Lilies — Radiant Stars All Summer Long

Lilies are truly the stars of the summer garden, spangling their luminous, astral-shaped flowers across beds and borders. Whether planted in sun or part-shade, Lilies add reliable interest and characteristic grace to gardens during the hotter months of the year. Their diverse colors and forms, coupled with exquisite fragrances, make them a stellar selection for every garden.

We offer an array of Lilies including Asiatic, Oriental, and Species types plus many interdivisional hybrids. Planting various kinds guarantees a succession of spectacular blooms throughout the summer. Enjoy them outdoors as colorful highlights in your borders or bring cuttings indoors to fill vases and urns galore.

Scroll below for a selection of our individual Lilies and multicolored mixes, presented here in order of blossom time to help you create a pageant of blooms throughout the summer months.

June to July:
Lilies for Early Summer Sparkle

Start the summer with Asiatic Lilies, which are the earliest of our Lily varieties to come into bloom. Colors range from the softest pastels to fiery reds and oranges that practically ignite when the sun hits them. Seldom reaching above 3’ tall, the sturdy plants never need staking and are perfect for flower arrangements because of their straight stems and heavy bud count. When sited in a sunny, well-drained garden bed, these Lilies will put on a glorious show for years.

Asiatic Lily (Strawberries & Cream Lilium Mix)

This mix of pink and white Asiatic Lily hybrids offers a refreshing color palette at the onset of warm days in the garden.

Longiflorum-Asiatic Hybrid Lily (Lilium ‘Eyeliner’)

The stunning white blossoms of this cross between an Asiatic Lily and the Easter Lily (Lilium longiflorum) are delicately outlined in purple-black.

Asiatic Lily (Tropical Tones Lily Quintet)

With bright hues ranging from sunny yellow to deep reddish-orange, this sultry mix of five compact Asiatic Lilies gestures toward the hotter days to come.

July to August:
Lilies for Midsummer Magic

Orienpet and Oriental Lilies grace the garden when summer is at its peak. Orienpets, a cross between Oriental and Trumpet Lilies, bloom about two weeks earlier than Oriental Lilies. Both types are notable for their large flowers, heady perfumes, and strong stems of varying heights.

Orienpet Lily (Lilium ‘Silk Road’)

This Orienpet Lily features intoxicatingly fragrant 8” flowers, which are borne on spires up to 2′ across for longer than you thought possible.

Orienpet Lily (Lilium ‘Conca d’Or’)

The creamy yellow blossoms of this Orienpet, with centers of pure gold, mimic the sunshine that floods the midsummer garden.

Oriental Lily (Lilium ‘Stargazer’)

A bright star of the garden as well as the florist’s trade, ‘Stargazer’ has upward-facing, crimson and pink blooms edged with pure white.

August to September:
Lilies to Make Summer Linger

Oriental and Species Lilies continue the vibrant show, extending the feel of summer into early fall. These late-blooming varieties sport gracefully recurved, pendent flowers that are as fascinating for their form as for their color and fragrance. The plants are exceptionally vigorous, too, with trusses of blossoms growing on stems from 4’ to 7’ tall. Plant some and let your summer display go out with a bang.

Oriental Lily (Lilium ‘Black Beauty’)

This variety of Oriental Lily can produce 20 to 50 flowers on a dizzyingly tall plant. The deep crimson flowers, with white edges and central green stars, are stunning following the summer-long progression of brightly colored blooms.

Species Lily (Lilium speciosum ‘Uchida’)

Introduced from Japan, this Species Lily dangles spotted, pink-and-white blossoms that are delightfully spicy in fragrance.

Species Lily (Lilium speciosum rubrum)

This is the last of the Lilies in our list to flower and, to our noses at least, is also among the most fragrant. Our gardens would not be complete without it.

 

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Fragrant Shrubs Add Beauty & Perfume to the Garden

Experienced gardeners can tell the season by the scents that fill the air. Spring brings the transporting perfume of Lilacs and the unmistakable sweet spicy vanilla fragrance of Viburnum carlesii. Late spring introduces the citrus scent of Philadelphus (Mock Orange) and the delicate fragrance of select Clematis vines. Sultry summer broadcasts the perfumes of Roses, Clethra (Sweet Pepperbush), and a scented Buddleia (Butterfly Bush). Fill your garden with fragrant shrubs and vines and enjoy a range of heavenly, natural scents from spring to fall. Scroll below to find some of our favorites, and visit our website for more.

