Summer Flower Shows 2022

The Flower Show scene has been firing on all cylinders this year!

Did you get to any of them?

We’ll be sharing a little taste of what is happening right now at the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park – the final major show of the RHS season happening now until 24 July.

But first, if you missed the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival (where we had some Gold Medalists pictured right), here’s some of what went on there:

Forest Bathing Garden

If you find being in forests brings out your inner nymph, you would’ve loved this. Forest bathing, traditionally practiced in Japan, is a restful activity allowing you to take in all the sights, sounds, feels and smells of nature. The aim with this experience was to encourage mindfulness in becoming fully aware of everything surrounding you. To be fully present with what is now.

The John King Brain Tumour Foundation Garden

This was an example of a hospital rooftop garden providing a much needed sanctuary for patients and staff to experience the calming effects of nature. This transformation of what would otherwise be unutilised, bare spaces also attracted wildlife which added to the harmony. A beautiful sculpture by Emma Rodgers and the blue and yellow colouring of the planters around it were a show of appreciation to the NHS. Even better is that this garden is now living on after the festival at the Atkinson Morley Wing at St George’s Hospital.

Connections Garden

This one was representative of Alzheimer’s Research UK, showing the impact a dementia diagnosis has on the family and friend’s. Across the front of the garden was a felled tree with saplings growing around it. The woodland entrance lead to a pathway surrounded with black, yarn-bombed synapse-like structures – conveying the confusion and disorientation of dementia – and out into a tranquil garden with Scotch thistles and giant scabious.


If you are sad you missed all this, you’ll want to get yourself to the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park.

Along with good food, music and cooking demonstrations as well as fun and earth-friendly activities for the young of age and at heart, here’s a little sample of what else to expect:

  • BBC Radio 2 and The One Show’s Sow, Grow and Show sporting a competition table with cut flowers and bizarre and beautiful vegetable varieties
  • The RHS and BBC North West Tonight Community Urban Garden of plants that take care of air pollution and raised beds for communal vegetable growing
  • Community Borders’ accessible planting schemes that encourage a diversity of wild-life
  • Greener Front Garden on how to transform a small, dull outdoor space into something inspiring and useful


There will also be The Practical Gardening Theatre where young gardeners will be encouraged to go green with helpful tips and of course plenty of flowers and plants to be inspired by in the Floral Marquee and Plant Village. As well as:

Come Lime With Me

Think “Come Dine with Me” but inspired by the designer’s Anglo-Guyanese ethnicity, this garden will show us how to “lime” - a Guyanese/Caribbean slang word for “the art of doing nothing while sharing food, drink, conversation and laughter”. Water will also be a key feature of this display depicting the concern around rising sea levels which is a serious threat to these coastal countries.

Literally Littoral

Speaking of water, this one features a water-wise “rain garden” and is made from recycled materials such as steel water tanks, scaffold boards, stone, gravel, grit and sand. A fine example of affordable, eco-friendly design that makes use of plants that are hardy along coastal areas and prevents flash flooding.

Could Car Less

Inspired by the Community garden project “Taking Root in Bootle” in 2021 by the Regenerus charity, this display shows innovative ways in which to ditch the car in favour of the more earth friendly bicycle for commuting. They will also demonstrate how to harvest rain water and practice dry-garden planting.

The Vitamin G Garden

And when it comes to the mental, physical and social benefits of gardening, well we all need a bit of 'vitamin G' in our lives. This garden will show different ways in which we can get our daily dose in spaces for contemplation, relaxation and restoration through art, plants, meditation, yoga and interacting with others.


Get those tickets here.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show – Then and Now

109 years since the first RHS Chelsea Flower Show and still going strong.

What an achievement in these unpredictable times.

Let's delve into a bit of this remarkable show's history and then find out what we have planned for you this year!

Early Days

The first show held on Chelsea Hospital grounds on 20 May 1913, then called the Great Spring Show, was where the RHS Chelsea Flower Show as we know it really took off. With 244 exhibitors and a giant tent over two acres full of all manner of plant-life, it was quite the event.

However, the Royal Horticultural Society had quite a few shows leading up to that, although not quite so prestigious. For example, it seems the first exhibit in 1805 was rather humble - a potato displayed by a Mr Minier.

