Bulbs 101 (cont)
By: National Gardening Association Editors
In any gardener's inventory of beauty, the group of plants known collectively as "summer-flowering bulbs" may be the least known and under-utilized of them all. Every gardener has at least a passing awareness of spring-flowering bulbs, but ask even an accomplished gardener to list more than three summer-flowering bulbs, and you'll probably hear a lot of stammering and stuttering. Too bad.
Comprised mainly of exotic species from foreign lands, summer-flowering bulbs can lend impressive amounts of color and beauty to the summer and late-summer landscape, for very little effort or expense. And, if you choose them right, many have the added benefit of becoming permanent residents in your garden -- not only returning every summer, but actually multiplying in the process (in regions with cold winters, most gardeners dig the bulbs in fall and store them over the winter in a cool, well-ventilated location).
Summer-flowering bulbs require the same basic planting and care as given for spring-flowering bulbs, only they are planted in spring instead of fall. Summer-flowering bulb favorites include achimenes, begonia, caladium, calla lily, canna, dahlia, gladiolus, lily, and lily-of-the-Nile (Agapanthus).
Photography by National Gardening Association