Clematis ‘Sweet Summer Love’  is fragrant, free-flowering, and easy to grow. The hardy, disease-resistant vines produce masses of small blooms that change color from reddish-purple to purple then a paler violet. The flower show begins early, generally in midsummer, and continues into autumn. Mature vines reach 10-15’ high and produce hundreds of flowers in a single season, smothering trellises, fences, arbors, deck railings, or stone walls. The lovely fragrance combines notes of almond, cherry and vanilla. ‘Sweet Summer Love’ is a winner of multiple prizes including the Green Thumb Award from the National Garden Bureau.

Viburnum carlesii is one of the most gloriously fragrant shrubs known to man. The dense flower heads, which measure up to 3″ across, produce white flowers from blush pink buds, and the perfume, which is a sweet, rich, spicy vanilla, carries a considerable distance across a lawn or garden. Plant one or two where you take your springtime strolls.

Beautiful and carefree Buddleia Lo & Behold Ruby Chip combines a tidy growing habit with jewel-tone ruby-pink flower spikes to create a decorative pollinator magnet for smaller gardens or the edge of larger borders. The fragrant flowers don’t need to be deadheaded, and they appear over a long season on a deer-resistant, drought-tolerant plant.

Rose ‘Zephirine Drouhin’ bears pink semidouble blooms from June to October, and they  emerge on almost thornless stems. The sweet fragrance of these flowers befits an heirloom Bourbon. This winner of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit is a perfect candidate to adorn a fence, trellis, or tuteur.

The lightly scented 2–3″ pink flowers of Clematis montana ‘Mayleen’ cascade over trellises and walls with abandon in early summer. Bronze and green foliage creates the perfect backdrop for the spectacular show. Winner of the RHS Award of Garden Merit.

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5 Top Houseplants for Great Gifting

Still looking to find that perfect gift for a friend or family member? Consider foliage or flowering plants. Either choice is an ideal gift for plant lovers, and these favorites will delight non-gardeners, too. No green thumb is required to grow any of the plants and bulbs you see here. The gift of a foliage houseplant adds natural beauty and living green to any interior. These long-lasting, low-maintenance plants also help purify the air in a home or office. If flowers are more to your recipient’s liking, our exclusive indoor Bulb Gardens and premium-grade Amaryllis bulbs arrive ready to begin growing, and they’ll brighten winter with a spectacular flower show. The bulbs need only strong light (such as a south-facing window) and occasional water to get them growing. Your recipient will have the joy of watching beautiful flowers bloom over several weeks during the winter months.

Scroll below to find 5 fabulous gifts handpicked for just about anyone on your list. The only hard part may be choosing which ones to give.


Snake Plant ‘Moonshine’ 

Snake Plant ‘Moonshine,’ an updated spin on the undemanding traditional indoor warrior, features glowing silver leaves overlaid with horizontal green accents. Known for tolerating neglect, ‘Moonshine’ (Sansevieria trifasciata) takes indirect light and forgetful care in stride. Snake Plants rarely bloom, but when they do, numerous dainty flowers in shades of white or cream appear on tall stalks.

Scindapsus ‘Silver Satin’

Forest-green leaves glazed and generously dotted with silver give this Silver Satin Pothos its distinctive look. As carefree as any houseplant could be, it asks only for occasional water (and not too much). The trailing plants look marvelous in hanging planters or cascading from shelves and tables.

Begonia ‘Escargot’

A bold spiral resembling a snail shell patterns each leaf of easy-care Rex Begonia ‘Escargot.’ Rendered in rich bands of pewter, chocolate, and green, it creates an effect that will draw your eye from across the room. Pale pink flowers are an added pleasure. It makes a stunning houseplant.