So in 1827 the Society decided to get the public involved. They held a fête at their garden in Chiswick and it was such a success they had another the next year.

1829 was hit by terrible rain where guests were apparently drowned up to their ankles - ’shrieks were dreadful and the loss of shoes particularly annoying.’ Mammoth downpours have occurred a few times since, so be prepared - take your wellies!

The show continued in Chiswick until 1857. From 1862 onwards it moved to Kensington and then Inner Temple, but by 1911 they were on the hunt for another more suitable venue.

The 1900’s

Come 1912, whilst supporting an international horticultural extravaganza on the grounds of the Chelsea Hospital, the Society realised this would be the perfect venue.

The show has continued with great success at this location since, with only temporary postponements during the two World Wars and a delay in 1926 due to The General Strike.

The event has grown and exhibits have become more and more intricate and creative as the years have gone by, with all sorts of memorable happenings such as:

  • “The Garden of Tomorrow” in the 50’s featuring ‘the most modern aids to horticulture’, one of them being a radio-controlled lawn mower.
  • A 5000 square foot orchid display in the 60's – the largest ever at the show.
  • The first celebrity garden designer came about and could be seen on TV in the 70’s.
  • A vintage gnome allegedly blocked the entrance to the show in protest in 1993 on the 80th anniversary of the garden gnome ban
  • The recycling of the Great Marquee into 7,000 aprons, jackets and bags
  • An entire garden made from 2.5 tonnes of plasticine by James May causing quite a stir


What've We Got in Store This Year?

This year we'll be capturing visitors attention with a dazzling, eye catching bonanza! It will be an all-singing and all-dancing display of alstroemeria, honouring the alstroemerias South American heritage.

Alstroemeria are the party animals of the garden and nothing says party like the Rio Carnival! So we're creating a Carnival street scene with mannequins in dramatic sparkly costumes made from alstroemeria, feathers and sequins.

You'll feel like you are part of 'The Greatest Show on Earth' (as the Rio Carnival is affectionately known)!

More cause for celebration is that we'll be launching two new alstroemeria at the show on 23 May 2022. One will be entered into the Plant of the Year competition. Alec has named them affectionately after his maternal and paternal grandmothers - ‘Little Miss June’ and ‘Little Miss Connie’ pictured right (photos by Clive Nichols).

Nanny Foreman (June) (maternal) – Nanny June has always been a gardener and Alec has fond memories of spending lots of time in the garden with her. He especially remembers going with her to Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in the early 1990s and spending long days looking at the gardens and plant pavilion exhibits. Nanny June turned 89 this year and we are hoping she will come to press day

Nanny White (Connie) (paternal) – Alec has particularly fond memories of sunny summers spent in Bournemouth on the beach with Nanny Connie which was close to where they lived. She loved outdoor walks and spending time in the sun. Nanny Connie was always very supportive of his gardening exploits and early exhibiting as a child.

These will make a wonderful addition to the historic Parigo ‘Little Miss’ Series which we hold the Plant Heritage National Collection for.

Clearly there's lots of cause for celebration! Come and join us and get your tickets here!

2021 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

2022 Sneak Peeks

A Little bit of Rio
Festive Alstroemeria
'Little Miss June' alstroemeria
'Little Miss Connie' alstroemeria

How to Grow your own Cutting Garden – Starting with Alstroemeria

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a gorgeous bunch of alstroemeria on the kitchen table every week in flowering season?

If so, growing your own cutting garden is the way to go!

Why Grow your own Cutting Garden

There are many reasons to have your own alstroemeria cutting garden:

  • Alstroemeria thrive on being picked. The more you pick, the more they grow! The tugging method of picking (See “HOW TO PICK ‘EM” below) encourages more blooms to spring up and keeps them free of dying debris.
  • You can enjoy a greater variety than might be available to buy ready-picked.
  • You can tailor-make your selection and have them on hand forever.
  • You’ll learn more about the world of plants and what thrives in your garden.
  • It’s an affordable way of having a regular supply of fresh flowers in the vase.
  • Long stemmed flowers such as alstroemeria make great vase dwelling blooms. Their stature makes such a striking statement.
  • Perennials like alstroemeria are repeat flowering, meaning they come back year after year. So you will have a constant supply of flowers in blooming season!
  • If you plant them in pots in a greenhouse you can have alstroemeria flowers all year round.
  • Flowers encourage beneficial insects.


