BUDDLEIA or BUTTERFLY BUSH

FLOWERING SHRUB. Buddleias are easily grown in most soils, although they prefer a very sunny position. Most species and varieties flower from July to September and are generally deciduous. Buddleia Davidii is the most popular species and there are several excellent named varieties. They are mostly fragrant and should be cut back fairly severely in February, the shoots of the previous summer’s growth being reduced to within 3 in. of the older wood. Height depends on the soil and pruning but 8—10 ft. is a good average and in favourable situations with relatively little pruning the plants may reach double this height.

All varieties of the above do particularly well in town and seaside gardens, and attract numerous butterflies. They include the lavender-pink Charming, the violet-blue Empire Blue, Royal Red which is reddish-purple, not red, and White Cloud. Buddleia Davidii nanhoensis is mauve and shorter-growing. It is ideal for small gardens. B. globosa is semi-evergreen with orange-yellow flowers in ball-like clusters. It blooms in May and is fragrant. Prune immediately after flowering, though less severely than the Davidii varieties. Buddleias are easily increased by cuttings of short side shoots, taken in September or October. They may be rooted outdoors in a cold frame or a sheltered corner.

BULBOCODIUM or SPRING MEADOW SAFFRON Bulbocodium vernum is a very early spring-flowering bulb which grows to about 6 in. with rose-purple, crocus-like flowers. Plant 3 in. deep in early autumn and leave undisturbed. Easily increased by division in summer.

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