Wednesday, July 20, 2011
A Lily By Any Other Name
In the slightly organized chaos that is our gardening style, confusion about our lilies abounds. We think that this bright yellow lily is 'London', a free gift from McClure and Zimmerman. We are however by no means sure about that. When the new bulbs were potted up this spring, each pot was given a masking tape label with the name of the variety written in permanent black marker. Black marker on masking tape remains readable for a very short time in the sunlight. By the time we noticed the disappearing ink it had disappeared completely.
Here we have two lilies purchased from a local day lily breeder. 'Indian Giver' was the name on the label and the picture on that label matches the purple lily on the right, but what about the other lily that came in the same pot. It is gorgeous with its yellow and rose throat and frilly edges. Calling it 'Not Indian Giver' doesn't seem right, but with all the named day lilies out there, how can we identify it?
Finally this white lily with a yellow throat and red bud opened and we were able to identify it from the catalog description. This tall trumpet lily is 'Black Dragon' from the Black Magic strain of lilies collected in China during the early 1900's. All of the lilies are breathtakingly beautiful named or not. They look terrific even in this rainless 90 degree heat. I stayed out there just long enough to get their pictures. Perhaps it was the heat and humidity that left me breathless. This heat will pass and I'll have all winter to look for my missing flower names. I love a good mystery especially one that takes place in a garden.