Packed with the promise of summer blooms, spring-planted bulbs guarantee months of color and fragrance. Tuck some of these favorites into a patio planter or hanging basket, or plant them in your garden for bouquets and landscape color.
Begonias bloom nonstop from early summer to fall frost and grow in shade. Plant the tubers indoors in pots in March or April to give them a head start on the growing season. Plush yellow, red, orange, pink, white or bicolor flowers begin to appear 12 to 16 weeks after planting.
Calla lilies sprout arrow-shaped leaves, often speckled with silver, which add a vertical accent to patio planters. Flower buds unfurl in mid to late summer to reveal white, pink, yellow or red chalices that last for weeks in the garden or a vase.
Gladiolus make dramatic, long-lasting bouquets. To extend their bloom time, plant groups of bulbs every 10 to 14 days, starting in mid to late May, until mid to late July. Keep the stems straight with stakes or grow-through plant supports.
Lilies look as great in a vase as they do in the garden. Asiatic lilies bloom in June and have unscented orange, yellow, white, red and apricot flowers. Oriental and Trumpet Lilies produce fragrant flowers in July and August. A single blossom can perfume a room.
Cannas grow from thick rhizomes that sprout large, dramatic leaves and tall stalks of red, yellow, or pink flowers in late summer. Ideal for soggy soil and pond-side planting, red, gold and green-striped foliage adds a tropical accent.
Dahlias come in so many sizes, colors, and flower forms that you're sure to find one for every garden or container. Varieties range in height from 12 to 60 inches or more and many have cutting-length stems. Most begin flowering in mid to late summer, but you can get earlier blooms by starting them in pots indoors in late April and moving them into the garden after the last frost.
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