Lambley Gardens & Nursery, 395 Lesters Road,  Ascot,  Victoria 3364
Phone +61 (03) 5343 4303,  Fax +61 (03) 5343 4257

Lambley Winter/Spring Bulbs



Winter/Spring Bulbs are listed from Boxing Day 2017 for delivery from late summer 2018

Bulbs will not be available from the nursery before mid February



This year we are again releasing a selection of stunning Alliums we have imported from Northern Europe. These are good strong vigorous bulbs ready for flowering. A number of these are in short supply and will not be included in the printed form of the catalogue. They want only a sunny spot in a region of warm dry summers and cold, frosty winters.


The true Arums are a race of great beauty and with one exception are unlikely to ever become a problem in the garden. The genus suffers from being confused with Zantedesia aethiopica, the big white, often weedy lily wrongly called by florists and gardeners alike as the Arum Lily.

The true Arums are natives of North Africa, Mediterranean Europe, Turkey and the Middle East. We grow them all here at Lambley in beds that are allowed to become fairly dry during summer but this isn’t altogether a necessity as they are quite comfortable in any well drained spot in full sun or light shade. Winter and spring flowering, and summer dormant, they lend themselves well to planting amongst later flowering perennials.

A minority have an unpleasant odour but the majority are pleasantly scented or have no smell at all. Some make long lasting, exciting cut flowers. No garden should be without these wonders of the plant world.



Camassia are a North American genus found growing in moist places from Vancouver to northern California, from sea level into the mountains. They are best planted in parts of the garden with good humus rich soil which is given supplementary irrigation during summer as, unlike most other bulbs in this catalogue, Camassias resent drying out during summer and accept moist light shade too. In flower for a good month or more.


Winter would not be the same here without the flowers of this wonderful, easily grown crocus. Brian Matthews, in his monograph The Crocus, writes “In parts of Montenegro and Hercigovina I have seen it growing so thickly as to colour the woodlands, like English bluebells.” I grow it in the dry garden under salvias and toad flax which are cut to the ground in May. This crocus flowers in July. It self sows in the garden and as it flowers in three years from seed it soon makes a decent show, especially as the bulbs increase freely. Over the years European gardeners have selected some different forms.


The following Crocus vary in flowering time from July until early September. We have planted them under perennials such as Salvia nemorosa and Origanum cultivars which are cut to the ground during late autumn. All the following are easy to accomodate and have the same cultivation needs. Plant the bulbs in a sunny spot about 5cm. below soil level in well drained soil. They probably will not be happy close to the coast nor in subtropical areas.

Crocus chrysanthus
The cultivars of this species are amongst the most handsome of all Crocus. They are also very long flowering giving a good month’s display here at Lambley. Earlier flowering than the Dutch bred C. vernus hybrids they have a more pleasing form and beautiful markings.

Crocus sieberi is an easy species to grow and we have some large patches of it in the dry garden where they freely multiply and flower in the late winter and early spring.

These have giant flowers almost as big as tulips. They flower late winter and early spring and will cope with more summer watering than most other crocus although they grow happily in dry conditions. They all make good pot plants and can be brought inside when they start to flower.






Dutch Iris are amongst the easiest spring bulbs to grow. They flower during late spring on 80-90cm tall stems. They are excellent as a cut flower as well as a showy garden plant. Plant in a spot which gets at least six hours sun a day. After flowering has finished wait until the foliage starts to turn yellow and then cut back. These bulbs can be left in the garden as they don’t need lifting during summer.

These are amongst the most beautiful of all winter flowering bulbs. They are easy to grow as long as a few important rules are followed. They need to be planted in a well drained spot which gets all the winter sun. The soil should be prepared well with plenty of dolomite or ground garden lime added as these Iris don’t enjoy excessively acid soils. I plant the bulbs between 12 and 15 cm deep. The soil should be kept dry during summer. Whilst these Iris are beautiful in pots the first year you receive them after that they need to be planted in the garden. None of this will seem too much trouble when you see these jewels flowering on 15cm tall stems during the depths of winter taking frost, wind rain and snow in their stride.


The death rate amongst babies and young children of the Central Highlands gold diggers was very high during the middle decades of the 19th century. Most diggers couldn’t afford gravestones and planted flowers, including Ixias, on their children’s graves. In the past you could find mass displays of these wonderful South African bulbs in local cemeteries but since the advent of Roundup many of these bulbs have been wiped out.

At Lambley we have tried to maintain stocks of many different Ixias which we’ve saved from herbicide.

A few years ago Lambley also imported a selection of cut flower varieties of Ixia from the best Dutch bulb growers. They are all free flowering bulbs producing tall wiry stems covered with blooms. Happy in any sunny well drained position, drier rather than wetter, they will flower for several weeks from the end of October.






Bulbs from the Winter/Spring list will be listed from Boxing Day.