|The first is the Gloriosa Lily. This vine is originally from Africa. It's a climber, sometimes reaching 6 feet in height. The flowers of Gloriosa "Rothschildiana" are most unusual, looking almost like flames, with their wavy red and yellow petals that arch backwards while the long stamens protrude forward. They're a tender plant, so they must be dug up in the fall (or planted in pots and brought inside) in all but the mildest of climates (zones 8 and above). With a protected spot and a good layer of mulch, you might be able to overwinter them in the southern part of Zone 7, but in the colder areas of the country, they're certainly worth the trouble of digging them up in the fall. Do keep them out of direct sun during the hot summer months. Another Gloriosa, the Lutea, is an interesting bi-color of yellow and green, often turning bright orange-yellow as it matures. Both Gloriosas are drought-resistant and pest free and will help to give your garden a tropical look whether planted directly in the garden, along fences or in hanging baskets.|
Another bulb that's fun to grow is Sprekelia Formosissima. Oriignally from Mexico and Guatemala, they too are cold-sensitive, but can easily be grown in pots due to their small size, often less than a foot tall. (“Aztec Lily” or “Jacobean Lily”) have unusual 5” orchid-like flowers that sit on their stems like perching crimson birds. Each stalk produces a single gorgeous bloom with velvety crimson petals, bright contrasting golden stamens and a green throat. Its flowers are funnel-shaped and have six sepals, of which the upper three are slender and outward-facing. They need to be dry when dormant (stop watering when the leaves begin to die back). Keep cool until spring; however, provide some water during periods of new growth. Repot every 3 years.
Not ALL spring-planted bulbs and corms are tender things that must be dug up in the fall. There are Astilbes, Hostas, Asiatic and Oriental Lilies and of course Daylilies, which can be grown practically anywhere in the country.
I have added lots of wonderful spring-planted bulbs and corms to marysgardenpatch.com. Colorful plants like Caladiums, a large selection of Cannas and Daylilies, Gladiolas and Lilies. In addition, we have some unusual and interesting items – Ginger Lilies, Gloriosas, Peruvian Daffodils, Tuberroses, Crinums and Rain Lilies.