Ireland is considered by many to be a paradise for those who enjoy gardening. The country offers a temperate, moist climate and soil conditions high in nutrient-rich organic matter. The year-round mild weather offers flowers for each season. Many tourist areas are famous for their lavish gardens that surround castles, abbeys, parks and manor houses.
The Lily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria majali) is a common sight in woodland garden settings throughout Ireland. The tiny perennial flowers are hardy and spread easily. The constant moisture of the Irish countryside suites the plants well because it enables the foliage to stay abundantly green during the plants' flowering stage. The tiny, bell shaped flowers offer a sweet, pleasant fragrance. The plant blooms in the springtime and tolerates shady conditions well. Each plant produces five to 15 flower blossoms. It is hardy in even the most extreme frost conditions and grows from tiny bulbs that easily spread. Bulbs should be planted in November for springtime bloom.
The Scilla Siberica, also known as "Siberian squill" is commonly called simply "blue bells" in Ireland. The plants adore well-drained, moist soil conditions in partial shade. The bulbs easily spread and the clumps can be easily divided to transplant in other garden locations. Blooms appear from March to April. Bulbs should be planted in the fall. Blossoms are a lovely purple but also available in white. Bulbs are often forced in January for even earlier springtime blooms. The plants are popular in woodland, cottage and containers gardens. It's an exceptionally hardy plant that is well suited to the Irish climate.
Montbretia (Crocosmia) produces bright orange flowers in the mid-summer. The flowers are highly valued for their long life as a cut flower in arrangements. The foliage of the plant is abundantly green and spike-like in appearance. The plant grows from corms and readily spreads. Corms are easily divided and planted in other locations within the garden. In areas of cold winters the bulbs should be lifted and stored to be replanted the following spring. The plants prefer a location that offers full sunlight or partial shade.
The Fritillaria (Fritillaria) family is made up of 100 species of the delicate flowers that are favored in rock gardens. Bloom time is from September to October. The plants are exceptionally hardy and prefer being grown in full sunlight. They like a well-drained moist soil environment. The flowers are brownish purple in appearance with a less then pleasant aroma. The plant grows 10 to 12 inches in height which makes them ideal fro a rock garden or as a front-line garden plant. The plant thrives in moist soil and is easily planted beside creeks or ponds.