- Published on Tuesday, 29 March 2011 17:00
- Written by Marit Hansen
If you love the way daffodils and tulips brighten a winter garden, consider including a few of these colorful beauties in your summer garden.
You can squeeze them into the smallest spots or plant vast rivers of color. Even a low-water garden can enjoy a little extra spot of color. Choose drought-tolerant crocosmias or plant a few of your favorites in containers.
With flower spikes that can reach 3 feet in length, crocosmias begin opening from the bottom of the stem upward, delivering cascades of red, orange and yellow blooms from mid-summer into fall. Drought-tolerant and virtually pest- and disease-free, they develop into beautiful garden plants and last a week or more in a vase.
Dahlias like the heat of summer but continue to flower late into the fall. When other garden plants have quit for the season, dahlias keep producing a fascinating array of fringed, quilled, dinner-plate and classic flowers.
Looking for the ultimate in goof-proof plants? Daylilies are fabulous for novice gardeners because they’re so undemanding. Easy to transplant and resistant to pests and diseases, these bright bloomers thrive in most soils with very little care.
Gladioli are popping up everywhere, with spectacular results – wild tropical colors, fantastic two- and three-tones and wavy blooms on stems 4-5 feet tall. Plant a dozen or two in the garden every couple of weeks for an endless supply of miraculous flowers from mid-summer well into autumn.
Freesias open in sequence along arched stems, providing a long blooming period. Best known for their intense, sweet, citrusy perfume, their elegant form and long vase life endear them to anyone who arranges flowers, professionally or otherwise.
Lilies offer fragrance, intricate form and radiant colors – the whole package. Growing your own florist-quality bouquets is easy with lilies. For early summer color from popsicle shades to deep tones, think Asiatics and Longaflora Hybrids. Later-season exotic forms with intoxicating fragrances come courtesy of Orientals and Orienpets (Oriental and Trumpet crosses). Your garden will benefit from some of each.
Tuberous begonias lend a sumptuous air to the garden, with blooms so full and lush they appear almost artificial.
Ideal for spots with light to medium shade, tuberous begonia flower colors are rich and complex, a feast for the eyes. Plant next to a patio chair where you relax, then savor the incredible season-long show.
You’ll get the best show from planting closely and generously. Plant bulbs in the spring, after the last frost.
Dig holes in the dirt to the appropriate depth for each bulb (two or three times the length of the bulb) and plant with the tapered neck pointing up. Cover the bulbs with soil and water thoroughly. For best results, make sure the soil is kept moist.