How to Plant ‘em

The alstroemeria plant varieties we grow are garden winter hardy. However, for the first couple of winters while they are establishing it will be best to mulch them well to make sure they are protected until they are big and strong enough to get through the winter without any assistance. Mulching helps prevent weeds too.

You’ll also want to:

  • Pick a sheltered, partly sunny, partly shady spot in the garden.
  • Grow them in pots. This is an even better option as they can be contained, whereas in the garden they can spread too much.
  • Keep them flowering for longer by moving the pots from the garden to a greenhouse or conservatory in the winter.
  • Feed them weekly through growing season (from May to September) as this will encourage your alstroemeria to flower well and repeatedly. A high potash fertiliser such as our Alstroemeria Feed is great.
  • Water them well but make sure the soil is well-draining as they don’t like having soggy feet.
  • Prevent long stemmed flowers from breaking off because of their height or the bed being overwhelmed by too much plant by spacing them out and providing supports for the taller varieties.
  • Keep your growing bed to 1.2m wide or less for ease of picking. However, if you are tall or are advanced in your yoga practice, you could make it wider than that.
  • Dead head after flowering season in the same way you pick them (See “HOW TO PICK ‘EM” below). This is important as it fends off disease, keeps the plant looking tidy and prevents them wasting energy on producing seeds at the expense of more flowers.


How to Pick ‘em

As mentioned above, there is a specific way in which to “pick” alstroemeria. So even though it’s traditionally called a “cutting garden”, when it comes to picking, you won’t be wielding secateurs with your alstroemeria.

That said, it is best to wait until at least one summer has passed to ensure your alstroemeria’s roots have taken hold in the ground and cannot be dislodged before employing the “tugging” method. Until then, you can still have fresh flowers by cutting them instead (with those sharp secateurs).

Otherwise, here is the preferred “tugging” method and other tips:

  • Get hold of the base of the stem and give it a firm tug and a slight twist at the same time. In this way the whole stem is removed from the root. This will ensure that the root area is free of rotting plant debris which causes disease. It also encourages the plant to re-flower, as it will produce another bud under the ground.
  • Pick them on a cool day/morning rather than when it is hot as they will be droopy from the heat.
  • Take a bucket of water with you while picking so you can put the stems straight into it.
  • Once ready to go in the vase, remove the leaves that will be under the water and put a little Milton in the water. This will stop the fungal moulds from growing and prolong their life.
  • Trim the stems and change the water every 2 to 3 days to keep them fresh.


Last but not least, sit back and enjoy gazing at them with a cup of tea.

Your eyes and mind will thank you.

Alstroemeria in the Vase
Cut Flower Alstroemeria
Alstroemeria at Chelsea
Alstroemeria Bouquet

What’s the Problem with Peat?

Peat has been popular and widely used for many years. In fact, you might be using it in your garden right now.

But maybe you're wondering what peat is exactly, where it comes from and why gardeners love it so much.

What is Peat?

Peat is decomposing vegetation that’s formed in waterlogged conditions – forming many peatlands in the UK known as blanket bogs, raised bogs and fenland. The UK once had many lowland raised bogs too. Unfortunately these were casualties of the horticultural and farming industries.

When plants decompose they produce carbon dioxide normally. However, peat is formed under water it decomposes into carbon and stays there, never to be released. In the UK, these watery wonderlands store more carbon than all of Europe’s forests.

It takes a very long time to come about – growing 0.5–1mm per year. Many of these areas have been around for about 10000 years and can be up to 10m deep.

Why Peat?

Peat is popular in the garden as it retains moisture and oxygen without becoming waterlogged. It also has a natural ability to protect seedlings from fungal disease.

Peat increased in popularity in the horticultural industry as it was cheaper, lighter to transport and easier to source than loam. So by the 1970’s, peat was the star of the show.

However, in spite of its obvious usefulness, over the last few years it's become less desirable.

But why?

Peat’s Problem

Removing the peat disrupts the delicate ecosystem in these areas, destroying unique habitats. This threatens rare species of plants, birds and insects such as:

  • Carnivorous plants like sundew, butterworts and bladderworts that have adapted to feeding on insects to make up for the lack of nutrients in the soil
  • Birds such as the dunlin, hen harrier, skylark, golden plover and red grouse
  • Dragonflies, large heath butterflies, emperor moths and dazzling jewel beetles


Of course, the knock-on effect of disappearing species has untold adverse consequences.

