In the garden: Brighten up your landscape with different types of bulbs
When gardeners think of flower bulbs, they often imagine tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. Each of them is planted in the fall and blooms in the spring. Summer flowering bulbs can be easy to overlook, but now is the time to shine in the garden.
It is important to think outside the box when collecting plants for your flower beds. While perennials return year after year and annual flowers bloom all season long, flower bulbs provide lovely accents with their colorful or unusual blooms. Some also have intoxicating scents.
Last fall I bought some Asian lily bulbs called Forever Susan. With this name, I thought it would be fun to add them to my garden. As you can see in the photo the flowers are amazing so I’m glad I chose them.
Let’s take a look at some of the most notable deals offered by garden centers and online vendors. I have included bulbs that extend the display of spring colors by blooming from May to June. Most prefer full sun. Some nurseries ship these bulbs in the fall while others deliver them in the early spring.
Asiatic lilies (Lilium auratum): Even though they don’t have a scent, these lilies are a staple in the garden. They are hardy in zones 4 to 8, grow 3 to 4 feet tall, and flower in June and July. In addition to Forever Susan, look for Tiger Babies, Morpho Pink, Patricia’s Pride, Apricot Fudge, and Easy Dance.
Dutch iris (Iris x hollandica): These stunning flowers look fantastic in a group. They are hardy in zones 5 to 8, flower from May to June, and grow to about 2 feet tall. Take a look at Discovery and Eye of the Tiger.
Foxtail lily (Eremurus): Also known as the Desert Candle, these lilies feature giant flower stalks that remind me of fireworks soaring in the sky. They are hardy in zones 5 to 8, grow 3 to 6 feet tall, attract pollinators, and bloom in May or June. So far I’ve been growing Peachy Pink Romance but would like to add Cleopatra, Orange Marmelade, and White Beauty.
Lily martagon (Lilium martagon): I fell in love with these beauties while watching the English gardening program “Gardener’s World”, but I was sure they wouldn’t be hardy enough to grow in the interior of the Northwest. I was wrong. They are hardy up to zone 3, grow to 3 to 4 feet in height, and flower in May and June. I cultivate Arabian Knight but I also have an eye on Claude Shride and Sunny Morning.
Lys Orienpet: These unusually named lilies are a cross between an oriental lily and a trumpet lily. They have the fabulous scent that oriental lilies are known for and derive their greatest stature from trumpet lilies. Orienpets are hardy in zones 4 to 8 and flower in July and August. Conca d’Or, Pretty Woman, and High Tea grow 4 to 5 feet tall. Montego Bay and Purple Prince can grow up to 6 feet in height.
Oriental lily (Lilium orientalis): If you’re looking for eye-catching flowers with exotic scents, these bulbs are for you. They are hardy in zones 5 to 8, grow 3 to 4 feet tall, and flower in July and August. I recommend Casa Blanca, Stargazer, Editha, Salmon Star and Garden Party.
No matter what summer bulbs you add to your garden, they will make you shine with pride when their turn to bloom.
Susan Mulvihill is the author of “The Vegetable Garden Pest Handbook”. She can be reached at [email protected] Watch this week’s “Anyone Can Grow a Garden” video on youtube.com/susansinthegarden.