanks for visiting - see you again...

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