Peatlands hold a huge amount of carbon – they are like giant holding cells for carbon, preventing carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.

Over 500 years worth of ‘peat growth’ can be removed by commercial extraction in only 1 year.

Nearly 70% of peat compost is used by amateur gardeners in the UK – currently using approximately 3 billion litres of peat every year in their gardens.

If you are using peat in your garden it needs to be noted that, once your plants are established, continual use of peat on established plants is not necessary.

Damaged Peatland also leads to:

  • Poor drinking water quality
  • Surrounding areas becoming vulnerable to floods, fires and drought


For these reasons we have decided to reduce the amount of peat we use at our nursery. This way you can purchase a plant from our nursery with a good conscience knowing the plants have been grown in a more environmentally sustainable way.

Besides reducing the amount of peat used, what other options are there for the at-home gardener?

Apart from making your own compost, there are quite a few other options to choose from.

But we’ll dive into that next time.

Until then, have a look at what’s being done to preserve these beautifully boggy resources here.

The Story of Parigo – Part 2

If you missed part one you might want to read that first.

Our story continues in 1964 when the demand for the new super hybrids increases.


Parigo buys land in Sussex to keep up with all the orders and build new glass houses.

The extra light pays off. Two are widespan houses producing over 100,000 blooms each year while the smaller houses are used for propagating and breeding.

By 1978, John and his sons Bob and Frank start focussing on the three most successful crops - alstroemeria, freesia and gladioli.


At this time they see a need to simplify as they were running seven nurseries in total between Sussex and Lincolnshire. They decide to sell four of the nurseries and upgrade the remaining three. Bob manages Spalding and Frank is in charge of Chichester.

Come 1988, Parigo’s production areas total 9 acres - all under glass!


About two thirds of their cut flower production is sold through wholesale market channels countrywide. The rest goes to secondary wholesalers, local florists and a few supermarket customers.

The breeding plants of all three crops are an important part of the business and are sold worldwide.

Believing quality is paramount, Bob Goemans says:

“We really know how to grow the crops we have specialised in and as breeders and growers, we follow all the way through with a top quality product”.

In 1998, the hybrid alstroemeria’s future is looking more and more promising as the worldwide demand for Parigo varieties continues to grow.


This leads to the building of high-tech labs for micropropagation.

By this time South America, Africa, Japan, Holland, France and Germany are all growing the hybrids. However, Parigo has about 25% of the market share supplying alstroemeria plants to cut flower growers in the UK.

The range is extended to 24 with three new varieties – ‘Oriana’, ‘Vanessa’ and ‘Tristar’.

Lead varieties are the deep ruby Bellini’, bright magenta ‘Europa’, ‘Yellow Crown’ and ‘Friendship’. ‘Athena’ claims fourth position out of 20 in Dutch productivity trials while ‘Europa’ and ‘Bellini’ are planted for assessment in the 1998 trials. Parigo also begins working with leading supermarket chains to supply cut flowers.

In 2004 new garden variety alstroemeria are being bred and Parigo starts exhibiting these at flower shows around the country.


The plants get a wonderful reception and continue to be popular garden flowering plants.

In 2019, after nearly 81 years running Parigo as a family business, it came time for Frank and Bob to retire.


However, they didn't want to just dissolve the company or let it go dormant as they still supplied a number of UK cut flower growers and retail plant sellers with Parigo hybrids.

Instead, the brothers wanted their father’s legacy to continue and for Britain to become known again for growing and breeding alstroemeria.

This led to Frank handing his treasured family business over to Alec - handpicking him because of his success in growing peonies and his brand “Primrose Hall Peonies”.

Alec is committed to producing the highest quality alstroemeria plants. He’s passionate about showing the world what fantastic, versatile plants they are and the wonderful assortment available for both the garden and the vase.

The Story of Parigo – Part 1

Whether it be a handsome sum of money, the dining room table or a bad temper, we all inherit something from our parents.

In the case of the founder of Parigo, John Goemans, it was a horticultural heritage that began with his grandfather Petrus. Petrus established “P. Goemans and Sons” bulbgrowers and exporters in Holland in 1860.

