If this had been a “normal” summer (is there any such thing?) by now we would probably be feeling beat by the heat. The gardens might have started to look sun scorched, faded, and dusty — IF we hadn’t planned ahead to prevent that from happening. We always plan — and then plant — for a succession of color that will carry the gardens through the heat but I think because last winter was so endlessly long and bitterly cold, Gail was more determined than ever to add a hit of springtime freshness to the late summer garden. (We were so worried that the pendulum would swing towards a blistering hot summer, never imagining that we’d get to enjoy such a pleasant opposite instead.) Our summer bulb order, placed way back at the end of January with the seed and plant orders, was big. And I, for one, am pretty gladiolus about that now.
Of all the summer bulbs we potted up and planted, which included dahlias (of course), Orienpet lilies, and crocosmia, the glads are definitely my favorites. Maybe especially fragrant Gladiolus murielae a.k.a. acidanthera pictured (above) with the sculpture Memory of Fibonacci by George Sherwood in the background. We planted 100 of those in the North Garden in root pouches, which should make them extra-easy to lift for winter storage. Before blooming, they sent up fresh green blades just when the garden was wanting that stiff structure. By now they have been blooming for weeks and haven’t needed any encouragement whatsoever to keep standing up straight. Love that. Gladiolus ‘Green Star‘ has been in the North Garden for years. I’ll take a hardy glad any day even if it is wicked top-heavy. Fingers crossed for G. dalenii ‘Boone’ and ‘Carolina Primrose’ (both from Old House Gardens). ‘Mirella’ (Brent and Becky’s Bulbs) is a primulinus type too but isn’t listed as hardy below Zone 7. No matter. They’re easy as pie to overwinter in cool, dry darkness down cellar. Click on pictures below for a better view or mouse over for captions.
Did you plant any summer bulbs this year? What are your favorites?