Gardeners World ran a series looking for Britains favourite top ten flowers. The BBC didn’t name specific varieties or offer much insight so I have added some Gardeners Tips
- Lilies – Soak in water water for an hour lay sideways on a bed of grit and shade the root run.
- Roses – Encourage growth from the ground by planting deeper than they originally grew. Scented varieties Margaret Merrill and Rosa Westerland are worth looking out for
- Daffodils – Feed with tomato fertilizer as they finish flowering and leave leaves for 6 weeks. Miniature DAffs are now very trendy but if you have the space go for King Alfred.
- Fucshias – Pinch out the tip when they have 4-6 pairs of leaves. I grow Lady and Tom Thumb as well as Winston Churchill
- Delphiniums – Treat for slugs in Autumn so they don’t feed on the roots all winter. The white varieties are not as strong as the trditional
- Clematis – Plant 6 inches deeper tha the top of the rootball and keep roots cool.
- Sweet Peas – Train the strongest side shoot not the main stem for show blooms.
- Primulas – Mark plants in flower if you want to split them in June.
- Poppies – Cut oriental poppy foliage right back after flowering and stake early.
- Irises – Plant in groups of 3-5 to make quicker clumps.
Bulb historian Anna Pavord has also chosen her favourite top ten flowers and surprise, surprise they are all bulbs or corm based flowers. I have put them into alphabetical order
- Arisaema candidissimum With hoods and spathes like wild Arums
- Criniumx powellii with strappy foliage
- Crocus sieberi sublimis Tricolour – strong, showy and an intense colour
- Cyclamen hederifolium buy in flower to choose your leaf pattern and flower colour
- Fritilliara meleagris The snakeshead for damp meadow areas
- Hippeastrum papilo a creamy-green and maroon Amyrillis
- Iris latifolia called the English Iris
- Lilium x dalhansonii Mrs R O Backhouse quite a long name for a spotted lily of apricot-orange
- Narsissus White Lady like an old wild variety
- Tulip orphanidea Whittallii group with caramel pointed petals.
For more see Anna Pavord’s book ‘Bulbs’