So this is how you can really get some great colour into your shady garden, especially underneath trees. ADD BULBS!!! They are completely underutilized plants and I wish people would make more use of them as there are so many available and the ones I am going to speak of are all local is lekker, indigenous. Velthemia bracteata (Bush Lily) has dark green glossy foliage and gets spikes topped with droopy tubular either bright pink or cream flowers. This is a deciduous bulb and will be dormant for a couple of months during midsummer. This bulb does really well in pots. Bulbs don’t like to be disturbed as this affects flowering. I absolutely love the Blood or snake lily, Scadoxus puniceus which produces fluffy brush-like heads of scarlet in spring. Mass plant under trees or pop in between other plants to produce flashes of colour. The pineapple lily or Eucomis autumnalis is an example of natural beauty with its large, fleshy, strap like leaves and normally yellow-green flower heads which resemble pineapples. Other colour varients are also available. This bulb does well in sun and semi-shade and is quite drought tolerant. Great cut flower so be sure to add this to your vase. Although dormant they don’t need to be lifted as long as drainage is good and you keep them fairly dry whilst dormant. Aristea ecklonii, major and capitata with purple blue flowers with strappy foliage. Great for the cottage garden look. Don’t forget to add what we all know loves shade, Clivia miniata and other varieties. Crocosmia aurea adds a cheerful bright orange to the garden in mass and this plant will spread on its own, filling up gaps where it can. Plants for free, awesome… Haemanthus albiflos will add heads of white flowers to the garden and looks great combined with Scadoxus underneath trees in between foliage plants. Just remember when adding bulbs to your garden that if you have a mole problem they may be attacked and that lily borer can be a problem with bulbs. Please don’t let this discourage you though and just treat bulbs with systemic insecticide once every 3 months which will kill lily borer if they attack.