Plants - Flower Bulbs

Eight beautiful bulbs for the summer garden

Bulbs don't only have to be enjoyed in the spring--there are plenty of options for summer viewing

Pineapple lily
Dugald Cameron, owner of, an online and mail-order perennial specialist, sells hundreds of summer bulbs through his website.

His first pick for a special summer bulb is Eucomis or pineapple lily. “They are easy and wonderful because you add soil and water, they flower for over a month in mid-summer and look like a pineapple,” he says.

Gladiolus Callianthus is a member of the Gladiolus family. It is fragrant and flowers in August, which is unusual. The creamy-white blossoms feature a royal purple star at the centre. In August, expect 5-cm blooms at the top of long, graceful metre-high stems.

The Super Mac calla
Dugald recommends calla lilies because they are very easy. In particular, he suggests looking at the Calaflora series, a strain of calla hybridized in the United States. He narrows it down further to the Super Mac calla lily, which flowers in July. In his catalogue, he refers to it as the “best and most compact white-flowered Calla to date.”

Dugald also features four different hymenocallis bulbs on his site, that are exotic, flaring and fragrant. They resemble daffodils but with long tendrils. They come in many sizes and flower in June or July.

Tangerine Tango may be the trendy colour of the year, but whatever colour appeals to you is best. Gardening is all about being creative, experimenting and expressing yourself—and finding beauty for every season.

Planting tips:
  • Plant three times as deep as the bulb is long.
  • Plant bulbs in spring when evening and soil temperatures reach 10 degrees Celsius.
  • Do not plant begonias too deep and keep the rounded side down just below or at soil level. Adjust your planting depth according to the size of the bulb.
  • Gardeners want to have a good area when planting lilies because they produce big flowers and typically grow 60 cm. 

Ellen Novack is a freelance writer and co-author of Gardening from a Hammock.

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