I haven't done any kind of garden post in a long while but I simply had to share with you my latest find. You will love me forever, and I do mean forever, once you've discovered this too.
Two words: Acidanthera Murialae. Okay, not the easiest words to say (also called Gladiolus Callianthus, as if that was meant to sort out the complicated name problem....) but their fragrance more than makes up for it. One of the great joys in life is being able to pick an armful of flowers in the garden and bring them into the house. If that floats your boat too, then these are the babies for you, my friend.
I first came across these at RHS Wisley and was instantly transfixed, intoxicated. They have a powerful, heavenly scent (in the nicest of ways) AND, the best news, they are everything you could want from a cut flower. Yes, it's easy to bring them into the house once they are starting to flower so that they can waft their loveliness all around.
They look great, and are pretty cheap too! What more could you possibly want for your flowering needs?
Please, pleeeease try and grow these. You will honestly thank me forever and a day. Why acidanthera murialae aren't better known is beyond me.
If you plant the small bulbs in succession: a big pot in April, one in May and one in early June, you'll have a long season of flowering to take advantage of in the late summer and autumn. Imagine huge bunches of scrumptiously-scented, ethereal-looking acidanthera adorning the favourite spots in your house, its exquisite scent rising to meet you whenever you pass (and then you pause, because you will so want to, and bury your face into their pale heads. Aaaaah...).
The flowers are delicate-looking, whitest white with deep purple markings in the centre (although some of mine seem to be purple all over). The leaves are similar to day lilies or crocosmia, that is, long and rising from the base of the plant. Elegant schwelligant.
Do you have a favourite cut flower to grow? I'd love to hear your choices.....