Amaryllis ‘Cherry Nymph’

The Nymph series of Amaryllis produces huge, almost fully double flowers whose rich texture and colors set new standards of beauty for this elegant genus. The large, red blooms of longtime favorite ‘Cherry Nymph’ have a shimmering, iridescent quality, and the plant’s thick, strong stems hold them high. We offer ‘Cherry Nymph’ in a variety of presentations – from bareroot bulb (for DIY potting or displaying in glass) to a bulb with a glass  hurricane or vase (shown above), to bulbs pre-potted in baskets or nursery pots. Set the Amaryllis in a room with bright light, give it occasional water, and watch the glorious flower show unfold.

Tiny Trumpets Bulb Collection

The blossoms of miniature Daffodil ‘Jetfire’ have sunny yellow petals and an extended orange corona. They’re a perfect partner for the blue flower spikes of aromatic Muscari armeniacum. We love this simple, fragrant harbinger of spring. It’s a lovely gift that provides a spirited preview of spring.

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Attracting Butterflies to Your Garden

You can attract a variety of butterflies to your garden by offering some of the blossoms they love best and by incorporating accessories that provide support. The plants highlighted here all produce nectar-rich flowers that are vital sources of food for pollinators, and all offer beauty and color for human admirers. Asclepias (Milkweed), Buddleia (Butterfly Bush), Liatris, and Lantana are among the best plants for butterflies.

1. Liatris ligulistylis

In our gardens, Liatris ligulistylis is a butterfly magnet during its long run of summer bloom (July to September) and a feeding station for goldfinches come fall. It is particularly popular with Monarch butterflies, and you can always spot the plant in the garden because it’s where you see a lot of orange-and-black wings fluttering.

2. Liatris spicata ‘Kobold’

A compact selection of the prairie native that’s commonly called Blazing Star, Liatris spicata ‘Kobold’ is a butterfly favorite. These plants thrive in full sun or partial shade and well-drained, even dry, soil, but they struggle in the desert Southwest. Best planted in groups, they will create a lot of pollinator traffic at the edge of the border.

3. Phlox paniculata Candy Store® Coral Crème Drop

Phlox is an important genus of valuable garden plants that includes reliable and colorful species that bloom both early and late, in sun and shade, and in a range of rich colors that is equaled by few other genera. The hardy Candy Store® series was developed in the Netherlands where it was bred specifically for a compact habit, attractive leaf and flower coloration, and good disease resistance. Coral Crème Drop offers rosy coral petals highlighted with white and a deep-pink eye. Its long-blooming and sweetly fragrant flower clusters are closely packed on compact, well-branched plants.

4. Phlox paniculata ‘Jeana’

Phlox paniculata ‘Jeana’ is a vigorous grower that produces showy, dense heads of lavender-pink flowers that are adored by butterflies. This variety has proven to be extraordinarily mildew resistant, and it blooms all summer into fall. ‘Jeana’ was included in an extensive Phlox trial at Mt. Cuba Center, where she was deemed “without a doubt, the best-performing phlox,” and the one that attracted more butterflies than any other variety.

5. Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’

Echinacea Magnus

Butterflies love Echinacea (commonly called Coneflower), a North American genus in the Daisy family  that features big, bright flowers that appear in late June and keep coming into September. The popular Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’ variety features petals that are an especially vibrant carmine-rose shade and are held almost horizontally, which makes for a more open face than the shuttlecock shape of the species. Butterflies and other pollinators feed at the large cones, and in autumn, the seed heads attract birds including goldfinches.

6. Buddleia davidii Buzz™ Ivory

Buddleia Buzz Ivory

Sized perfectly for large pots or smaller spaces in the garden, compact Buddleia davidii Buzz™ Ivory produces lovely panicles of white blossoms that attract a wide variety of pollinators. Deadhead this 4′ Butterfly Bush to keep the blossoms coming from summer to fall.

7. Asclepias tuberosa Gay Butterflies Mix

Asclepias tuberosa Gay Butterflies Mix

Asclepias, commonly called Milkweed, is the essential plant for Monarch butterflies, providing nourishment through all their life stages. Our Asclepias Gay Butterflies Mix not only feeds Monarchs and other beneficial insects, it offers boldly colored, ornamental blooms in shades of fiery red, orange, and yellow in June and July. We sell it as a collection of 3 plants to provide a sampling of the full color range.

