by Catalogs.com Info Guru Elizabeth Sobiski
The snows and frigid air of winter dissipate into the rains and sunshine of spring – and the green shoots of flowers are a welcome sight.
With these harbingers of spring, the light scent of blooming flowers isn’t far behind. Bring butterflies, birds and a bee or two to your garden with these fragrant, flowering bulbs.
These engaging flowers start early and stay late, blooming multiple times throughout the season. The buds range from small dainty pompoms to large heads the size of a dinner plate. Colors run the full spectrum, making it easy to find the perfect size and color for your garden. The light scent will gently perfume the air, making it a joy to spend time in the yard.
9. Grape Hyacinths
Also known as muscari, these pudgy, bell-shaped flowers grow on sturdy spikes. In full flower, they resemble a cluster of grapes, right down to their color. Blooms are generally white or deep purple and there is one variety that has a base of purple with a crown of white buds. Since they grow six to nine inches in height, they are perfect for bringing fragrance and color to borders.
Irresistible – that word has frequently been used to describe gladiolas. These are by far the brightest in the garden, bursting with color and plenty of bold blooms. They love the warmth of summer and gently perfume any area they grow in. These flowers will take you from mid-summer straight through late fall. Glads grow up to five feet in height, making them suitable for the back rows of plant-scapes or the center of round gardens.
Nothing says spring more than tulips, a flower with enough varieties to fill pages in a catalog. Some blooms are the picturesque bell shape so commonly associated with the name, while others are more exotic. The Aladdin varietal has petals with pointy little tips that curve away from the center. The Angelique is similar to a peony, full of clustered petals in a delicate pink color. The petals of the Flaming Parrot are ruffled, making the bloom seem like it’s made of feathers. Tulips are available in a huge range of sizes, from tiny dwarf to towering blooms. The colors run the same gamut, with almost every conceivable shade and color combination to be found.
Just one hyacinth bulb can produce large flower spikes filled with tightly packed blooms. Their heady fragrance makes them ideal for potted gardens, as well as for mixing in with in-ground beds. If you want to bring a bit of spring inside during winter, the hyacinth is the perfect choice for producing blooms in colder months.
The lush and vibrant cannas are a statement flower and bring a wild beauty to your garden. Petals tend to be long and reach for the sun as the flower opens up. These lightly fragrant bulbs bring tropical beauty to any garden, patio or pool deck, since they grow well in both containers and in the ground. Cannas love the sun, so be sure to give them plenty of space away from taller plants that might shade them. With proper care, these plants will bloom for many seasons – especially if you live in colder growing zones.
June and July are the peak blooming times for hearty lilies. They produce flowers year after year, bringing a light fragrance to any garden. They are excellent as cut flowers, letting you bring the scents and colors of summer inside with you. If left to their own devices, they will spread and naturalize any area they are planted in. Thin them out as needed, transplanting them to areas that might be a little bare or give them to other avid gardeners in your area. As with tulips, there are a wide variety of sizes and colors to choose from. For a bit of excitement, plant a variety and have a variety of flowers come summer.
Tall inner petals surrounded by gently opening downward petals are the hallmarks of the iris. These fragrant, flowering bulbs are a favorite of gardeners in almost every region. Plants are available in dwarf and tall varieties and are available in a rainbow of colors. Some, such as the Rock Garden Iris are perfect for growing in clusters throughout rock gardens, just as the name implies. These flowers attract butterflies and thrive in late spring though summer.
The bright, sunny, yellow flowers are the image that many think of when daffodils are mentioned. These flowers often have a frilled cup surrounded by larger open petals and a strong vanilla fragrance. They are easy to grow and love part-shade to full sunshine. Like lilies, they will naturalize over time and take over an area if given free rein. The daffodil is also known as a narcissus, so don’t be surprised if you see your favorite flower under a different name.
1. Lily of the Valley
This sweetly scented, delicate flower appreciates cooler temperatures and partly sunny planting locations. This flower tends to bloom in late spring, with tiny bells on tender stems. It is said that the flower was formed from the tears of Mary as she wept at the crucifixion of Jesus. From there, it grew from the blood shed by Saint Leonard of Noblac during his fight with a dragon. Beware – this highly poisonous flower is enticing with its sweet scent and amazing beauty. So, if you choose to plant the Lily of the Valley, be sure it’s away from children or pets that might decide to eat it.