I’m really not sure why these pretty plants aren’t more widely grown.
They produce an elegant 1.2m spire of star-shaped, violet-blue flowers in May, just when tulips are fading and summer flowers haven’t quite got going.
Unlike tulips, and many other bulbs that need dry well-drained soil, these like to grow in damp soil, just what you need if you have heavy, clay soil, although they won’t be happy if the soil is water-logged.
They’re often seen growing in grass, but this only works if you can leave them for 4-6 weeks to die down naturally before the grass is cut.
Plant them in autumn, 8cm deep and 20cm apart.
Happy gardening, Jill
all photos: Jill Anderson.