Naturalising Bulbs

Planting Methods


One of the most powerful images of spring is the sight of thousands of daffodils gently billowing under cherry trees. This concept is immediately appealing, and as there are many bulbs that are suitable for naturalising it is, with a little planning, one of the easiest to achieve, albeit on a limited scale.

Two distinct approaches can be pursued. To most gardeners naturalising means growing bulbs in grass instead of borders. However in the strictest sense it means bulbs growing and seeding as they would in the wild; i.e. “in nature”. The gardener therefore has the choice. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Naturalising Bulbs

Small Blue Bulbs

The prima donnas of the spring garden may be the vibrant and showy daffodils and tulips but as with all well stage-managed productions it is the smaller, bit parts that complete the show. Often overlooked, these small, blue flowered bulbs are the perfect foil for the brighter colours of other spring bulbs, especially the golden yellow of daffodils. Yellow and blue is one of the most reliable colour combinations, guaranteed to add a little drama to an otherwise bland scene. The majority of these bulbs are also easy and very reliable, tolerating most soils and conditions providing that the soil is not actually waterlogged and there is sun for at least part of the day while they are in flower. The only downside is that some are a little too easy and can become invasive.  Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Small Blue Bulbs

Growing Lilies

A recent questionnaire among Garden Centre visitors revealed that lilies are now the most popular plant. This is certainly borne out by our experience as they are one of our most popular lines.

Many lilies are excellent for pots, either for the patio or they can be plunged in the border. This is especially useful for those that have special soil requirements. Many lilies are very fragrant – see also Casablanca, Star Gazer, Apollo

Lilies are available in the Spring Catalogue where you can see pictures – visit our Online Store Lily Page for current availability.

Lilies are a very versatile bulb, suitable for most situations, provided a few simple rules are followed: Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Growing Lilies

Using Smaller Daffodils in the Garden

Daffodils are available between May and November from our Autumn Catalogue or you can buy in season from our Online Store.

Having spent the last 26 years running Broadleigh Gardens, a name virtually synonymous with smaller daffodils, I am still amazed, a few honourable exceptions apart, how neglected they are as garden plants, particularly by alpine gardeners who seem to concentrate on the species and neglect the smaller hybrids. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Using Smaller Daffodils in the Garden

Snowdrop Hints

Snowdrops, or Galanthus to give them their correct name, are the classic winter flowering plant, loved by everyone. When the snowdrops flower can spring be far behind?

They are fully hardy and even have especially hardened tips to push through snow. However for such a popular plant they can be remarkably temperamental to grow – thriving in some soils but declining in others. If you have not tried to grow them before it is best to start with one of the easiest – G nivalis – the ‘common’ single, double or G Atkinsii, a vigorous tall variety. Once you have established these successfully then you can try one of the more unusual varieties, but be warned – you could become hooked and it is an expensive, if very rewarding hobby! You will find many fellow Galanthophiles. Continue reading

Posted in Links, Snow Drops | Comments Off on Snowdrop Hints

Agapanthus – a personal appraisal

Broadleigh Gardens offer one of the largest ranges of Agapanthus plants anywhere. If you would like to order for delivery next spring, please click here.

You can forget the big, blousy belles of Madeira or the lusty beauties of New Zealand and Tresco, my choice of agapanthus lies with the subtle charms of the A.campanulatus cultivars & hybrids. Agapanthus have been a feature of my life ever since I was taken to Headbourne Manor as a newly engaged fiancée and left clutching seed of their famous hardy hybrids. These had originated from a packet of mixed agapanthus seed from Kirstenbosch Gardens sent to Luly Palmer in the 1940s.
Continue reading

Posted in Agapanthus | Comments Off on Agapanthus – a personal appraisal