It seems that once those plants get in your blood you can’t get them out.

Don’t we know it!

So Petrus’ horticultural legacy continued down the line with his son Adriaan happily bulb growing in Holland.

But how did Parigo begin and get to England, you may ask?

It all began with Adriaan’s son, John, just before World War 2.

Before and During WW2

Parigo began in December 1938, when John Goemans, started growing flowers on a small nursery near Spalding. John originally started growing Spring flowers together with another Dutchman, Mr. van Paridon. This is where the name Parigo came from - a combination of the founder’s names.

World War 2 intervened in the company growth and Mr. van Paridon spent the war years in Holland. After years away from the nursery he decided to withdraw from the company after the war ended, leaving John to run it with his sons Bob and Frank.

The war years were a challenge in many ways. In 1945 John reported that the last four years culture of bulbs had been limited to 25 percent of what he had in culture in 1938.

He had to start growing farm crops like potatoes, sugar beets and wheat but was focusing on freesia seed to trade in after the war. He also started keeping bees as he recognised how vital they are for gaining seeds. And it tasted good too.

Post WW2

After the war, the family began growing freesias, alstroemeria and gladioli along with other bulbous plants.

But John Goemans was not just a grower of plants, he was also a successful plant breeder and by 1951 Parigo’s breeding programme really got going and achieved great success with their freesias.

Alstroemeria were still a work in progress. Although alstroemeria had long been established as a garden plant, John wanted to breed a new hybrid. He wanted long lasting cut flowers with larger blooms in a wide range of colours.

The hybrids were initially produced from crosses between three of the original alstroemeria species. After years of endeavour, in 1959 John produced his first seedling ‘Ballerina’ and two years later, ‘Parigo’s Charm’ and ‘Parigo’s Pride’ came along.

Encouraged by the success of these hybrids, John went on to produce 100 seedlings of varying colours and characteristics. Through continuous selection work on Parigo’s nurseries, a nucleus of about 20 varieties has been vegetatively propagated to produce stocks for commercial cut flower production.

These Super hybrids could be made to produce cut flowers from early March through to late October rather than only July, as with Alstroemeria aurantiaca varieties. They also had straight, single stems with narrow, attractive leaves and could grow to over 180cm in height. The flower head could have as many as 10 branches with each having a spray of 4 or 5 flower buds.

What an achievement!

And what happened next?

Stay tuned for part 2…

October Gardening Inspiration

We must say we’re quite pleased that our first exhibit in nearly two decades at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show resulted in a gold medal!

It was such a privilege to be there and we had the grandest time! Just marvelous being part of the festivities again.

If you couldn’t make it, we’ve put together some of the highlights for you:

Anyone Can Be a Gardener

Gardening is becoming the new black! Many more people are taking to gardening now than ever before. We don’t need large tracts of land to bring a bit of nature into our lives. Window sill, balcony and indoor gardening can be just effective and satisfying. And it doesn’t have to be small. Large trees can be planted in pots, creating a foresty atmosphere.

It’s a Jungle in There

During this past year when access to outdoor spaces was limited, many people found it life-saving bringing the outdoors in. There are many varieties of plants you can choose for your home. Alstroemeria make great indoor plants. Just make sure the container is roomy enough and the soil well-drained. A sunny window-sill or any spot with lightly filtered sunshine will do.

Work With the Earth

With an emphasis on biodiversity and sustainability, even if our contributions are small and seemingly inconsequential, we are all responsible and have a part to play in turning the tide. We can do this by improving the quality of our soil as much as possible, planting in harmony with the seasons, using water-wise plants and recycled materials.

Let Loose

Wild flower meadows attract wildlife. But if you really want a perfectly coifed patch of grass, do the insects a favour and leave the edges wild and free. You’ll have the best of both worlds - a walkable lawn and some happy and useful creatures to share it with. Also, alstroe are loved by bees and hummingbirds so they are a good addition if you want to bring in the wild.

Plants = Free Therapy

The love of nature is in our DNA. Research has shown that being in the presence of plants has numerous physical and emotional benefits such as increasing concentration, reducing blood pressure, anxiety and stress and speeding up the process of post-operative healing. Good reasons to add some greenery to your space.

If you have an alstroemeria you’ll likely still be enjoying the benefits of gazing at their blooms, as they have been known to flower right up until November.

But let’s see what you’ll want to bear in mind when winter starts rolling in.

Prepping for Winter

  • Mulch ‘em! Mulching can be done late autumn to late winter (Nov-Feb) and will help them to stay cosy and get through the winter outside. This is particularly helpful for newer plants that are still establishing.
  • If keeping them in pots outside, you can lay the pots on their sides once the plants are dormant to protect from frost and heavy rains
  • You could also keep your alstroemeria inside in a greenhouse or similar sheltered spot for protection
  • Give them a good and proper soak every so often (as opposed to frequent light watering), making sure their soil is free draining




Parigo Relaunch at Chelsea 2021

We're excited to be relaunching this British Heritage brand to visitors and keen gardeners at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2021. It's been nearly twenty years since Parigo was at Chelsea so we are delighted to be back!

With the show moving from May to September this year, it's a fantastic opportunity for us to be able to show off the beauty of Alstroemeria. Although Autumn is not the most flowery time of year for many plants, Alstroemeria flower right up until October.

Our exhibit will demonstrate, in a contemporary way, the extraordinary colour range of these versatile, repeat flowering plants.

So you'll get to see them in all their blooming glory!

Who's Parigo?

Parigo was originally established in the UK in 1938 by John Goemans who was the first in the world to grow Alstroemeria commercially under glass. In 1959 Goemans bred and introduced the first Alstroemeria variety specifically intended for glasshouse growing. By the mid 1960s he had bred an entire collection and it was some years before anyone else could emulate the success.

In 1985 Bob & Frank Goemans took charge of the remaining Spalding site, with his brother Frank Goemans managing the Chichester site. By the end of the century it was decided to concentrate on the breeding and propagation of the Alstroemeria for both the cut flower and garden markets.

Come 2019, Frank decided it was time to retire. Rather than shutting the business down he thought he'd find someone he could pass his father's Alstroemeria legacy on to. Frank handpicked Alec White to take over his treasured family business because of his success in growing peonies and his brand PrimroseHall Peonies.

After taking over the Parigo brand in 2019, Alec plans to reignite the breeding programme and bring this British horticultural heritage brand into the 21st century. He is committed to producing the highest quality Alstroemeria plants for our customers. His passion is to show the world what a fantastic assortment of Alstroemeria are available, both as cut flowers and as garden plants.

Parigo at Chelsea

As a British bred and grown flower, Parigo fits right in to one of the themes of this year's show - sustainability and environmental awareness.

In line with this, there is a new competition - The Chelsea Flower Show Floristry and Floral Design – with the main theme “Our World”. The aim is to create awareness around our environmental impact, particularly in the cut flower industry. Making small changes over time can make a big difference!

Entrants will choose between ‘Floral Windows’ and ‘Floral Installations’ which have the following options:

‘Floral Windows’ will have the themes ‘British Blooms’ or ‘Preservation’ to emphasize the importance of keeping things local and reusing plant materials to reduce those carbon footprints.

‘Floral Installations’ will be centred around ‘Pollination’ and the ‘Beauty of Nature’. These designs will be required to use plants from the RHS Plants for Pollinators list or carry a strong horticultural message in the design.

Find out more about the exhibitors here.

Better yet, get some tickets and see us all in person!


Questions about Alstro

Can my alstroemeria and my pets be friends?

Are alstroemeria really just little lilies?

Do I need to leave my alstroemeria in my will?

Ok that last one is a bit of a stretch. But that can be true for some flowers! Like peonies!

In this two-part series we’re answering some of the questions you may have about alstroemeria. Perhaps it’s a bit of a mystery plant to you? Are you intrigued by it and want to get to know it better?

Well you’ve come to the right place.

Are alstroemeria lilies?

The short answer is no.

The longer answer is that despite their lily-like appearance and being known as Peruvian Lily and Lily of the Incas, alstroemeria are not true lilies. They belong to the Alstroemeriaceae family and grow wild in South America.

Why is my alstroemeria dying?

