Planting in crevices: Autumn-flowering crocus can grow through the dense foliage of rock-garden plants such as aubrieta, and in the small crevices of dry-stone walls. Plant them in a little soil and cover with gravel. The autumn-flowering snowdrop (Galanthus reginae-olgae) will also thrive at the top of dry, sheltered rock gardens.
Discover irises: All irises prefer a sunny position and can be grown from rhizomes or bulbs. Rhizomatous types prefer drier soils: damp soils encourage disease. Although their flowers are beautiful, they can be untidy when not in bloom. The dwarf forms of bulbous iris flower in early spring, while the taller Dutch or English varieties flower in late spring and early summer, and provide excellent cut flowers.
Grow crocosmia for late colour: The scarlet, orange or yellow hues of crocosmia will brighten up even partially shaded sites, if they are well-drained and sheltered. These plants are prolific and spread rapidly. Divide them in spring.
Planning a fragrant garden: Plant the hardy regal lily (Lilium regale), which tolerates all growing conditions, at the entrance to your garden. For sweet scents in late summer and autumn, opt for Lilium speciosum, a large Japanese lily which is also highly perfumed, but needs to be planted in a sheltered position safe from the first frosts.
Lilies and allium have 'true' bulbs. These are formed of fleshy scales surrounding a central bud and attached to its base. Most bulbs should be planted with the tip upwards.
Gladioli and crocus grow from a corm which outwardly resembles a bulb. This a thick modified stem, without scales, on top of which there is a flowering bud. Every year the corm regenerates by creating a new storage organ at the top. When planting always ensure that the bud is at the top.