Scarlet and orange.
Gold and chocolate.
Yellow, spotted with vermilion.
Scarlet-crimson and gold.
White and yellow, blotched with brown.
White, rose and maroon.
Mauve-magenta and white, spotted with chocolate.
March is, I think, a safer month than February for outdoor planting, and the beautiful flower harvest may be looked for from the end of June to the coming of October. Tiger flowers only last, individually, one day, but buds are constantly opening. They are also called Peacock Flowers.
There is a lovely little late autumn-blooming flower called the Lily of the Field by some, the Winter Daffodil by others. It is more like a tiny Lily flower with upturned chalice than any Daffodil, and is a peculiarly rich gold. Old gardeners believed it to be a miniature Amaryllis, but its true name is Stern-bergia lutea.
Do not let it be imagined that this is a showy plant. Yet it well deserves culture.
Plant bulbs in October, November, or spring, 6 inches deep, in rockery clefts where soil is rich and damp cannot lie to rot them; or cover the soil under Silver Birches, or other light-growing trees, with them; or use them to help edge herbaceous borders. I like, too, to plant them in groups alternately with Mossy Saxifrages, for the 'moss' of the latter will keep the Sternbergias snug.
The Scarlet Twin Flower (Bravoa Geminiflora) is another pretty half-hardy plant, for raised beds or rockeries. It has orange or vermilion blooms, in drooping clusters, during summer, is about 18 inches tall, needs no peat, and can be left in the ground under a cinder-covering each winter. Plant bulbs 4 inches deep and 6 inches apart, in October or November. Or place them 2 inches apart in pots of ordinary sandy compost, cover in a cold frame until growth comes, then keep in the greenhouse for blooming. Dry off as usual and repot annually.
Natural Shape Bulb Beds.
It should be realized that Ixias will thrive in hot borders, or sunny glades in shrubberies, planted 4 inches deep, 4 inches apart, from September to December. They should be lifted, like Ranunculuses. Many of the lower-growing bulbous plants look most charming of all used to fill small beds of natural, otherwise flower or leaf, shapes.
Pink Babianas, for example, can occupy a Single Rose-shaped bed, scarlet Begonias may be the furnishing for one that resembles a Single Geranium bloom; purple Crocuses may imitate a giant Pansy, and dwarf Double Tulips be used to represent a giant blossom of Anemone Japonica.
Such 'flower' beds, looked down on from the windows of a house, have a most quaint effect. A Shamrock bed, in gravel, will look all green, at one season, if given up to Anemone coronaria. An Ivy-leaf bed may contain Hepaticas.