8. Zinnia ‘Zowie! Yellow Flame’

Zinnia 'Zowie! Yellow Flame'

Nothing ignites a bed or mixed border like a mass planting of Zinnia ‘Zowie! Yellow Flame.’ Its brilliant, yellow-tipped petals start off magenta-pink then turn to scarlet-rose around a dramatic red-and-yellow cone. An annual in cooler climates such as ours, the plant is a hit with gardeners and pollinators alike. Deadhead the spent blossoms regularly, and the flowers will keep coming over a long season.

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Stars of the Late-Season Garden

As summer draws to a close and blossoms begin to fade, it’s important to rely on plants that bring late-season interest to borders and beds. Among the autumn and winter stars of the garden are perennial favorites including fall-blooming Anemones, Asters, Ornamental Grasses, Perovskia (Russian Sage), Rudbeckias, Sedums, and Symphyotrichums, and shrubs including Aronia (Chokeberry), Itea (Sweetspire), Oakleaf Hydrangea, and Viburnum. Every garden needs a sampling of these easy-care plants to maximize the season of bloom or foliage interest and to carry the garden and landscape into autumn and beyond. A number of these plants also provide essential food for pollinators, who need nourishment and support as the season nears its end. Below are a few of our favorites.

Symphyotrichum 'Purple Dome'
Symphyotrichum ‘Purple Dome’

The first true dwarf among the New England Asters, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’ offers perfect 1″ flowers of bright purple in such profusion that they completely cover the compact plant for a full month starting in mid-September. Plants are sturdy enough never to need support and they make a delightful mass of rich color. Late in the season, the seeds provide a high-energy food source for chickadees, titmice, and wrens. Try them with Japanese Anemones.

Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm'
Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’

One of the best and most beloved garden plants of all time is the Black-eyed Susan, a glorious and traditional highlight of summer. While the native plant Rudbeckia fulgida is enchanting, sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ improves upon an already good thing by providing more and bigger flowers in a consistent bright golden yellow on upright plants that reach 40″. It blooms prodigiously from late July to early October.

Aronia Low Scape® Mound
Aronia Low Scape® Mound

From the UConn breeding program run by Mark Brand and Bryan Connolly comes Aronia melanocarpa Low Scape® Mound, an improved, low-growing form of our native Chokeberry. It welcomes spring with a profusion of white flowers that turn to nearly black fruit. The berries are a favorite of birds, including mockingbirds, warblers, and vireos. The glossy green foliage provides a lovely backdrop for the blooms before changing to red and orange for fall.

Symphyotrichum 'Purple Dome'
Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (‘Herbstfreude’) is one of the highlights of the late-season garden. Its leaves are blue green, thick, and succulent. Its flowers, which begin to open in August on 18–24″ stems, start rosy pink, deepen to salmon, then to rust, and finally turn rich brown in an evolution that takes place over many weeks. The blooms are long lasting in a vase and are superb dried, whether brought indoors or left standing in the garden to catch light snowfalls.

Ornamental Grass "Karl Foerster'
Ornamental Grass “Karl Foerster’

As an exclamation point in a border, Feather Reed Grass is one of our favorites because of its upright habit and good manners. Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ forms neat clumps of foliage 18–24″ tall. In June, the toasty brown, feathery flower spikes rise up to 5′ or more. By August they are narrow shafts of a buff color. Despite their delicate and graceful appearance they hold their shape through the winter.

Perovskia 'Blue Jean Baby'
Perovskia ‘Blue Jean Baby’

A hardy, compact Russian Sage, Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Blue Jean Baby’ is a great choice for anyone whose garden is too small for the original. Stems of silver-green foliage with small purple flowers erupt in a lilac haze in midsummer, and the color lasts until fall.

Viburnum trilobum 'Wentworth'
Viburnum trilobum ‘Wentworth’

‘Wentworth’ is an outstanding native Viburnum trilobum that has three seasons of interest. In late spring, it produces abundant heads of white flowers. The flowers are followed by clusters of ¼” berries that turn bright glistening red as they ripen in late summer, attracting thrushes and cardinals among other species. Finally, in autumn, the 3-lobed foliage takes on stunning shades of burgundy. ‘Wentworth’ has an upright habit that makes it useful as a screen or an informal hedge.

