Gardening With Lilies
Lilies can be grown in any garden – ranging from a small patio with bulbs planted in pots to regal homes where one may grow the plants in naturalized parkland or set them in the borders to delight the home owners as well as visitors. The options are so wide ranging that one does not require delaying or forcing tactics to display the flowers between late spring and the frosts towards the end of autumn. While some lilies are so small that they are apt for a rock garden, there are others that are ideally matched for semi-woodlands or woodlands. Then again, there are numerous different lily cultivars that can be grown as flowering border plants or in beds and shrubberies. In addition, the lily blooms appear in infinite range of colors that are useful for leading or augmenting nearly all possible color arrangements in your garden. The color schemes may vary from lively reds and oranges to delightful mauves and pinks to subtle whites and creams.
You can plant various types of lily bulbs in your garden. Once they all grow and become established in their natural conditions, they look right even if you do not lift them periodically. Some of the plants seem to be at their best when growing in the same site for years include winter aconites, snowdrops, anemones, daffodils and bluebells. In fact, having grown in the same location for years together, lilies seem to just own the site. There are several types of lilies that can adapt well to this kind of lifestyle.
For instance, Lilium pyrenaicum and Lilium martagon are dependable neutralizing types. However, it may take about a year for these plants to get established. Similarly, Lilium pardalinum and Lilium hansonii along with their various forms or hybrids are also equally dependable. This is a short list, wherein we can also include Lilium henryi, which is known to remain alive for several decades without flowering when they are suppressed by scrubs. These plants begin to flower again when the scrub is cleared. Ideally, this species as well as Lilium hansonii should be grown in a site where there is some shade. This is not so much for the health of the plants, but for cosmetic reasons. When grown in full sunshine, the color of the blooms is likely to bleach quicker than they would usually do.
One can see the Madonna lily (botanical name Lilium candidum) still being grown in many cottage gardens. It is possible that lily species grows better independently, where the plants are unlikely to be affected by the viruses invading other lilies. In addition, such benign neglect may also be beneficial for the Madonna lily.
The tiger lily (botanical name Lilium lancifolium or L. tigrinum) is another type that naturalizes easily. It has been found that the Madonna lily can be easily stressed by viruses with its foliage turning lightly mottled and dying prematurely along with a decreasing number of blooms and buds as well as the flowers becoming disfigured. Similarly, some lily species like Lilium lancifolium may be infected by viruses, but still not manifest these initial symptoms in their growth as well as performance. In fact, the foliage of these species is deep green, which to some extent conceals the lighter stripes – a symptom of being affected by viruses. Although these plants may apparently look healthy, they are certainly a source of such infections that are spread by insect vectors like aphids. These miniscule vampire-like, sap-sucking pests always transmit some materials into the plants on which they survive. If these insects have fed on infected plants earlier, they will certainly pass on the debilitating diseases onto their new hosts. Consequently, the effects will be catastrophic. Hence, if you are growing Lilium candidum or Lilium lancifolium, it is advisable that you grow them nowhere near other lilies. They should always been grown at a safer distance from other lilies in order to prevent the infection from spreading.
In the border
Both garden beds as well as borders are basically full of life. Precisely speaking, the same border will transform from day to day and also every season. Hence, many may be somewhat sceptical while going through some border designs that have been created to offer extraordinary color effects. On many occasions, one plant will bloom sooner that it actually should and, there may also be occasions when some will bloom later compared to others.
The cultivars of Asiatic lilies are among the best types for growing amidst herbaceous plants in borders or beds. They are not only easy to cultivate, but these cultivars also possess the aptitude to endure a variety of soils. In addition, they are strong as well as showy. Usually, these lilies grow up to a height of anything between 75 cm (30 inches) and 1.8 meters (6 feet). These hybrids also produce flowers in a wide assortment of colors. However, the upward-facing blooms are by far most widespread. You can choose from numerous Asiatic hybrid lilies that produce outward-facing and pendant blooms.
There are a number of simple arrangements that usually work well. Often several clusters of Asiatic lilies go very well with mauve or blue flowers. In fact, growing sky-blue cornflowers are great for giving lilies like white “Apollo”, pale yellow ‘Medaillon’ or cream “Mont Blanc” a very explicit lift. Similarly, robust geraniums are also effective – the ground covering foliage of these plants looks wonderful when they shade the lily bases and bear flowers of contrasting hues between the end of spring and late summer. While “Johnson’s Blue” is especially a wonderful selection, the bright magenta hued flowers of G. macrorrhizum are all the more effective. You can achieve further gentle patterns by combining plants bearing flowers of the same hue. For instance, the subtle yellow flowers of “Medaillon”, which blooms in early summer appear excellent when grown with achillea, candytuft, lavender as well as the Deutzia x elegantissima’s variegated foliage. This is a robust lily and, hence, it requires little or no support or shelter. However, if they required these, deutzia and lavender are possibly the most useful shrubs that can provide them to this lily.
