Top 18 Bulbs For Spring And Summer Flowers

We all know that fall is the bulb planting season so countless numbers of daffodils and tulips will be popped into the ground over the next few weeks. Although this list contains one variety of tulip, it is a reminder that there are many other flowers that begin life as bulbs, corms or tubers. In her article which I found on the Garden Design Magazine website Jenny Andrews describes eighteen stunning bulbs to plant this fall.

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. Herewith is a selection of personal picks to enliven the garden-bulb repertoire.
1. Lady tulip (Tulipa clusiana ?Lady Jane?)
Lady tulip (<em>Tulipa clusiana</em> ?Lady Jane?)
Photo by: Rob Cardillo.
The original form of this cute, small-flowered tulip species is rose and white, though cultivars like ?Lady Jane? and yellow-and-red ?Cynthia? might be more available than the straight species. This perennial tulip requires fewer chilling hours to bloom compared to other tulips, so Nhu Nguyen asserts it will come back in the Mediterranean climate of the West Coast without the usual cold period needed for tulip growing. And it?s perfect for the hot South; Chris Wiesinger has had it growing in his garden near Dallas for seven years. It also grows easily in pots.
Blooms: Red and white (spring)
Height/Spread: 10?14?/6?8″
Zones: 3?9 (Zone 10 on the West Coast)
2. Hardy Japanese orchid (Calanthe discolor)
Spider lily (<em>Lycoris radiata</em>)
Photo by: Rob Cardillo.
This little pixie of a terrestrial orchid native to Japan is cold hardy to Zone 6 and tucks neatly into a woodland garden. Sprays of pert flowers, purple-brown and white to pale pink, appear in mid-spring on 10-inch stalks. Stiff pleated leaves can be evergreen to 15 degrees and form a protective ?chalice? at the base of the bloom stems; if foliage starts to look tattered in winter, it can be cut back. Once the plant has had a season or two to settle into its new home, the belowground pseudobulbs will multiply to form think clumps.
Blooms: Purple-brown and white (spring)
Height/Spread: 10?12?/10?12?
Zones: 6?9
3. Snake?s head iris (Hermodactylus tuberosus)
Snake?s head iris (<em>Hermodactylus tuberosus</em>) data-companylocation=
Photo by: Rob Cardillo.
An unusual member of the iris family (sometimes classified as Iris tuberosa), snake?s head iris has striking yellow-green standards and velvety, nearly black falls that have a high-fashion cocktail-dress allure. Native to dry slopes and rocky spots in the Mediterranean region, it sends up thin grassy foliage in early spring, followed later by the blooms. Though the leaves are taller than the flowers, they?re scrim-like and don?t block the view. Strong winds can bend the fragile flower stalks, so tuck the finger-shaped tubers into a protected spot in sun to part shade, and give them time to get established.
Blooms: Black-purple and yellow-green (spring)
Height/Spread: 6?8?/6?8?
Zones: 6?8

See more at Garden Design Magazine
Feature photo: Doreen Wynja