5 Tools for Bulb Planting

We’ve spent decades testing tools and supplies for planting bulbs each fall and we keep coming back to a few favorites. Using the right tools and supplies makes the planting easier, and more importantly, ensures that you get the desired result come spring.

1. Bulb Planter for Naturalizing

Bulb Planter for Naturalizing

This planter for naturalizing features rugged steel construction, a red finish for high visibility, and a lifetime guarantee on its performance and durability. It’s specially designed with a bend in the blade to offer better leverage for planting bulbs in unprepared, even inhospitable ground—in the lawn, in a meadow, in the woods. At the business end is a notched, 2½″ wide blade that slices easily through compacted and rocky soils.

2. Essential Garden Spade

Essential Garden Spade

This Essential Garden Spade should be kept within easy reach of every gardener. It has a comfortable Ash wood “D” handle that invites a sturdy grip. The hand-forged stainless steel blade is topped with boot protectors to increase leverage. We use our shovel to dig holes for new plants, move small trees and shrubs, create new beds, and turn over the soil in our vegetable garden.

3. Daffodil Fertilizer

Daffodil Fertilizer

Exclusive. We developed our own Daffodil Fertilizer, a slow-release 5-10-20 formula with trace elements, that gives the Daffodils a continual supply of nutrients while they are growing, from the time they initiate root growth in fall until the foliage matures in June. Daffodils and other bulbs like the extra potassium. It’s easy to scatter the granules on top of the ground in fall after planting your bulbs or to apply a light dressing (1/4 cup per 10 sq ft) as new growth begins to push through the soil in spring

4. Bulb Trowel, 18″ Long

Bulb Trowel 18"

This 18″ durable trowel is ideal for planting large numbers of small bulbs because it’s designed to stab, not scoop. Jab the trowel straight down and pull the handle toward you to create a slot. The sharply pointed, stainless-steel blade slices effortlessly through sod or garden soil.

5. Ultra-Cushion Knee Pads

Ultra-Cushion Knee Pads

Take good care of your knee joints and your clothing, too. These deluxe knee pads are made of shock-absorbing EVA foam that’s surrounded by 2 layers of memory foam. They fasten securely with flexible, adjustable hook and loop straps that won’t grip your legs too tightly. The blue exterior is made of waterproof, durable neoprene that dries fast and can be wiped clean.

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Roses & a Few Favorite Friends

Plants are like people in the sense that they thrive in communities, and they tend to shine brighter in the company of good friends. This June, our Rose Garden at the farm provided a glorious illustration of the power of harmonious relationships. In a long, meandering border planted with roughly 70 Roses, each variety is enhanced by its proximity to perennials that provide complementary or contrasting color, form, and texture. As the garden hit its peak in June, it offered visitors a textbook example of how to plant Roses and their preferred companions for best effect. While the peak has now passed, the garden will continue to provide rolling waves of bloom, thanks to the perennials that keep company with all the Roses. If you happen to live nearby or are in range to make a visit, we hope you’ll come by and take a stroll. In the meantime, we thought it might be helpful to showcase some of the perennials that do such a great deal to bring magic to the Rose Garden. We hope they inspire you to plant some of your own.

The red spires of Lupine ‘Red Rum,’ the lavender-blue spikes of a Nepeta, and stands of dark purple Salvia ‘Caradonna’ provide contrasting colors amid the white blossoms of Rose Easy Spirit™.
The golden blossoms of Rose Easy Elegance® Yellow Submarine are enhanced by the blue flowers of a Campanula, which have the charming habit of intermingling with their neighbors.
Rose Easy on the Eyes™ finds flattering company amid mounds of Baptisia australis (rear), red-leaved Penstemon ‘Dark Towers,’ lavender-blue Nepeta Junior Walker™ (left), and the felted gray foliage of Stachys byzantina ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy’ (Lamb’s Ears).
The airy, creamy plumes of Aruncus dioicus (Goatsbeard) form a lovely backdrop for two pink-flowering Roses, while an Iris creates a dreamy pool of lavender-blue.

