Thursday, August 2, 2012
This new month brings an end to lily flowers but what a finish it is. Three Simplon Liliy bulbs were purchased in 2009. Three had become two and each remaining plant now has two strong stems indicating that division is needed this fall. Various sources describe a maximum height of 1 M for this variety. Ours are nearly 2 M tall and the four stems carry fifty buds. The brown pollen bearing anthers are removed when the flowers first open. Mother liked her Easter Lilies pure white so this activity provides quiet moment of remembrance while enveloped in a sweet cloud of scent. That provides a special start to another day in the garden.
Stargazer was our first lily. We did not know that protection from late spring frost was a requirement if a lily was to survive here. Our learning curve is slow so in time three plants became one sad runt. The poor excuse of a bulb was moved to the edge of the garden but it was not forgotten. Last fall one respectable bulb was potted up and placed in the lily sod house. It escaped the rodent attack. This old friend has made quite a comeback. It will now receive proper care. With any luck, we may find some new bulbs when we prepare this one for winter.
These Hotline lilies opened pure white with tiny red spots. Like the trillium, the white matures to a lovely pink. These are in there first year here. They are a definite keeper.
Plans are developing for fall management of our lily bulbs. Despite the problems with the rodents, we are going to give the lily sod house another run. The interior base wall will be edged with dimension lumber. A clean sharp edge will provide no cover for nesting mothers. We have a granular repellent that will be kept fresh around the emerging stems. Spring traps will also be in place. Daily vigilance will prompt further action at the first sign of trouble. This lily season may be ending but we are already preparing for next year.