Oh, the Lilies!!!
The perennial beds are glorious right now and part of the reason is – Lily season!
I love LILIES, all LILIES … The show starts with the Asiatic’s, followed by the LO’s, and finally the Orientals, Orienpets and the Trumpets.
Asiatic’s come in all colors, many have brush strokes of contrasting color. Some are solid color and others may have a spotted appearance. Asiatic lilies have no fragrance. Asiatic are very easy to grow and enjoy. A full range of color is available to fit in any garden theme.
LO’s or LO hybrids are a cross between the “Easter Lily” and oriental lily hybrids. Usually found in pastel shades more are being hybridized with deeper richer shades. LO’s may have a light fragrance.
Orienpets are another cross, this time between the (you guessed it!) Orientals and trumpet lily. Orienpets take the best from both their parentage, fragrance and height. I love a lily you can smell without bending down.
Trumpets are an older class of lily. Usually quite tall and always fragrant, their flowers shape is a distinct trumpet shape. Many trumpets have two different colors on the trumpet, one on the outside of the trumpet and one within.
Orientals have always been a favorite of mine. When my husband and I were newly married and on a
strict budget he would occasionally bring me a stem of Stargazer lily from the Minneapolis farmers market on his way home from work and make my day, actually a few days, as a stem and its fragrance can last as many as 5 days. Orientals are commonly pastel shades though through recent breeding breakthroughs they have produced deeper shades. Yelloween or Golden Stargazer is a favorite in my garden. Standing and blooming at 5 to 6feet the clear yellow flowers are wonderfully fragrant.
I should mention to all lily lovers and cat lovers alike, the two are a deadly combination. ALL Lily are toxic to cats. If you own a kitty remember to place your bouquets in a location they can’t reach.
All lily are quite easy to grow and enjoy. 4-6 hours of sun and well drained soil is all you need. Some lily will tolerate light shade (in fact the more delicate orientals will love some afternoon shade), but all will do best in 4-6 hours of sun. When purchasing lily bulbs choose only firm healthy looking bulbs. Size does matter!! Large bulbs will always produce a larger plant and flowers than a small bulb. All newly planted lily’s will benefit from a protective mulch added after the first killing frost. Planting time is variable, I have purchased bulbs both in the spring and fall. I prefer the spring for planting so the bulb has a full season to grow and acclimate in its new position in the garden. When cutting lily to enjoy in the vase, remember to never take more than 1/3rd of the stem, the lily will need the remaining stem to store nutrients for the following season. Many lily’s can produce bulblets that over time can be dug and used in different garden spots.
If you have never tried these lilies add some to your wish list and you too will be saying… Oh, the Lilies!