Saturday, March 31, 2012

Freeze Survivors

When our week of summer sharply snapped back to more typical March weather, Ed covered some early out lilies with dry fall leaves and plastic tubs.  Here the leaves are being returned to the tub ready for reuse.  Warm soil and insulation protected the early tender growth from freezing, 19 F after sunrise, but the number and spacing of these plants will continue to present a challenge.  Two tubs were required to protect these plants.  The need for cover will continue long after these lilies are taller than the tubs.  Our usually safe frost free date of June first is still many days away.

These orange spotted Asiatic lilies were part of a nameless mix that we purchased three seasons ago.  Their color is bright and beautiful and they grow invasively here.  Two bulbs have become many, enough to plant in three separate places in the garden.  Lack of fragrance left them waiting last fall while the lily sod house filled.   Everything in the picture grew from one mature bulb left here last year.  First and second year seed bulbs crowd the now many mature bulbs.  

Late frost will likely kill flower buds when these lilies are too large to cover.  A solution was to pot up two mature bulbs and their attending seedlings.  When frost or freeze threatens the potted plants will be moved inside.  After June is firmly here, the potted plants will be planted out in the garden to complete their year's growth.  

Something must be done to temper the lure of the lily.  Two new varieties will soon be here when the mail order plants are delivered.  What we have already exceeds our ability to care for them.  A larger lily sod house is in the plans for this summer.  A more permanent affair backed against a stone wall sounds good.  Its dimensions remain undefined.  Fewer lilies would also be a solution but Ed has been seen searching catalogs looking for the 2012 fall lily order.   

1 comment:

Donna said...

Seems my garden is not showing any lilies yet...and it doesn't especially like them in the wetter areas...well I tried...mine don't seem to multiply so maybe I need to ad a few to the drier areas...I have had to cover things with cloth lilacs were budding up with flowers and they needed protection for sure...