Saturday, September 29, 2012
Lily Regale Winter Ready
We have been working with these Chinese Trumpet lilies for at least four years. Van Bourgondien lists them as hardy to zone 3 so we thought it was a simple matter of placing the bulbs in the ground and flowers would follow. Spring frosts burned their new growth black year after year and no flowers followed. The three bulbs in the top picture spent last winter planted out in the garden. Frost hit them again this spring but they did manage to send up late green leaves. The bulb on the right is likely to divide itself next year. All three bulbs have been placed in the lily sod house where they will enjoy protection from late frosts. We hope all three will finally flower next summer.
These bulbs spent last winter in the sod house and they did flower this year. Stem roots above the bulb provide secure anchorage for a heavy flower laden stalk and may support new bulb development. Each short green leaf springs from a new bulb. The bulb on the right has quite a tangle of new bulb growth. We will sort this jumble out next spring when we set out the parent plant.
Each pot is now home to one bulb that flowered last year and one bulb that took the frost. White foam board has been added to the walls of the sod house to try and control grass growth there. Last spring the grass curtain provided cover for the rodent that made its nest here. Limiting that grass is the first line of defense against the lily eating creature. Traps will be set wherever the rodent chews through the foam. 22 caliber ammunition filled with bird shot is on hand. Its use is unlikely since it would injure the lily stems. Repellent granules are also on hand. Our preparations and vigilance may allow us to keep the pots in the ground here until they grow too tall to fit under the tarp.