Get Ready For A Glorious Summer!
Spring flower bulbs are bulbs planted in spring to flower in summer. These beautiful lilies only flower in late summer but must be planted in spring.
I used to have a great collection of Day Lilies in my previous garden, so I started looking around for some as soon as I was back in gardening mode here in California. I found a couple of different colors at the big retail outlets and a whole lot more when I discovered shopping online! I found so many, in fact, it was difficult to choose, so I got a mixed bag which was delivered in time for fall planting. These are also spring flower bulbs (rhizomes really) as you plant them in spring or summer too. The plants came bare rooted and kind of small.
The problem with fall planting is that I can’t tell if these spring flowering bulbs (rhizomes really) are doing well or not because they don’t really grow during the winter and a couple of them have disappeared altogether. I do know that fall is the right time to plant and transplant all perennials, theoretically, because it gives the plants a chance to establish their roots so that they’re ready to go when the warmer weather arrives. But I could as easily buy some Day Lilies in pots and plant them in the spring for a much faster, if somewhat more expensive, show. Day Lilies are great because they look very similar to Liliums but have a longer flowering period and multiply like crazy if they’re happy. You can eat them too, if you want to.
I used to dream about these flowers when I first discovered them. I was totally and utterly obsessed by them. Their tissue paper flowers are so delicate and look so graceful amongst their serrated leaves. I once dreamed I found some blue ones at a street market and was so excited when I woke up. But Begonias do no come in blue or any similar hue but who cares when there are whites, yellow, reds, oranges and pinks to dazzle the eye?
You can have a real Begonia flower fest because there are bi-colored ones, double ruffled ones, camelia flowered ones, non stop flowering ones and, of course the hanging Begonias that live in pots or hanging baskets and call to you as you pass by.
Begonia spring flower bulbs are, in fact, rhizomes. They do not like the cold so I lift them when they die back and keep them in the shed until the next spring. Having said that, my sister’s hanging Begonia never stopped flowering, summer or winter. It just sat there blooming on the outside table, making me grind my teeth in frustration. Begonias like semi shade so are great under trees.
Of course, no discourse on spring flower bulbs would be complete without ooh-ing and aah-ing over the Queen of the rhizome, Aunt Dahlia.
Dahlias were the first spring flower bulbs I planted in my garden on my arrival, along with Ice Plant ground covers. But the Ice Plants went into my street side bed and the Dahlias into the existing, very narrow (and empty border) in my back garden. Their lovely purple flowers and yellow flowers were so chirpy, I couldn’t help but grin each time I looked out the window. They did look at little solitary, all in a row. Now I have a much bigger bed there, filled with fall planted bulbs that are coming up at last. Now that the weather has warmed up a bit, I have also planted lots of pansies in between the bulbs as a ground cover and they are looking very cheerful.
But back to the Dahlias. I know that I should stick to the smaller varieties because my garden is tiny and large dinner bowl blooms will just look ridiculous in the confined space and will take up far too much room. But I think I will compromise and go for the cactus dahlias. They are very tall plants but not exceptionally wide and their flowers are exquisite. I can plant them at the back of the new bed I will dig in front of the water tower. Sadly, I’ll have to gopher proof the bed because gophers love Dahlias, as do slugs and snails. Actually, slugs and snails are a given for any plant really. The wonderful thing about wonderful Dahlias is, there is a Dahlia for any given situation (bar the shade), from the smallest to the largest garden, including potted gardens, and their blooms are always plentiful, bright and beautiful.
My nursery, Mostly Natives, gave me a list of gopher resistant plants and this is the link to their list: http://www.groundcoversandgardening.com/gopher resistant plants
and you can find deer resistant plants here.