With spring well under way, one of many plants looking glorious now is our April plant of the month Muscari armeniacum, also known as ‘Armenian grape hyacinth’ for the shape of its florets, which resemble upturned bunches of grapes. The dense spikes of pale cobalt blue flowers appear in mid-spring, blooming for up to a month. Each bulb produces up to three spikes, topped by a multitude of tightly-packed jewel-like flowers and surrounded by long, linear leaves.
The flowers will enhance almost any Cambridge garden, neatly edging borders, dotted around woodland-style areas or brightening rockeries. Alternatively, they can be used to create vibrant container displays and make for long lasting cut flowers in the home. It’s no wonder these easy to grow bulbs have been awarded the RHS ‘Award of Garden Merit’.
Native to Eurasia, this hardy little plant will thrive in all aspects and any well-drained soil. Bulbs should be planted in groups of 10 or more in September/October. Place them in well-drained soil to prevent the bulbs from rotting. Allow leaves to die back after flowering to provide fuel for next year’s display. Muscari Armeniacum will multiply and spread each year, so planting in containers is a good option if you want them to stay in one place!
The grape hyacinth is a remarkably easy, versatile and low-maintenance plant to have in your garden. They are an ideal spring companion to tulips (we think that the creamy white of Tulipa ‘Purissima’ contrasts especially beautifully with Muscari armeniacum’s intense colour). And finally, the bell-shaped flowers are irresistible to bees and other early pollinators, making this a great addition to any wildlife-friendly garden!