Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Planting Summer Garden Bulbs

I have a number of summer bulbs to plant in the coming weeks. This past weekend I planted a dahlia and three lilies in the front yard. I've never grown dahlias or lilies before although I've grown dwarf calla lilies and have had the large white calla lilies in both my Petaluma and Eureka gardens.

The dahlia is a deep fuchsia pink color, really pretty. I wanted a taller plant to grow between my lavenders on either side at the base of the front window. I managed to seed some nigella in that space although the flowers are fairly short compared to the lavender plants. I planted a cutting I rooted of thymifolia fuchsia in the space between the lavenders but it is not growing well there, I will probably transplant it elsewhere. It took a few years for the main thymifolia fuchsia I have growing under the holly trees to really take hold and grow but now it has a great display of tiny fuchsia colored pink flowers.

I have three deep purple dutch iris blooming in the space between the two lavenders for spring and they are ready to bloom. The dutch iris have a yellow streak on the purple leaves that is very striking. I planted the summer dahlia bulb in the center space surrounded by the spring iris bulbs. Our neighbors in Petaluma had a number of dahlia bulbs growing and they appeared to be very hardy. I'm looking forward to a beautiful display of the large deep pink dahlia flowers surrounded by the wands of lavender flowers against the grey house, they should be a beautiful combination.

The lilies are a deep red color and are going to grow in front of a line of crocomosia next to the back fence in the front yard. There is nothing else in place in this space and I thought the upright red lilies would go well with the sprays of crocosmia bulb leaves and orange flowers. I planted three of them across the line of the crocosmia.

I grew some crocosmia bulbs in my Petaluma garden and found out they are prolific naturalizers. If you are looking for a bulb that spreads this one is for you. However I should warn you they crowd out other plants and bulbs, growing tightly together to form grass like foliage. I wish the previous homeowner hadn't planted them here but there they are, crowding out the flower bed in the front yard and seeding along the side of the house traveling into the back yard area. Be aware when you plant crocosmia bulbs, as pretty as they are they can be a handful to manage and from experience you can't really manage them well.

In the coming weeks I have some smaller lilies and gloxina bulbs to plant up. The pink rain lilies are being planted in a tall silver metal container, we need to drill some holes in the bottom for drainage. This metal planter will sit between two lavenders below the dining room window which should be a very pretty combination. I can't wait to get started planting the next round of summer bulbs in my garden.

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