Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > April 2014 > BONNIE'S GARDEN--The Bulb Lady's Top Ten Summer Blooming bulbs

BONNIE'S GARDEN--The Bulb Lady's Top Ten Summer Blooming bulbs

    In the nearly 29 years I’ve been with The Great Big Greenhouse, I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked which bulbs are my favorites.  So here is my top-ten list of summer blooming favorites—note how many of these are fragrant and/or pest-resistant.

10:  Lily-of-the-Valley – I love the dainty nodding fragrant flowers that grace my shady areas while the foliage provides a good ground cover until fall.  Best of all—it’s pest resistant.

9:  Caladiums and Elephant Ears -- I don't know what my shade garden would be without these.  The caladiums heart-shaped leaves provide striking color while the huge velvety leaves of the elephant ear provide knock-your-socks-off drama all summer—and pest resistant!

8:  Cannas -- From 2 foot dwarfs to 6 foot giants, cannas are staples in my summer landscape.  They begin blooming midsummer and will continue to bloom until frost.

7:  Dahlias – I love my dahlias!  Boatloads of long-lasting flowers on bushy plants that bloom all summer long! They come in early every color under the rainbow and a huge range of sizes from 12” tall container varieties to 5 foot tall plants with dinner-plate-sized flowers.

6:  Odorata Begonias—Odorata begonias are beautiful double-flowered hanging basket begonias that are fragrant!  Shade tolerant and fragrant always makes a winner in my garden!

5:  Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) -- One of the most intensely fragrant flowers available.  It blooms for me in late summer with glistening waxy white flowers.

4:  Peruvian Daffodil (Hymenocallis, Ismene) -- A pest-resistant and fragrant relative of the spring blooming daffodil.  The exotic flowers are sometimes called Spider Flower because of their feathery petals.

3:  Oriental Lilies -- Completely winter-hardy and intensely fragrant, they come in a variety of warm pinks, roses, whites, even a few yellows.  I plant these in small bunches in sunny areas.

2:  Hardy Orchid (Bletilla striata) -- A real orchid that is winter hardy here.  Rosy-lavender flowers top 18" stems and pretty pleated leaves.  I give this plenty of room as it can make beautiful drifts over time.  Pest resistant

1:  My favorite – Crinum.  Crinum is an amaryllis family member that is pest-proof, fragrant and sports several two and a half foot spires of pink lily-like flowers mid to late summer—and it is winter-hardy here.  And, along with the crinum, come the Sonatini amaryllis—real amaryllis that are hardy to zone 5.  And—like all amaryllis family members, they are pest-proof, too!

Top-ten lists are hard because I keep thinking of more bulbs to add to it.  I don’t want to leave out gladiolus or calla lilies—pest-resistant and incredibly long-lasting cut flowers.  And how can I overlook my wildflowers, like trillium, Virginia bluebells and Solomon’s seal?  They’re all tough, durable, and easy.  Maybe I should make it my “Top Forty” list…

Posted: 4/7/2014 by Bonnie Pega | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: BonniePega, Bonnie'sGarden
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