Click through to the Rose Companions section of our website to find more perennials that serve as excellent companions for Roses, and consider adding some to your garden.

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Beauty & Perfume in Our Rose Garden

A few years back, we repurposed a somewhat tired shrub border and installed a new garden highlighting Roses and some of their favorite companions. After all, there are sooo many Roses out there – we can’t grow them all, but we wanted to get to know a few new cultivars, learn about unfamiliar older varieties, watch for cold hardiness and disease resistance, etc. It’s been very educational and, in fact, we’ve had very few outright “misses”; no plants that clearly aren’t what we thought they were.

Aside from all that, it’s a lovely garden, and it’s perfuming the entire nursery at the moment. If you live in the area or can manage a visit, we hope you’ll swing by.

1. Easy On The Eyes™

Rose Easy on the Eyes™

2. Easy Elegance® Music Box

Rose Easy Elegance® Music Box

3. Easy Elegance® Yellow Submarine 

Rose Easy Elegance® Yellow Submarine

4. At Last®

Rose At Last®

5. Easy Elegance® Champagne Wishes

Rose Easy Elegance® Champagne Wishes

6. Double Knock Out®

Rose Double Knock Out®

7. Bonica®

Rose Bonica®

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What’s Going On in the Garden?

At White Flower Farm, we welcome hundreds of visitors each year during the growing season, and we invite them to take leisurely strolls around our display gardens. But because not all of our customers and fellow gardeners are in range of the farm, and because even those who visit might like an occasional behind-the-scenes peek at what’s happening here, we’re introducing What’s Going On in the Garden?, a series of occasional emails devoted to providing glimpses of what’s blooming in our borders, along with notes about the activities in our gardens and greenhouses. We hope you’ll enjoy this chance to garden alongside us.

To start the series, we had to begin with this year’s Tulips, which were spectacular. In the midst of a cold and often gusty spring, these jewels of the early season taught us all something about beauty, resilience, and grace.

There is tremendous range of color and form in the Tulip world, and the variations extend to Tulip foliage. The bold colored blossoms of Tulip ‘Arjuna’ were enough to make this variety a standout in our spring border, and the rippled leaves with golden edges added another layer of interest.

The farm’s head gardener, Cheryl Whalen, and her staff always incorporate plenty of Tulips into display beds, but new this season, we had the pleasure of watching the Tulip trial garden we planted last fall come to life. Last October, our horticulture team and gardening staff worked together to plan and plant the garden, and the bulbs were laid out in neat, tidy rows, each carefully labeled. The purpose of the trial was to grow each and every variety we offer – roughly 130 in total – and watch the individual varieties develop, study their characteristics including color, height, and blossom time, and make certain their performances were consistent with what we advertise. The trial also allowed our staff to conceive of new Tulip combinations. The earliest Tulips began blossoming in early to mid April. Mid-season varieties came on strong shortly after, and the Tulip season ended with a grand finale in mid-May. As the trial garden demonstrated, planting an array of Tulips with various bloom times allows gardeners to orchestrate waves of color, a rolling sequence of bloom at a time when the garden – and gardeners – are starved for color.

On a chilly morning in April, members of the White Flower Farm staff review the activity in the Tulip trial bed.

This year’s unusually cool spring meant the Tulips were forced to endure a hard frost, and we all kept our fingers crossed that night. In the morning, the plants were bowed down and seeming to shiver, their stems and foliage showing the alarming watery appearance that indicates potential tissue damage. When this happens, the key is to leave the Tulips undisturbed. Touching them may cause tissue damage that could significantly worsen the effects of the cold. In this case, the sun’s heat soon warmed the atmosphere, and by that afternoon, the Tulips were standing themselves back up by degrees. Plants subjected to a freeze may not always rebound, but if the duration of the freeze is short, they are often able to shake it off. The Tulip show went on, the flowers bringing bright pops of gorgeous color to the landscape. The spectrum of Tulip colors, sizes, and forms – from classic goblets and Parrots to fringed and Peony styles, made the trial beds pure joy to behold, and they were a magnet for visitors to the White Flower Farm Store and display gardens.

