Tulips do pretty well on the glamour front – the smouldering exotica of ‘Abu Hassan’, perhaps, or the Marilyn Monroe waisted ‘White Triumphator’. Bearded irises and lilies are pretty showy, too. But lovely as they are, they’re just the supporting act.
For true, jaw-dropping showmanship, the kind of look-at-me A-lister screen goddess you just can’t ignore, it’s autumn flowering bulbs every time.
Think explosions of lipstick pink from Nerine x bowdenii erupting from a sun-baked spot by a wall, towering South African Crinum x powellii pulsing with perfume, and seductive naked ladies (Colchicum speciosum ‘Album’) sending up come-hither goblets of purest white.
Then there’s cherry-pink Amaryllis belladonna, whose flower stems rise like magic from bare ground, or rivers of butter-yellow Sternbergia dripping down rockeries, or the swept-back elegance of Cyclamen hederifolium peeking from the skirts of long-spent shrubs. Plant now for autumn colour to out-glam Hollywood.