MUSCARI THAT WON’T TAKE OVER!
Not all are invasive and they make great displays
Muscari once had a reputation for taking over gardens; however this can be blamed mostly on M. armeniacum, a vigorous grape hyacinth that is useful for filling problem spots under trees, but is far from ideal for a small garden. Luckily for those wanting a more well-behaved bulb, there are many non-invasive and less vigorous varieties available.
if you’re limited on space it’s worth looking for specific varieties, because grape hyacinths have much to recommend them. Winter hardy and easy to grow, they fill the garden with a strong, sweet smell in spring. They are perfect for pots and gravel gardens or for edging borders, as well as naturalising in grass or under trees, and will come back year after year. They are also loved by bees – just avoid those with sterile flowers if you want to tempt pollinators into your garden.
several are sold as non-invasive, such as M. azureum; other cultivars are related to vigorous species but have a far less vigorous nature.
Blue varieties make a striking plant partner for narcissus and crocus at the front of borders. Or use as part of a layered ‘lasagne’ planting of spring bulbs in a container for an attractive long-flowering display.
Not all muscari are plain blue or white, however – interesting variations include pale powder-blue ‘Valerie Finnis’, which has a lovely fragrance. it will naturalise well but won’t run riot.
another hot pick is M. latifolium, prized for its two-tone flowerheads – ideal for a bold display in a pot or border. Or try M. muscarimi, whose flowers open creamy yellow and fade to grey, with a heavy musky fragrance.
Look beyond the commonly grown types and you’ll find an exciting range of muscari. Order and plant now for a swathe of scented flowers in spring.
The purple-blue flowers look stunning en masse, but not all muscari are space invaders
Try layering muscari in a pot with other spring bulbs