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Homes & Gardens: Plant of theWeek.

FREESIA They produce the most fantastic scent and yet many gardeners are reluctant to have a go with these tender or half-hardy bulbs which are commonly grown under cover to provide cut flowers early in the year. However, there are hybrids which can be grown in a sheltered sunny spot in the garden. The sword-like stems produce a long chain of pretty, funnel-shaped flowers in a variety of colours, from cream and pink to deep purple. The secret of success is to provide a warm spot and water them regularly in warm weather and you should be rewarded with a display of colourful, fragrant blooms in late summer and autumn. They make straggly, untidy pot plants that need staking so are best cut for indoor display where they will last well.

For outside displays, freesia corms should be planted in April in light, well drained soil in full sun. Once flowering has finished, the corms will need to be discarded and you'll have to buy new ones for a subsequent display. When growing for the conservatory, corms should be planted in cold frames in late summer or autumn, only bringing them indoors when frosts are likely, for a spring display.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jul 19, 2003
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