Lilies, Caladiums and Other Bulbs Brighten Your Garden

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Summer bulbs are the exclamation points in my garden. Simple and effortless to plant and grow, incorporate them in your own beds to enjoy fantastic flowers and get raves from visitors.

Oriental lily 'stargazer'

Lovely Lilies

Lilies are among the prettiest bulbs. All of these lily varieties are perennial plants with bulbs that should be planted 8 inches to 12 inches deep. They require no care, other than weeding, and are pest free. Here are a few of my favorites:

• Asiatic lilies are inexpensive, come in an array of colors and start their show in June.
• Oriental lilies are taller and very fragrant. They bloom in July, just in time to enter them in the county fair.
• Liatris have long lavender vertical bloom spikes in mid-July.
• Alliums send up round heads with tons of tiny flowers that come in different heights and can be white, pink, purple or blue. Look for them in early June.
• Surprise lilies’ green foliage sprouts in early spring, then disappears. Plant the bulbs in either a sunny or shady area. Come late August to September, a long stem arises, and four pink lilies bloom with no foliage. (Also known as “Resurrection” lily and “Naked Lady.”)


Fragile Flowers

Tender summer bulbs such as gladiolus, canna and caladium bulbs must be dug up before the ground freezes and stored where they won’t freeze. When your tomatoes are ready to move outdoors, it’s also a good time to plant your tender summer bulbs.

Gladioli come in a rainbow of colors with each plant flaunting a long spike of flowers. Some gladiolus varieties are winter hardy with smaller flowers.

Tropical-looking cannas and caladiums, both grown for their foliage, love the summer heat. Cannas enjoy the sun and work well in pots around the pool. Their flower colors vary with multicolored leaves. Caladiums are stars of the shade garden, brightening it up with heart-shaped, bicolor leaves.

Having a backup supply of moisture, summer bulbs stay safe underground and survive with minimal rain.

Any of these florals offer a rainbow of color, and their ease of growth and maintenance will amaze you. Why not begin by planting a group of 20 Asiatic lilies?

And, as a bonus, they make beautiful bouquets.

What’s your favorite bulb? Let us know in the comments!

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