Lilies are one of the main joys of August, if you ask me. These are not the blooms of the Asian lilies that come earlier in the season, but those lushly fragrant Oriental lilies and the tall spires of Trumpet and Aurelian strains.
These are opulent flowers, luxurious in color, form and perfume.
If you don’t have the late season lilies blooming in your garden, the time to order them is now, along with other fall planted bulbs. They will be available in local stores sometime in September, usually. I have so fallen in love with the newer “Orienpet” selections that I hope to plant some in my garden this fall. I photographed some in the Inniswood garden in years past.
In my first garden there were some tall Trumpet lilies, such as the ‘Black Dragon Strain’. Here I tried Lilium regale, but the voracious rodents soon took care of that experiment. This time I hope to “box” the bulbs in hardware cloth. These bulbs are worth the trouble to protect and to plant with amended soil because they bring so much beauty to the summer garden.
They rival roses in all but the fact that they aren’t shrubs, and so don’t have quite the substance of form, but their vertical visuals make up for that. In fact, it is in the Rose garden section that the park at Inniswood has their most exciting display of many lilies.
What do you need to plant lilies in your own garden?
- Sunshine, at least a half day
- A well-drained location
- A spot ventilated by air, not so close as to encourage disease.
- If they love their spot and get crowded, lift and divide them in September or October.
How To Care for Them
- Plant the bulbs 4″ to 6″ deep
- Mulch them
- Fertilize at emerging time and then a month later, beware of too much nitrogen. Bone meal is welcome.
- Water sparingly, lilies are used to dry conditions, normally.