Enjoy bloom of these listed flowers now, but be ready to move them indoors
Many gardeners associate bulbs with the fall time, since that’s when many of them (tulips and daffodils being among the most common) are planted. However, a variety of bulbs are planted in spring and early summer that will give the garden an exotic look by August. Because these bulbs aren’t winter hardy, you have to lift and store them over winter and replant them when spring arrives. Or if you’re so inclined, you can just treat them as annuals and leave them where they are.
Here are some attention-getting favourites that should be coming into full bloom now that will have to be replanted before the snow falls:
This member of the gladioli family is a true gem. Standing 1.5 feet (45 cm) tall, it arches with cream-coloured flowers that sport purple-black blotches in the centre. The fragrance is divine, especially at dusk when the air is very still. Plant them in full sun for best results.
It’s the leaves that take the starring role for this plant. They are noted for their gorgeous arrowhead shape in drop-dead colour combinations of pink, red, green, and white.
Preferring shady conditions, they brighten up dark corners of the garden. The flowers aren’t significant and can be removed when they appear. Caladiums are a good choice for containers, too, and you'll often see them for sale as house plants.
With grass-like arching stems about two ft. (60 cm) high and laden with yellow, orange, or fire-engine red blooms, Crocosmia make a bold statement in the garden. For lucky gardeners who have good winter drainage, Crocosmia may overwinter, but don’t count on it. Usually they are too tender and you have to lift and store them indoors during the cold.
This exotic lily is a climber with an unusual purple-red flower that’s edged in yellow. It makes an excellent container choice and it summers happily on the deck or balcony. If it doesn’t bloom by summer’s end, you can bring it indoors near a sunny window, where it will soon blossom. Post blooming, give the plant a rest by withholding water. Then pot it up in January or February for bloom again in early summer.
Hymenocallis (ismene, spider lily, or Peruvian daffodil):
This plant forms sturdy clumps with amaryllis-like foliage. Each two-ft. (60-cm) stem supports three to five gorgeous, daffodil-like blooms that feature elegant spidery petals. The flowers are sweetly scented and come in white and yellow varieties. They should be planted in full sun or partial shade in early June when the soil has warmed up.
Galtonia (summer hyacinth):
The fragrant summer hyacinth, as it’s commonly known, stands about 1.5 ft. (45 cm) tall. Each stem is graced with many dangling, white, bell-shaped blooms. Galtonia is another summer flowering bulb that, given the right microclimate with warmth and winter protection, may survive zone five winters.
When planted in drifts, ornithogalum’s clusters of white star-like flowers on spiky stalks make an impressive display in the garden. Plant them where they can enjoy full sun to partly shady conditions. They also do well in containers. Ornithogalum are a floral designer’s dream. They will last as cut flowers in a vase for about three weeks.
Tigridia (tiger flower):
Tigridia’s common name comes from the spots on its yellow, orange, maroon and pink flowers. Each plant produces several flowers per stalk, and each separate flower lasts for just one day. They grow 1.5 to two feet (45 to 60 cm) tall with foliage that resembles that of gladioli. Tigridia prefer full sun and sandy loam.