Sunday, August 18, 2013
Our oriental lilies found this year's weather not to their liking. Life under the tarp afforded protection from late frosts but moisture extremes left most of the leaves spotted brown. Entire leaves soon turned completely brown and dropped from the stalks. What flowers did open were at the top of a naked stem and could not have their picture taken in that sorry looking condition. We must find a better way to grow these treasures so far north of their native climate zone.
These Simplon lilies are planted in a circle well removed from neighbors. It was possible to place an inverted plastic trash can over the lilies without crushing nearby plants. We will redo other planting areas to allow for lily covering in place. Now, a row of lilies separates flowers and vegetables at the ends of many long rectangular beds. There is no way to cover a row of lilies without mashing nearby companions.
Each morning now, my first task is to remove the pollen bearing anthers from newly opened flowers. These pure white flowers look better to me if they remain unstained by cinnamon colored pollen. When newly opened, the pollen is still tightly held in place and can be removed without leaving a stain. Later in the day, the anther drops nearly free, the pollen matures and stains follow. Standing close to the plant removing these stainers, places ones nose in among the flowers. There is no better way to start a day in the garden.
Salmon Star is our other lily success this year. New bulbs were ordered because of uncertainty about the appearance of the old bulbs. Last year's rodent attacks left most of the old plants in a sorry condition. The spring purchased bulbs are just now flowering while the older plants that did survive are past.
Why the orange pollen leaves no stain is a puzzle. Replanting this area to allow for covers in place will present some puzzles. The nearby chrysanthemum may be a treasured mammoth pink. Moving it after it flowers will be too late in the year for it to establish roots. Perhaps we should snip off all of the buds and move it now. We won't see flowers this year but the plant might survive. Another choice is to leave it in place and simply place the plastic pail on some of the plant. Transplanting some of the mum could be done in the spring. That sounds like the best solution.