I mentioned that lilies do well for me. They do, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had some learning experiences along the way. For one thing, I have a country garden with all the attendant critters that like to munch on lily bulbs. Also, as a genus lilies are not uniform in their requirements. So even though my Madonna lilies have struggled, my neighbors seem to flourish.
Madonna lilies are elegantly beautiful when they do well.
Mine have given different results in different years, they are planted closer to the surface than other lilies and they are available for planting earlier in the season (fall is the planting season for lily bulbs, but spring is the second best time). They bloom earlier, too; usually seen in June gardens.
One of my first attempts with growing lilies was the Asiatic lily, Enchantment. A deep orange, I had paired it with the rose, Fragrant Cloud. Oh, those were the days! In that city garden I could keep the hybrid tea roses from freezing to death over the winter.
Asiatic lilies are one of the easiest lilies to grow and I have a huge stand of golden ones of generic type. (I bought one of those grab bags for economical reasons).
They don’t have the fragrance of some of the other types, but they sure put on a beautiful show. Trumpet lilies are just as easy, and I grew several types in the city garden, they are tall for a windy country place, but fine if staked. I’m thinking of getting some in the fall, Black Dragon was one of my favorites.
For both the show and the sweetest of smells, Oriental lilies which bloom later in the season take all honors. They are a littler trickier to grow, liking rich soil and slightly acid or neutral pH.
These are flowers that really stand out and say “Garden!”. Think powerful presence flowers like peonies, hibiscus, etc.
Columbia-Platte Lilies are particularly beautiful. I still have ‘Tiger Babies’ and one of the ‘Butterfly’ hybrids…. although I better check for that one. The remodeling projects and house painting has wrecked havoc on my plantings.
Most of my lilies I bought through White Flower Farm. I notice that this year they have a mixed bag of butterfly hybrids. I would definitely consider purchasing those. The only drawback is not knowing what colors one is getting.
A frugal way to buy bulbs.
My L. regale was the result of buying up the sale clearance of Easter lily promotion at Krogers one year. Mainly because I totally lost all the ones I bought through WWF. Rodents….. the one bane of lilies in my garden. Rodents like to eat bulbs and lilies are especially toothsome, it seems.
Or Buy A Bag Of Bulbs
Grown En Masse
Years ago I had read in an old garden book of a scheme of herbaceous plantings based upon lily choices, now that I’ve grown lilies and seen how much they add to a garden I think it seems like a sensational idea.
An example of one garden implementing such an idea: the long borders rimming each side of the path are centered with lilies.
The beauty fo such a garden is obvious, but can you imagine the heady scent on a summer’s day? It must be intoxicating and wonderful.
Read all about Asiatic Garden Lilies on the profile page, (more photos and good varieties to look for…)
::repost from 7/9/06::