Magazine article Sunset

The Right Bulbs

Magazine article Sunset

The Right Bulbs

Article excerpt

Plant now for great summer color

Of all the flowers in my garden, a few are like old friends who go away for winter, then return all refreshed and exuberant when temperatures warm in late spring. They're the easygoing summer bulbs-callas, dahlias, gladiolus, and lilies (Asiatic and Oriental hybrids)-that come back in garden beds or containers year after year.

Dahlias are the first to reappear (in late April or May), with spring-green foliage and jewel-bright flowers. Gladiolus come next (June or so), sending up spears of cheerful blooms. They're followed by Asiatic lilies, which unlurl star-shaped flowers, and by calla hybrids, whose blooms look like fluted cups. Oriental hybrids make a grand late entrance, in August; their large flowers perfume the whole garden.

Pop a few bulbs in a pot to display on a patio, or add them to a spot in the garden you can see from indoors. You'll enjoy their vivid colors and obliging natures.

Which varieties to grow

All of the summer bulbs listed below and on page 64 come in a range of colors and sizes. You'll want to tuck clumps of them between perennials in beds and borders. …

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