CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Bill Mills of TerraSalis Garden Center planted some beautiful bulbs last year, and he's ready to recommend many of them for gardens in our area. Mills often tries out items before stocking them at TerraSalis, so his picks are always worth noting.
"There's a Muscari I've loved for a while: Muscari latifolium comes back every year, with a bicolored purple flower. It's broad-leaved, which is unusual for Muscari," Mills said. Muscari are also known as grape hyacinths.
Others on Mills' top list include:
Iris reticulate: This reticulated iris is a tiny one that's good for naturalizing; it disappears quickly so foliage isn't around too long
Allium karataviense: This one has interesting foliage that really strappy; 10 inches tall, it's white with lavender touches. It lasts a long time and is deer-resistant.
Spanish bluebells: I love the blue and white ones (Hyacinthoides hispanica), which are great to naturalize.
Tulips: Blushing Beauty is a late one that's tall, over 2 feet in height. It's an odd mix of orangey-pink, with a lily flowered form.
Naked Lady: This one (Amaryllis belladonna) takes some planning, because it's sort of an unusual flower - but if you use it sprinkled in your beds with other things, it's good. It blooms late in the summer.
Mills suggests planting a variety of tulips that will come up in early spring, midspring and later, so you can shift colors in your garden. "That way, your garden changes and you can go from one color palette to another," he said.