Here are some possibilities:

  • Slugs and snails are sliding around and can make light work of alstroemeria, especially them young and juicy ones
  • Tubers may not be planted deeply enough making them vulnerable to winter frost. They need to be planted deeply and mulched over winter
  • Root rot. Alstro can get a bit claustrophobic if mulched too determinedly. When the mulch is pushed too far down that it’s touching the roots, it can bring on the rot. So be sure to give those roots their personal space (at least 2”)
  • Too much water and soil that doesn’t drain well – soggy feet are a no-no!
  • Not enough sun. Lay off the sunscreen (shade) and get those babies tanning!


Why are my alstroemeria not flowering?

Too much shade may be the problem. Or the pot they’re in may be too small. As we learnt in the previous point, alstroemeria need their space!

Also, the way you harvest the flowers matters. Yanking rather than cutting encourages more vigorous growth.

Why are my alstroemeria leaves turning yellow?

Again, not enough sunlight could be the culprit or even too much water. Otherwise, check your soil’s PH level. It should be no more than 7.

Can humans eat alstroemeria?

At a restaurant and presented with some lovely alstroemeria decorating your meal? Rather keep enjoying them with your eyes and not your mouth. Eating them may lead to stomach upsets for some people.

Can my pets and my alstroemeria be friends?

As established earlier, alstroemeria are not lilies. And while lilies can be dangerous for your furry friends, alstroemeria are very friendly. There’s a chance they may get a bit of an upset tummy from eating them but if you need to leave Fluffy and Felix alone with your alstro, rest assured they’ll all be just fine.

Do deers like eating alstroemeria?

Deers love lilies. But now that we know alstroemeria are not true lilies you can be sure they'll be safe around these dear creatures. Knowledge is power!

And there you have it! We hope this helped clear up at least some of the mysteries.

Look out for part 2 for more...

British Alstro

Now is as good a time as any to be proudly British.

Because, why not?

Also, with more interest in buying local and supporting smaller, homegrown companies closer to where we live, why not add Alstroemeria to that list?

British Grown

Some of us may remember a time when 90% of the flowers supplied in the UK were British grown. We were all going along swimmingly until a fuel price hike in the UK and Dutch government subsidies turned the tables in the 1970’s.

Up until a few years ago, the percentage of British grown flowers sold in the UK was less than 15%. And 90% of that was going to the supermarkets. But that is starting to change.

Although Dutch flower companies have been one step ahead in the flower industry since the 70’s, government subsidies have recently started being phased out which is having a impact on their production.

With many campaigns encouraging greater enthusiasm for British flowers, the demand for British grown flowers is steadily growing.

If you’re in England and buying Alstroemeria grown in British soil, there’s no doubt you’ll be getting a better quality plant. It makes sense to buy plants that don’t have to travel for weeks to get to your door.

Think about how we humans often feel after travelling a few hours on a plane.

Not a pretty sight...

British Bred

Although Alstroemeria originate from South America the first new varieties were bred in Spalding, Lincolnshire by plant breeder John Goemans, becoming known as 'the father of alstroemeria’. He was the first in the world to grow Alstroemeria commercially under glass, introducing the first Alstroemeria variety specifically intended for glasshouse growing in 1959.

By the late 60’s breeding really took off with his launch of pink ‘Ballerina’ - the first of about 50 new varieties he developed over the years for the garden and cut-flower industry. This led to Alstroemeria becoming one of the major glasshouse grown cut flower crops in the world today. In 2018 John Goemans’ company 'Parigo' was taken over by Alec White of Primrose Hall Peonies, where the growing and breeding continues.

There are now about 250 different varieties of alstroemeria available in Britain. We grow over 200 varieties on our 8 acre nursery based in rural Bedfordshire, including original British bred Parigo varieties (such as ‘Apollo’, ‘Friendship’ and the ‘Little Miss’ series), the ‘Colorita’ (‘Princess’) series, ‘Inca’ series, ‘Planet’ series and Inticancha collection. Some of our favourites are ‘Rock ‘n Roll’ and ‘Colorita Fabiana’ with their beautiful and unusual variegated leaves.

Alstroemeria are marvelous because of their comparatively long vase-life (up to 2-3 weeks) and have a long, prolific flowering season.

And strong stems & long bracts make British grown alstro a first prize choice. Also, known as a ‘dry’ and a ‘cool’ crop, they require very little watering or heating.

So they are a sustainability win too!

Gives us reason to be even more proudly British.

And that’s why we love ‘em.