Subject to what you are actually planting, in the beginning of spring, your garden may possibly be taken over by bulbous flowers, but these will never be lilies. Nevertheless, you will find your garden filled with your favourite flowers like daffodils and, maybe mostly yellow blooms and these are likely to gradually give way to red tulips. Doronicums, which appear with their yellow daisy blooms early in the season, are followed by colored pyrethrums prior to the onset of summer. With the sign of another new season, you can get rid of the weakening tulip and daffodil foliage clumps. You may subsequently distribute some seeds of annual flowering plants like candy tuft or love-in-the-mist around these dying clumps in order to close the gaps left by the daffodils and tulips. Then, all of a sudden, you find the lilies emerging from the ground amidst the mushrooming spring growth. In case the lily spikes appear quite early in the season, you can assess the worth of the vegetation in the vicinity – doing this will help in providing your lilies with some protection from frosts.
Though spring is considered to be the start of a new season, perhaps early summer is among the most exhilarating times in any garden. This is the time when nearly all things seem to be in complete growth and the plant masses appear to be bursting in multi-colored blooms. In fact, all these take place in just days of the plants achieving their greatest length and the sun feels really warm on the back. During this time, some lily species already start producing their exquisite flowers. For instance, the flowers of Lilium pyreniacum are already open towards the end of spring and in cooler regions, they may open in the beginning of summer. This lily is a very resilient species and can even survive on the border of a thicket or in the bottom of a hedge. In fact, it is always wonderful to have lilies like this one that can look after them.
Lime haters and evergreens
Presence of lime in your garden soil will possibly have an influence on the type of lilies that you should grow. For instance, the Asiatic lilies, European species and majority of trumpet hybrids possess the capability to endure some amount of lime in the soil. On the other hand, Orientals like “Star Gazer” are very susceptible to lime. In fact, camellias, rhododendrons, and heathers flourish in acidic soils and, hence, these shrubs can be grown as excellent companion plants for lilies, especially those that hate lime.
While surrounding the lime-hating lilies with rhododendrons will definitely give them some protection from lime, heathers as well as their low-growing relatives may possibly be used to provide the lilies with some shade, especially over the plants’ lower parts. Since rhododendrons and heathers are all evergreen bushes having a deep green color, they help to highlight the colors of nearly all lilies, particularly those having paler shades. Even lilies bearing strong orange and red hues can appear to be very striking when grown among these shrubs. However, some people may find “Enchantment” somewhat strong for being grown together with rhododendrons and camellias. Moreover, lily flowers appear only after the flowering season of these shrubs end and, hence, it is unlikely that there will be any contention of extrovert coloring.
Growing lilies bearing white, pale yellow and cream hued flowers with evergreens is certainly a safe bet and they even appear highly effective. In fact, white trumpets are especially impressive when grown in such a luxuriant background. Even growing the stronger yellows, especially bold Asiatic groups like the upward “Connecticut King”, whose blooms are upward-facing, “Luxor”, whose throat region has a richer color, or “Sun Ray” with these evergreen shrubs would be fine. You can also introduce some degree of refinement or not a very animated beauty by growing a number of pendant Asiatics. In such instances, the Citronella strain bulbs would certainly be the most appropriate choice, as they produce copious dangling vividly yellow turk’s-cap blooms.
If you wish to adjust the soil’s pH levels to go with any particular lily, it is advisable that you prepare special raised beds or rock beds, as they will help you to achieve the right soil pH level. In case of gardens with conspicuously limy soil, it will definitely be easier to limit the choice of the lilies to only those species and hybrids that have the ability to endure lime. Nevertheless, you should bear in mind that even the roots of lime-loving or lime-tolerant lilies have a tendency to travel around leaf mould strata and such organic substances. Even if you are living in an area where the soil is extremely limy, you can still enjoy lime-hater lilies. All that you need to do is grow these lilies in containers or pots with soil obtained from outside or in a suitable potting mix.
Lilies for the rock garden
A number of relatively smaller species of lilies may be easily growing in a rock bed or a rock garden. Some of the lilies that you may grow in a rock bed or rock garden include Lilium duchartrei and Lilium concolor along with some more rare and exacting little types that are closely related to the Nomocharis genus, for instance Lilium amoenum, Lilium henricii, Lilium oxypetalum, Lilium nanum, Lilium mackliniae, and Lilium sherriffiae. All these lilies have a preference for cool conditions and love to survive on girt and leaf mould.
In addition, there are a number of smaller hybrids of some American lily species like Lilium bolanderi and Lilium kelloggii that would be absolutely perfect for growing in a rock garden or rock bed. These lilies as well as those that are close to the Nomocharis types are seldom available for sale, but sometimes you can also propagate them from seeds that are often distributed by lily societies or groups. Alternatively, you can also obtain the seeds commercially.
If your rock garden is comparatively large, you can also accommodate Lilium pumilum and Lilium bulbiferum as well as their smaller hybrids. You can easily avail the seeds as well as the plants of Lilium formosanum and when they open their large, gleaming white trumpet-like flowers they are just a few centimetres in height, making this species one of the smallest.