‘Agape’ at the beauty of the African lily

Tall and stately… sometimes. Truly blue… mostly. Beautiful…always. The African lily, agapanthus, is at its best in August

Agapanthus 'Moonlight Star'From containers to gravel gardens, Mediterranean to mixed borders, agapanthus fit in well. They're so versatile! This year, we’re conducting a trial of agapanthus on the Trials Field at RHS Garden, Wisley, Surrey. Come and have a look!

You’ll find some short, others tall; some white, others deep purple, as well as a range of blues and even some that are bi-coloured. The Award of Garden Merit is the badge of honour that'll be pinned to those cultivars that meet our strict criteria. The award gives the home gardener confidence.

Agapanthus and redhot pokers on Seven AcresYou’ll find agapanthus growing elsewhere too, because these spectacular flowers are easier to grow than their reputation might suggest. At Wisley, they enliven the borders on Seven Acres among the orange kniphofias (red hot pokers) and grasses. They also fit in equally well alongside the classic hardy geraniums and penstemons of the Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden.

Agapanthus can be deciduous or evergreen, depending on exactly where they originate. But they all need sunlight to get the flowerbuds on their way for the following year. As an added bonus, they continue to bear attractive seedheads after the flowers have faded.

Agapanthus should really be called the flower of love. Why? Well, it’s from the Greek agape meaning ‘charitable love’ and anthos meaning ‘flower'. Isn’t that lovely!

What’s not to love?

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