Summer flowering bulbs are such an asset in a garden, they pop up every year and need little attention. Fritillaria imperialis or crown imperial, is the showiest of all the fritillaries, strictly speaking it’s a late spring/early summer flowerer, but let’s not quibble.
It’s at least a metre high with splendid bell-shaped flowers, arranged under a shock of mid-green leaves.
How to grow them
Plant it in a sunny place that has rich, fertile soil, the soil has to be well-drained because it hates sitting in wet soil. It has a musky, earthy sort of smell which some people don’t like, so it’s often planted away from paths.
Plant them in a group of at least three, odd numbers always look better, or more if you have a large garden, in September or October. Then simply add a thick layer of mulch to the surrounding soil in early spring. The bees love the flowers too.
There’s also one with orange flowers: Fritillaria Aurora, or rusty/red ones: Fritillaria Rubra, and it looks much nicer if the group is all the same colour.
Avon bulbs sell them by mail order, you can register here and they’ll let you know when they’re available.
There’s a recent post here, about another summer flowering bulb, probably my favourite, that has wonderful scent.
Do you have a favourite summer flowering bulb?
image: Jill Anderson