KITCHEN GARDEN

The many vegetables, root crops and herbs will be found under their own names. The allotment is the modern equivalent if garden space is limited. All cultural directions are given under their appropriate headings.

KNIPHOFIA, RED HOT POKER or TORCH LILY P. The striking blooms are held on high stalks well above the foliage. They are best planted in groups, with some attention to background, in well-drained, deep sandy soil, with loam mixed in, though they do not mind a clayey patch provided the crowns remain reasonably dry in winter. Wet, badly drained soils are, therefore, unsuitable. Some varieties are not reliably hardy and it is always wise to tie up the drooping leaves in late autumn. Increased best by division in spring. The following varieties are recommended but it should be borne in mind that replacements will be needed from time to time, since, as already indicated, they are not sound border perennials like delphiniums, Michaelmas daisies, phlox etc. They flower from July to September, depending on variety.

August Gold: rich golden-yellow. August-September. 4 ½ ft.

Bees’ Cherry Red: name describes the colour. Very free-flowering in late summer.

Bees’ Lemon: lemon and green. Dwarf grower to about 2 ½ ft. July.

Galpinii: very late. Flame-coloured flowers on slender spikes in September and October. Very free-flowering.

H. C. Mills: brilliant scarlet. August-September. 4 ft.

Little Elf: another short grower to about 2 ft. The tangerine colour is very pleasing, the spikes slender. September.

Maid of Orleans: a fairly new introduction in an unusual colour for kniphofias. The 9 in. stiff spikes of cream flowers pass to ivory-white and keep well when cut. September, 4 ft.

Mount Etna (The Rocket): stocks are scarce but this variety is well worth acquiring for the vivid terracotta and scarlet flowers which appear in late summer. 5 ft.

Royal Standard: an old variety with yellow and scarlet flowers from July to September. 31/2 ft.

Yellowhammer: canary-yellow. Late summer. 3 ft.

Kniphofias are useful for cutting, despite a tendency for the spikes to curl. They should be cut just before the lower blooms start to fade. Maid of Orleans, Royal Standard and Yellowhammer are particularly suitable.

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