Should you enjoy a white or’moonlight’ backyard in addition to flower arranging, it’d be profitable to contact a few Ornithogalum bulbs. More specifically, keep an eye out for Ornithogalum saundersiae (giant chincherinchee), which we fondly call’chinks’.
Although some species of Ornithogalum are spring-flowering, the giant chincherinchee flowers much later (January to April), producing smooth stems up to 1.5m tall and topped with umbels of white star-shaped flowers with pronounced black veins at their centres. They key is to deadhead spent blossoms once the flowering period is over, and to keep watering and feeding the crops with bulb until the leaves turn brown and perish. Dormant bulbs do not mind overwintering in the ground and will tolerate watering as long as they are planted in well-draining soil.
Chincherinchees make a significant statement in large swathes in sun or light shade, and therefore are outstanding cut flowers lasting around two weeks in a vase. Available in a colour feast of crimson, orange, yellow, hot pink, rose, mahogany and magenta, celosias are exceptionally hardy small plants. Not only are they very wind tolerant, making them a particularly good choice for gardens subjected to strong winds as well as coastal gardens, but they also prefer to grow slightly drier instead of wetter. Do your best not to plant them along with different annuals or plants that require regular watering, especially if you’re using an automated irrigation system. The blooming period of Celosias generally lasts eight weeks, and is undaunted by our unrelenting sun, but will go on for even longer with deadheading.