Garden Photo of the Day

Bulbs (and Bulblike Plants) in Susan’s Garden

Bulbs worth planting

close up of light pink asiatic lilies

Today we’re in St. Paul, Minnesota, visiting with Susan Warde.

Tulips don’t do well for me, and I don’t have many daffodils, but here’s a seasonal tour of some bulb or bulblike plants that grow in my garden.

close up of small white and blue flowersDutchman’s breeches (Dicentra cucullaria, Zones 3–8) is a native spring ephemeral. Technically the underground parts consist of tubers, but they are decidedly bulblike. Interspersed with the ferny leaves of the Dutchman’s breeches are Siberian squill (Scilla siberica, Zones 2–8), which turns the entire garden into a sea of blue in April.

close up of mottled leaves and small white flowersAnother April bloomer is our native trout lily (Erythronium albidum, Zones 3–8). Its mottled leaves echo those of the yellow trillium (Trillium luteum, Zones 4–8), seen in bud in the lower part of the photo.

close up of Red trilliumRed trillium (Trillium recurvatum, Zones 4–9) also has mottled leaves. The wine-red flowers are not very showy, but these are planted next to a walkway where I can appreciate their subtlety.

close up of white daffodilsFlowering in mid-May are these delicate daffodils (Narcissus triandrus ‘Thalia’, Zones 3–8). Pure white, with multiple blooms per stem, they’re my favorites.

pink lilies above various foliage plantsWhat would a garden be without lilies? These martagons (Lilium martagon hybrids, Zones 3–8), the first to flower in my garden (early June), are seen here among Heuchera, Hosta, and Canadian ginger (Asarum canadense, Zones 3–7).

close up of light pink asiatic liliesWith its small flowers and recurved petals, this Asiatic lily (Lilium ‘Corsage’, Zones 3–7) resembles a martagon. I ordered nine bulbs in the fall of 2019 and 13 more the following fall. This past June there were more than 60 flowering stalks in the garden. The blossoms lack anthers, so they don’t attract bees, but they also don’t dust you and your clothing with orange pollen.

bright orange asiatic lily in the shadeAn unknown Asiatic lily, this is the first perennial I ever bought, more than four decades ago. It was labeled as “yellow.” Surprise! Not long ago I removed all orange flowers from my garden except this one, which I put in a shady, dry area. It keeps coming back in spite of mistreatment.

close up of white Orienpet liliesThis beautiful lily is an Orienpet, ‘Silver Scheherazade’ (Zones 4–8). Tall, graceful, long-flowering—I couldn’t resist ordering more of them for next season, even though the scarlet lily beetles were a scourge last summer.

close up of white Oriental liliesAnother of my favorites is the Oriental lily Lilium speciosum ‘Album’ (Zones 5–8). It’s not particularly robust, but it begins flowering in late August when all my other lilies are done.

close up of white autumn crocusAutumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale ‘Album’, Zones 4–9) is not related to true crocuses, though like them it grows from a corm rather than a true bulb. It sends up large, floppy, tuliplike leaves in the spring that eventually die back, and you forget all about it. Then in mid-September up pop these striking leafless flowers. In my garden they appear through the foliage of prairie smoke (Geum triflorum, Zones 3–7). Behind them in the photo is a daylily.


Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.

View Comments


  1. [email protected] 10/11/2023

    Thank you for sharing...I did not know about lat3 blooming lilies...will add some to my gardens.

  2. MohawkValley 10/11/2023

    Very nice ! It's always a welcome sight to see plants flowering late in the summer season and in the autumn . Keep up the good work ! Peace .

  3. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 10/11/2023

    Wonderful selection of plants! I, too, have seen too many lily beetles for one lifetime, but don't despair!
    Just when you think they are gone, or when you've gotten the last one - most people forget to look under the leaves of the plants. There you will see groupings of small splotches - eggs- just waiting until the right time to hatch. Getting rid of the eggs is easier than the adult beetle. Wearing gloves, I just lightly pinch the entire leaf between my thumb and fore finger and run it the whole length of the leaf. Takes care of the problem. Doing this little step will go a long way to reducing and eliminating the beetles

  4. btucker9675 10/11/2023

    What a wonderful collection of photos - everything is so lovely!

  5. User avater
    treasuresmom 10/11/2023

    Love those martagons!

  6. User avater
    simplesue 10/13/2023

    I love your trout lily! I always forget the name of those, so glad to see it on your post.
    Your autumn blooming crocuses are gorgeous, as are all of your flowers!

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest