Peruvian Influencers

I first came across the Peruvian beauty known as Alstromeria in my friend Rachel’s garden where she had a truly dramatic circular border filled with these magnificent plants.

My first Alstromeria was this one ‘Lady Diane’ – from Rachel’s garden

The trick with these generous plants is regular dead-heading which is done in a unique way – the entire flower stem is removed with a firm “chuck” which stimulates the plant to replace the flowering stem within a very short time. Lady Diane is a tall and elegant beauty, coming into flower just now in the height of Summer and continuing to flower for months if you remember to remove the spent flowers.

The next Alstromeria I aquired was Alstroemeria ‘Little Miss Gina’ and in complete contrast she is a tiny plant, just perching on the edge of the border! She begins to flower in June in my garden, but I don’t usually remove the spent flowers daily as I do with Lady Diane, but she still flowers with great enthusiasm right through to the end of Autumn.

Little Miss Gina with Sedum Green Mantle

I also have Alstromeria Selena which got planted totally in the wrong place in the Oak Woodland. I tried taking a piece from it at the end of the season last year but it didn’t come through the winter. This year I took a chance and have moved as much as I could of the root to the area beside the Birch Tree in the Birdhouse Garden and so far it is surviving! It is near ‘Lady Diane’ and since she thrives here hopefully Selena will also thrive!

Alstromeria Selena

I have another low-growing one that I got for the Hot Border – it recently featured in a photo with Puss. This is another long-flowering plant and the colour zings particularly when the sun is shining on it! Alstroemeria ‘Princess Diana’ not to be confused with ‘Lady Diane’ – why do they do this to us with plant names!

All these amazing flowers do exceptionally well in my garden. The first clump of ‘Lady Diane’ got a really bad infestation of Vetch so last winter I lifted the whole clump and painstakingly removed as much as I could and this year I have only found a few small pieces of Vetch an have been able to deal with them with normal weeding! The disturbance has resulted in shorter flowers this year but I am confident they witll regain their strength before the end of the season. Fortunately I have a second clump in a different part of the garden too!

The final Alstromeria is ‘Orange King’ and he certainly is living up to his name! He really is VERY orange as you can see…

Orange King

He is a real thug and has staged a takeover in more than one border but he is such a wonderful dash of colour that he gets away with it!

In one border he blended beautifully with Geranium Maderense where the unusual combination of Purple and Orange was very dramatic.

Alstromeria ‘Orange King’ with Geranium Maderense

But in another border a beautiful pure yellow Hemerocallis has appeared in the jungle of Orange King!

Hemerocallis and Alstromeria ‘Orange King’

Even the invasive thug that Orange King is, he is still a welcome addition to any border – all that is required is a certain amount of ruthlessness when weeding the borders!

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