Between spring and summer

Amateur Gardening|May 09, 2020

Between spring and summer
Christopher Lloyd explains how to fill the lull in the garden in the second half of May
Christopher Lloyd

THE tulips, wallflowers, polyanthus, and other stalwarts of the spring garden are going over, while the bedding plants and perennials that will provide a long summer show have not yet gathered momentum. Of course, we have the bearded irises, oriental poppies, and lupins, but their grand splashes are followed by grim gaps. What else can we turn to on a slighter scale?

Well, there are the libertias, of which Libertia formosa is the best-known species and the most easily obtained. It can also be raised from seed sown now and could produce a few first blooms next year. The plants have a strong individual appearance, forming clumps of narrow, evergreen, iris-like foliage. They grow to 2-21⁄2ft (60-75cm) and in May and June are covered with white blossom of a vaguely triangular outline that marks them out as different from anything else then flowering.

Starts flowering in May

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May 09, 2020