These eighteen bulbs which will be coming into flower shortly will have been planted in the ground several months ago in the fall. So while you can enjoy the photos now you can also think about planting bulbs later in the year. This selection covers some of the less common spring flowering bulbs and comes from an article by Jenny Andrews which I found on the Garden Design Magazine website.
In the glow of autumnal foliage, with the first crisp mornings and faint wisps of frost, a gardener’s thoughts oft turn to—spring and summer. After months of salivating over catalog photos, across the country thousands of bulbs are right now being popped into the ground in anticipation of a glorious display next year. This is an act of faith, the plant lover’s version of delayed gratification.
Everyone has their favorites, or at least, current favorites. For me, the geophytes that are most sigh-worthy might be slightly off the mainstream. Herewith is a selection of personal picks to enliven the garden-bulb repertoire.
1. Spider lily (Lycoris radiata)
I first met this bulb while I worked at Cheekwood Botanical Garden in Nashville. Its sparklers of coral-red blooms popped up in the wildflower garden in the golden glow of early autumn. The cycle of spider lily seems counter intuitive: flowers in early fall, followed by strappy foliage that hunkers down during winter, dying back to dormancy in spring. In some locales severe cold can nip the leaves, making it wise to site spider lily in a protected location. Chris Wiesinger calls this a “signal” plant, telling him it’s time to plant spring-blooming bulbs.
Blooms: Red (late summer/early fall)
2. Dutch iris (Iris x hollandica ‘Eye of the Tiger’)
I’m an easy mark for flowers with iridescence and a touch of brown. This bulbous iris has a glowing jewel-like quality, with electric violet-blue standards and bronzy falls. Blooming on stiff 2-foot stems in late spring and early summer, it has that verticality every garden needs. I have a penchant for pairing different types of plants that have identical coloring, and this iris partners perfectly with a pansy called Karma™ ‘Blue Butterfly’ (“like a Mini-Me,” jokes Jo-Anne van den Berg-Ohms). Some people use ‘Eye of the Tiger’ as an annual, but it is hardy to Zone 6.Blooms: Violet-blue and bronze (summer)
See more at Garden Design Magazine