To enjoy the more popular spring blooms, such as tulips and daffodils, you would have had to plant the bulbs back in the fall. Fortunately, there are still a number of bulb varieties that you can plant as soon as the ground is thawed for enjoyment all summer long.

Ranunculus bloom early in the season in a burst of bright, sunny colours. Their round, rose-like shape and smaller height make them perfect for container planting or in the front of a border.

The native variety of anemone is a creamy colour with a green centre. These flowers have an English country garden look and are excellent choices for mid-summer bloom. Japanese varieties in pink or white bloom late in the season, just when the garden needs that injection of colour again. The seed heads are also quite beautiful and resemble those of the clematis.

Plant iris rhizones close to the surface and they will do well. Many irises love damp conditions near the edge of ponds, but others tolerate drought remarkably well. Check with your garden centre to choose the right one for your conditions.

Gladiolus and canna lilies are both tall, voluptuous flowers with tender bulbs that must be moved indoors in the fall. Gladiolus make excellent cutting flowers and look stunning in a tall vase, while cannas with their exotic leaves and tropical colours have that lush, jungle feel we love.

Although many spring-planted “bulbs” are actually tubers, corns or rhizones, the principles are the same. Plant the “bulb” at the recommended depth in well-drained soil. Note which plants are too tender for Canadian winters and dig them up in the fall. Store the bulbs in a dark, cool, dry place wrapped in newspaper or a paper bag and in the spring they’ll be ready to replant and enjoy again.