We kick off the New Year with some beautiful flowers that can all be grown from bulbs. All are bright colorful flowers available in any color scheme you are using in your garden.
Freesia are native to South Africa and come in a wide array of bright colors. Their beautiful blooms are often overshadowed by their exquisite fragrance which is considered by many gardeners to be superb. Freesia are grown from corms in a similar manner as you would grow Gladiolus. In garden zones 9 and higher they can be planted in the fall for pretty blooms in the spring but in cooler garden zones they should be planted in the spring to enjoy their pretty flowers in the summer. They require soil that drains well and should be planted in full sun.
Acidanthera are a variety of Gladiolus that is commonly found in Ethiopia and other parts of Southern Africa. Like more well-known varieties of Gladiolus, its corms are planted in the spring with their sweet-smelling white and purple flowers arriving during the summer months. Surprisingly they are hardier than many varieties of Gladiolus and can survive winters in zones as low as 6 with some protection. Acidanthera should be planted in sunny areas with soil that drains well. They look best in mass plantings and make an excellent cut flower.
Want to add a little drama to your garden? Try growing the Foxtail Lily also known as Eremurus. This summer-flowering plant sends up spikes of eye-catching flowers that can’t be ignored. They grow best in sunny locations in soil that drains well. Too much water will cause the roots to rot. If planted in an area that is windy the flower stalks may require staking and when the leaves emerge they can be targeted by slugs and snails. Otherwise, once established this is a low maintenance plant that will make a great addition to any garden.
Liatris, also known as Gayflower, is a wildflower native to the prairies of the Midwest. Its flowers are unusual in that they flower from the top of the bud down rather than the other way around. Its wand-like blooms stand 2 to 5 fee above its grassy leaves and may require support if planted in a windy location It grows best in soils that drain well in a sunny location and during the winter it requires some mulch to protect its roots from being pushed out of the ground by cycles of freezing and thawing.
Baboon Flower gets its name because Baboon’s often dig up the corms for food. As you might suspect it is native to Africa and its flowers resemble Freesia blooms. They do well in garden zones 3 through 10 but they should be treated as a tender bulb in areas where the ground freezes in the winter. They are useful in containers as well as an edging plant in a flower border. It is usually sold as a mix with flowers that come in shades of white, pink, purple and blue. They tolerate a wide variety of soil types and prefer sunny conditions.