Tulip ‘Purissima Blonde’ and other Tulips were bowed down in the trial garden after the temperature plummeted to 30 degrees F overnight. But the plants all shook off the cold and got on with the show.

Elsewhere around the farm, Tulips were showcased in a variety of ways that offer plenty of inspiration for home gardeners. Cheryl and her staff always plant bulbs in strategic places throughout beds and borders, and this year was no exception. In the beds nearest the store, Tulips were densely planted amid Daffodil bulbs. When the flowers emerged together this spring, the effect was a confetti of spring color.

Head gardener Cheryl Whalen creates new bulb mixes each year. This combination featuring two Tulip varieties and one Narcissus was a favorite that will be appearing in our fall catalog.

Along the Lloyd Border and in other display beds, clusters of colorful Tulips were planted out amid existing shrubs and emerging perennials, creating a river of bright, bold color to draw the eye along. In some cases, Cheryl and her staff planted Tulip bulbs amid perennial ground-covers such as Myosotis sylvatica (Forget-Me-Not), Ajuga (Bugleweed), or Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’ (Creeping Jenny).

Different Tulip varieties in a range of harmonious colors are woven into the display beds at the farm. The blue ground cover is Myosotis sylvatica (Forget-Me-Not), a pretty partner for Tulips.

Tulips were also positioned in front of emerging shrubs such as Viburnum carlesii Spice Baby™ and Cotinus coggygria Winecraft Black® (Smokebush), so the emerging foliage or flowers could serve as an attractive backdrop. The colors provided by ground covers and shrubs heighten the effect of any Tulip display, creating a layered look and lively color contrasts.

Tulip ‘Sweet Light’ glows in the early spring garden with the fragrant flowers of Viburnum Spice Baby™ and our Hyacinth May Day Bouquet Collection adding color and perfume in the background.

Tulips, generally speaking, should be treated as annuals. While some varieties, including Species Tulips and Perennial Tulips such as Darwin Hybrids and Impression Tulips, may flower for up to three years, the majority should not be relied upon for repeat bloom in subsequent springs. At the farm, we are in the process of digging up and composting all of this spring’s Tulips and ordering the varieties we will be planting this fall. The fun of this process is that each autumn brings the opportunity to try new varieties and color combinations. Removing spent Tulips from the spring garden also opens up bare spots that can be filled with annuals or perennials that add a different kind of beauty to the garden as the season progresses.

What are we planting in the trial garden in place of the Tulips? Loads and loads of Dahlia tubers. And we’ll have plenty to tell you about that as the flowers begin to emerge in late summer.

SHOP ALL TULIPS

Five Ways to Use Woodland Strawberries (Fraises des Bois)

Woodland Strawberries are about the smallest you will find. But don’t let their diminutive size fool you. These oblong berries, each about the size of a small almond, pack a remarkable amount of flavor, a burst of true, scrumptious Strawberry that puts the taste of many bigger berries to shame. You won’t find woodland Strawberries at the grocery store for the simple reason that they don’t keep. They should be picked when deep red and ripe, and eaten right away. At the farm, we love the variety called ‘Red Wonder,’ which produces intensely flavorful berries all season long.

‘Red Wonder’ also has great value as a garden plant. It does not produce runners, which are common to many Strawberry plants. Instead, it grows in neat, low mounds. Strawberry ‘Red Wonder’ flowers all season long, but in a very hot summer, it may take a break before blooming again as the nights cool down.

1. Edge a Mixed Border

Our White Garden has for years featured a neat row of these ornamental plants.

2. Edge a Vegetable Garden

We sprinkle a few of these berries atop our breakfast cereal in the morning.

 

3. Plant in Containers

Using a Strawberry Jar makes it easier to grow more berries since you can pick them from all sides of the container. We used Mara des Bois Woodland Strawberries in this Strawberry Jar.

4. Create a Strawberry Patch

Strawberry ‘Red Wonder’ is perennial in zones 4-8, and will return year after year.

5. Line a Walkway

Plant these berries along your walkway in sun or part-shade and enjoy the cute white flowers and tasty Strawberries all season long.

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