NERINE

Nerines are usually considered to be too tender to grow outdoors, but there is one hardy species which can be relied upon to display its eye-catching flowers in the garden. They appear in the autumn – clusters of long-lasting blooms at the top of a leafless stalk. Strap-shaped leaves appear in late summer, grow during winter and spring and then die down in summer. Protect the crowns with peat or bracken in winter.

VARIETIES: N. bowdenii is the species to grow. The flowers measure about 3 in. across – long, spidery petals which are twisted and reflexed. The colour is deep pink – grow ‘Pink Triumph’ for silvery pink blooms. Plant the bulbs in a sheltered spot – preferably close to a south-facing wall.

SITE AND SOIL: Well-drained soil and full sun are essential.

PLANT DETAILS: Planting time April-May. Planting depth 4 in.

Spacing: 6 in. Height 2 ft.

Flowering period: September-October.

PROPAGATION: Divide overcrowded clumps in spring once.

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