Star of Bethlehem could brighten up autumn

Gardeners looking out into their garden with a tinge of sadness as autumn heralds the departure of many of the colourful and exotic flowers that brightened up the garden in summer need not despair.

Although exotic varieties may have to be stored in the greenhouse over winter, there are flowers that can inject some colour at this time of year.

Planting some Star of Bethlehems will mean a fresh batch of bright flowers will appear next autumn, making the cheer of the garden and greenhouse last right through until winter.

The bulb often sprouts leaves in spring but doesnt flower until autumn, leaving novice gardeners feeling cheated or confused, according to the Times Stephen Anderton.

Mr Anderton wrote that, while the plants may have an uneventful summer, the wait until autumn is well worth it.

Just as many other bulbs are fading away, the Star of Bethlehem makes a glorious appearance, with "papery and clean" wiry ten inch stems and a "handful of silvery-white-stars" for flowers.

As they dont require a great border soil and can survive in the shade and with shrubs, they are simple to grow, Mr Anderton explained in the paper.

He advises gardeners to plant them singly, four inches deep and leave them to it.

The Royal Horticultural Society advises gardeners to plant spring-flowering bulbs in early autumn and said that tulips are best planted in November.