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Nerine Bowdenii x Pink Surprise — 44 Comments

  1. Alistair – I didn’t know there were autumn-flowering bulbs, I like both the pale and mid-pink.
    Personally, I prefer a more relaxed style of garden but I can still appreciate and admire show gardens, yours was (and still is) stunning. In front of my house is just a paved car park, maintaining a front & back garden would be too much gardening for me. I often nose around other people’s front gardens, I say hello if they are out weeding even though it’s not usual to greet strangers in London.

    • I know what you mean regarding a more relaxed style of gardening b-a-g. A few years back walking down Grove road in Walthamstow in February I was looking at the front gardens interested that they were further on than ours in Aberdeen, as you would expect. An old biddy with a strong east London accent came up to me and said, isn’t it lovely to see the Spring flowers starting to bloom so early. We chatted for a short time and I was left thinking, people in London are really nice.

  2. Those massed nerines make a lovely colourful display, though nowhere near as colourful as your garden was when you were still competing! I am in awe of how much work that must have taken, no wonder you decided to take it a little more easy!

  3. The nerines are extremely effective Alistair! Very nice. The pictures from years back are just downright amazing…. what a remarkable amount of color! There is regularly a lot of frost on the grass here now in the mornings… much of the fall work is pretty much done and I am anxiously awaiting the Japanese maples to put on a show of color, all the while hoping that a hard freeze doesn’t destroy their foliage before that happens. They are well on the way to the change so there is hope as our lows are only forecast around freezing or just below for the next week or so. Take care, Larry

    • That will be a sight worth seeing Larry. Still no frost here as yet, I am sure it is not far off although the temperature is expected to be 60f tomorrow. Our Summer temp at times was lower.

  4. Those Nerines are gorgeous, taking up the entire row.

    I cannot imagine how much effort you must have put into for the preparation of the garden competition. How did you managed to get every single plant to bloom at the same time?! Just amazing!

  5. Hi Alistair – One of my favourite indigenous bulbs, Nerine Bowdenii is stunning. I love the understated pink colouring of yours. Here in South Africa it is at its best from January to March (High Summer), so I’m amazed to see it flowering in Autumn in your garden. Fabulous!

    • Hi Christine, I imagined that Nerine would flower in a cooler part of the year regardless of which country it was growing. Very interesting to hear of how it grows in its home territory.

  6. The first time I planted nerines in Orkney no-one told me about planting. I assumed (I didn’t always check in those days) that the bulbs should be planted about three times their depth. They were never seen again….there’s a surprise!
    Nerines flower abundantly in Orkney gardens but it always the bright pink one. I think your pale pink one is more unusual and subtle.

  7. I have often noticed that plants can’t read their own labels, and make up their own minds whether to thrive in the most unlikely spots. As for your bedding garden – I absolutely love those pics. Such fun, such colour, patriotic colours too. Of course it’s not my style but I appreciate it all the same, as I would a beautiful piece of jewellry that I love to look at but don’t want to own.

  8. Love those beautiful pink bulbs! I need some fall blooming bulb – these are lovely. Your show garden is perfection! No wonder your neighbor doesn’t think of himself as a gardener. I would be mighty intimidated living next to your show garden! Joking aside, in reality, I bet he loves living next to someone that brings such beauty and takes such good care of their place.

  9. My MIL has those beautiful pink flowers in a small pot outside her front door & I’m always a ‘tad’ envious each year when they bloom. The temptation to ‘nick’ her pot grew this year when she had even more flower-heads on what is otherwise a totally neglected pot of bulbs. However, seeing them along a front garden beats her arrangement hands down!!
    And as for the other snaps, well what can I say…nothing…just a big, fat…SIGH!! xx

  10. Pink color is very refreshing in autumn when almost everything turns yellow and brown.
    As for your garden pictures -Wow! The colors are very suitable for the 4th of July celebration here in the U.S.! Very impressive!

  11. Alistair how I wish I could grow this stunner. It is definitely not something I can grow here with our cold weather…those garden pics are incredible displays and one can see the hard work it took to make it so beautiful….

  12. Alistair, I’ve often seen nerines bagged up in the bulbs section of garden centres, and always rejected them on the grounds they would never do with me. However, you have inspired me to try some. When is the time to buy & plant them? I worry about the ground being too damp, but I might be able to find somewhere reasonably well drained.

    • Kininvie, do make sure you get (bowdenii) They can be planted in early Winter, not deeply, mulch them for protection after planting, clearing away the mulch in the Spring. They may take a couple of years to settle down, first year is usually a poor show. If you come across the bulbs in Spring, they can also be planted then, without the mulch of course.

  13. Alistair I must admit that at first I suspected that, like Kininvie, you have managed to lure mythological creatures to your garden. And while I would find this to be a fascinating development with rich possibility for garden enhancement (I expect the sea nymph Nerine was very pretty), her presence would require a fairly large pool or possibly loss of the use of your bath-tub. So I was quite relieved to learn that your nerines are lilies. And please be assured that, although they are new to me as plants, I don’t for one moment think that you are making them up. And they are lovely.

  14. aloha,

    i am fond of these nerines also, they don’t grow them here in hawaii for some reason, i think people are used to year round bloomers instead of one time bloomers, but i’ve always been fond of these, tx for sharing them.

  15. Hi Alistair, I so wish Nerine was hardy here. I would absolutely grow them. I have seen blue Nerine before, but never this pink variety. It’s so pretty and they look wonderful massed! Your front garden is astonishing. I am sure it was well received when you entered the Aberdeen garden competition. There is no question that plants like spending their summer in your flowerbeds; they look so happy and healthy!

  16. I am not familiar with nerines, although I have heard of them. Very pretty. Your former garden display really had to be the talk of your neighborhood. I don’t see anything from down the street to compare.

  17. What a beautiful display they make in the garden. I have never grown one before but I can see why they are a welcome plant at this time of the year.
    Wow! Your display gardens were so beautiful Alister. I love all of the color. Now that took a lot of work I am certain but the results were fabulous.

  18. Rather strangely nerines do fantastically here in Orkney. Mid-late October is a riot of bubblegum pink in most gardens you see a patch. I’d always been taught they like dry sunbaked soils, not the case here. Nice post.

    Stunning garden by the way, shrinking at the work, but full of admiration for your achievements.

  19. Hi Alistair, i love amaryllis too because they thrive with neglect in our tropical climes but i haven’t seen pink hues here yet. I wonder if those pinks will grow in the tropics like the Hipeastrum puniceum (red orange) in our garden. Regarding your reposted photos, they will always be an envy in the tropics, as we lack those blues and burgundy colors here. We have a few but not as lovely and versatile like yours in those hedgelike arrangements. I only remember our blue Vanda and the blue plumbago which are not at dark. I might stop breathing for a while if i see that garden in person. Thanks.

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