Friday, July 6, 2012
Focus On Oriental Lilies
This Chinese Trumpet Lily Regale has been with us for three years. Lack of past proper late frost protection has kept these lilies flowerless until this year. In the past frost would blacken the newly emerged green tip. Later a couple of new leaves would generate enough growth to keep the bulbs alive. With proper spring care we finally have flowers. These were well worth both the wait and the effort. Pure white petals contrasted with the bright yellow throat please the eye. Its scent is quite unlike that of any other lily. Subtle sweetness pleases a nose brought near. Proper care is in the future for Lily Regale.
London Lily was a free gift included with last year's order. Three bulbs have become five full sized flowering stalks with several smaller plants growing at the base. A faint fragrance combined with hardiness and a bright yellow color make this lily a winner. The only problem presented is what to do with all of those bulbs. Some will winter over in the new garden down by the road.
Who does not have a history with the Easter Lily? This bulb was found this spring when we were preparing a bed for planting. The neglected bulb was placed in a pot and only recently planted here. Its short stem supporting a full sized blossom is comical in appearance. The yellow pollen stains are now gone. Bees harvested the pollen leaving us with a pure white flower.
It may be time to scale back our efforts with the Easter Lily. We are at least three hardiness zones outside of its comfort zone. Plants moved into the house in January displayed normal growth and flowers. Even with frost protection these lilies have always survived outside but have never displayed normal growth. Keeping enough for late winter forcing sounds like a sensible plan.
Camelot is new to us this year. Three spring purchased bulbs were placed in a large pot. The pot took its place on the wall just outside of the basement door. When cold nights threatened, the pot was brought inside. After June first, our frost free date, the potted mass was placed into the garden. Age has made deftly handling three gallons of damp soil as a lump a bit of a challenge but it seems to be a workable option. We could treat lilies as an annual, trading money for effort in dealing with the rigors of our frost fickle springs. At the very least, spring purchased lily bulbs promise that we will have some July flowers here.