Crocosmias, Montbretias, or whatever you call them: these are rewarding summer-flowering bulbs that can tolerate a reasonable amount of frost (especially in a sheltered location) and would thus be ideal for adding to a perennial border for multiple-year flowering. They are planted in the spring (April). Preferably, this should be done upon receipt; once the corms dry out, they will often fail to produce flowers during the first year. Keep the place where they have been planted a little moist for the first few weeks to encourage rooting. Flowering occurs from late July to well into September. Yet long before this, their graceful grass-like foliage makes them attractive plants. Some varieties also produce decorative berries after flowering.

The colours of the flowers, which are sometimes large and sometimes small, range from orange-yellow to bright red; heights range from 60 to 100 cm (23 – 35 inches). Definitely an asset for the sunny informal summer border, they add a fiery accent of colour when planted at the rate of 12 to 15 corms per square metre (14-18 corms per square yard).

In the photo: Crocosmia hybrid: 'Lucifer'