The Q&A Archives: Desperately Seeking Late Bloomers

Question: I am a novice gardener, and the frantically busy mother of three, with the only yard on the street lacking bloomage.
I have noticed that all the bulbs my neighbor has planted bloom and die by May. Are there perennial flowers that I can plant as bulbs that bloom later in the spring and summer? My goal is to create gardens that bloom perpetually from early spring to late fall. Can you help me? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Answer: There are many hardy perennials that will bloom during later spring and summer and on into fall, but very few of them are hardy bulbs. Among the later blooming bulbs, I can think of lilies (lillium) for June to August, fall-blooming crocus for early fall and hardy cyclamen for late fall. Since you are new to gardening, you might wish to take a look at a basic perennials book for some tips on planning an all-season display. One I like is "Perennials for Dummies" by Marcia Tatroe ISBN0-7645-5030-6. Enjoy your garden!

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