Planting Spring bulbs for 

Gorgeous Summer blooms

Planning ahead for your summer flower garden is key

Most summer blooms from bulbs need to be planted early to mid-spring.  Each zone will vary, so learn yours.  It can be a bit tricky to envision how the end product will look five months ahead of time, but with some planning and a good layout, you’ll be the envy of your neighbors.   

How To:

Planting bulbs, tubers, & rhizomes

Shade loving summer bulbs to plant in spring

shade-loving bulbs, roots, and rhizomes:



Elephant Ear



Asiatic Lilies

Lily of the Valley

Bleeding Heart







Sun loving bulbs to plant in spring

Sun-loving bulbs, roots, & rhizomes:


Ranunculus (Buttercup)





Calla Lily



Black-Eyed Susan



Butterfly Weed


Enjoy freshly cut flowers

Having enough flowers to design a beautiful bouquet is the upside of growing them yourselves.  Designate an area (or container) for a cutting flower garden.  The bulbs can be planted in a more compact way, to yield more flowers in a smaller location, just for filling vases.  One bouquet for you, and one to give away.  Why not spread the joy?

Alternatively, plant enough bulbs around your yard to selectively cut what you want and still leave enough to enjoy as you walk around your yard.

getting started

Purchasing bulbs can be as easy as a quick trip to any local garden center.  Higher quality bulbs can be purchased online in advance and shipped to you when your Zone is ready for planting.  I’ve found that these companies have the time frame dialed in and there’s nothing to worry about.  Each bulb will have a different planting depth, soil, and sun, or shade requirement. Each fully grown plant will take up different amounts of space and will grow to different heights.  Even something marked as Spring Blooming can be early, mid, or late Spring. And of course, the colors are almost endless. Some thrive in the blistering heat of the afternoon, others like filtered shade, and some only want morning sun.  That’s a lot to think about when you won’t see full blooms for months! But once you’ve been through a season or two with your yard, placing bulbs the next year becomes a lot easier to figure out. 

next steps

Here is where the planning comes into play.  My system is to look online at the beautiful flowers and see if the required environment will fit in my yard, and where they might go. Seriously, I am a glutton for flower porn! I can fantasize about the season ahead and how I want the yard to look.  I think about the color and the size of the plant. and if they’ll be going in an area that is already landscaped.  I have one part of the yard that is all purple and white and nothing else outside of that color scheme is allowed to grow there. Because I built a Tiki Bar and couldn’t part with it, that section of the yard has to have tropical plants.  My front yard is brightly colored, and the side yard will someday resemble an English Country Garden full of pastel prettiness. Since I can’t decide on one theme, I have several, which adds to the diversity of the garden.


Here is where the hard part begins.  Bending, stooping, digging, & planting.  My back will be sore and my legs will ache after a day of planting spring and summer bulbs. (not related to my age, of course!)  I’ve found a couple of items to make it easier, but the work is still there and I’m perfectly OK with it. One, I love being outside with my hands in the dirt. Two, the anticipation of a gorgeous tulip garden, or the first peek of beautiful begonias makes all the hard work worth it.  Some bulbs naturalize and multiply (like daffodils and iris) and give you years of a floral explosion.  Others (like tulips) are mostly a one-time deal. Some come back each year, bigger than the last (like elephant ears, and cannas).  Read the planting instructions for depth and proximity to each bulb, plant it in its perfect location, sun or shade, give them their first deep drink of water, and then let nature do its thing!

Things to make life easier – for both you and your back!

click on images to send you to the world of Amazon

 A few of my favorites from Holland Bulb Farms

Happy planting!



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