Lilies In The Garden
Provided you plant lilies in a favourable place and ensure that they get their basic requirements, they will fill your garden with exquisiteness, different colors and fragrance. Therefore, if you want to grow lilies, it is advisable that you select a site having proper drainage and receiving sunshine for no less than half a day. If the location is extremely shady, the plants will have a tendency to stretch themselves and bend in the direction of the sun. In fact, trumpet lilies are most sensitive to shaded locations. In general, lilies have a preference for full sun, provided their bulbs have been planted deep inside the soil to be able to keep cool once the temperatures start soaring.
Lilies with perennials
Characteristically, Lilium lankongense as well as its hybrids are very graceful. These plants bear flowers with wonderful shapes with their swept back petals hanging delicately and broadly-spread heads with pyramidal forms. These lilies usually bear pink and pastel shade flowers, which are not only fascinating, but also lasting. In fact, the flowering season of this lily species and its hybrids lasts till late summer. When you grow these lilies bearing pale hued flowers among those producing blooms of darker colors, they look extremely attractive. In fact, you can also complement them with plants bearing flowers of similar shades, for instance cream or yellow roses. Their graceful flower spikes along with slender leaves enhance their beauty.
Currently, several named Lilium lankongense hybrids along with a number of unnamed hybrids are being cultivated in different regions of the world. If you are successful in growing these lilies, they are really outstanding. However, they usually die out quickly when grown in soils that are not so favourable for their growth.
Pink lilies are usually very delightful when grown in summer gardens. In addition, they also have a prominent role in the admired color theme blues, mauves and lilacs grown in a background of omnipresent greens. While this may appear to be an incredibly safe color range, it is also extremely significant as well as charming, especially during the summer months. In fact, when you include a brush of pink, it helps to create a highlight and in a further successful arrangement you can also manage to stray somewhat by making some space for growing the Achillea “Moonshine”, which bears mustard-yellow blooms, or the Alchemilla mollis, which has frothy, but same color flowers, thereby creating a complete contrast.
Many yellow lilies, particularly the brassy golds, would beat the cool, but it would produce a delightful combination of blue-mauve hues. However, adding a touch of mustard or lemon provides a little additional bite to make the entire scenario livelier. In any case, these are all issues related to scale. If you have a traditional herbaceous border running about 100 yards long, it can effectively manage additional flashes of complementary colors even without messing up with an overall subdued color scheme. In this instance, you can plant an occasional gold, lemon or orange lily variety in groups of white and pink lilies. No doubt, they will create a lively effect enhancing the beauty of your garden.
The trumpet lilies also start opening by the time it is mid-summer or towards the end of summer. When these lilies open, they introduce their characteristic aura to the garden and remember these lilies are somewhat heavyweight performers. In fact, most gardeners regard trumpet lilies as real lilies and despite the fact that usually they are considered to be white lilies, in reality they bear flowers of various different hues, including pink.
It is worth mentioning here that lilies called Pink Perfection are basically very much a similar clone series. All these lilies bear more or less rich pink hued flowers and the plant that produces the richest pink flowers is somewhat understated as “deep beetroot”. These lilies can certainly be extremely impressive having stems that often grow up to a height of 2 meters (6 feet) and bear anything between a single flower to as many as three dozen big flowers having the shape of a trumpet. Apart from their striking visual appeal, flowers of the Pink Perfection variety fill the air around it with their intense aroma. Even small buds growing on somewhat modest stems also create a significant impact and this is one reason why they are possibly easier to feature in any garden scheme. You may also experiment by growing other plants bearing flowers that have shades of pink with whites and greys with the Pink Perfection to create a striking, but pleasant show.
Lilies with roses and other shrubs
The species Lilium regale has been traditionally associated with roses. While this lily species may be somewhat out of fashion these days and is more of nostalgia, several old ideas are established and they cannot be meaningless. In fact, these flowers always have a fresh look. Just visualize Lilium regale with lavender growing at the front and honey-suckle, ascending with clematis through sprawling roses in the background.
There are a number of shrubs that serve as effective complements to lilies. One such shrub is lavender, which is neither very large nor extremely robust. Lavender not only offers support as well as shelter for several lilies, but the flowers and foliage of lavender also complement the colors as well as the nature of lilies. Brachyglottis (syn. Senecio) or “Sunshine” is another useful support shrub that can be grown with lilies. Regardless of its name, this shrub is a genuinely wonderful attendant type having silvery foliage throughout the year, in addition to producing bunches of golden hued daises as a bonus during the summer. This shrub thrives on all types of soils, subject to the fact that it gets enough sun and the soil is well drained. This plant can also be grown in the form of an excellent cover to patch up soils that are very poor.
As in the case of lavender, the color of Brachyglottis foliage serves as a wonderful background for all colors of lilies. In fact, all types of lilies with silver and gold, silver and white, silver and orange or silver and pink gain from this combination.
Dwarf patio lilies
When we talk of dwarf patio lilies the image of Asiatic lilies like “Mont Blanc” or “Harmony” with salmon-orange blooms immediately conjures in our mind. These lily cultivars have short and sturdy stems that bear flowers at a height of anything between 60 cm and 75 cm (24 inches and 30 inches). However, you can find lilies with even shorter stems, which are apt for growing in pots or planting near the frontage of any bed as well as for complementing the relatively taller border plants.
One such lily variety named “Pixie” bears extremely light cream hued flowers having a greenish throat along with white tips. Their heads face upwards opening wide at a height of about 30 cm (12 inches). There are several cultivars of Pixie and those producing orange and red blooms are especially popular. “Golden Pixie” produces vivid-hued showy flowers and this lily can be cultivated without much problem. You can achieve a somewhat lovely color contrast and harmonizing flower type if you plant “Golden Pixie” with more delicate, but eye catching plant, for instance “Miss Wilmott’s Ghost” (scientific name Eryngium giganteum). Another biennial plant, the pretty thistle produces copious seeds and, hence, there is not problem to hoe out the additional seedlings, just allowing enough to remain for accompanying the lilies that would emerge in the following season.
Currently, several dwarf trumpet species are being bred and these will help the gardeners to grow trumpet lilies in containers and also manage them very easily. One of these dwarf trumpets have been hybridized from Lilium longiflorum and “Black Dragon”. When established, “Black Dragon” may grow up to a height of 1.5 meters to 1.8 meters (5 feet to 6 feet), but the stems of new hybrid “Longidragon” just grow up to a height of 60 cm to 90 cm (2 feet to 3 feet). However, they produce magnificent white hued trumpet blooms having the conventional dark reverses of its parent. The flowers of Alladin hybrids, which is an American series come in an assortment of colors. These hybrids were created by crossing Lilium longiflorum (Easter lily) with a variety of Asiatic lilies. One can even mistake them for Asiatic lilies with large, upward-facing flowers. Their stems reach a height of anything between 60 cm and 90 cm (2 feet and 3 feet) and they bloom during the period between the beginning of summer and mid-summer.
For several decades now, florists have been receiving dwarf Orientals from commercial lily growers. The most prominent among these dwarf Orientals is “Star Gazer”. When grown in the garden, this cultivar usually attains a height of about 60 cm to 90 cm (2 feet to 3 feet), but those grown in containers are treated so that their growth is inhibited and they can be marketed when they are just over 30 cm (12 inches) in height. However, currently a range of genuinely genetic dwarf Orientals is available. These genetic dwarfs were created as a result of a series of breeding that commenced several years back with the mutation of Lilium auratum dwarf.
One of these genetic dwarfs, the “Little Girl”, produces radiant soft pink flowers with crimson spottings. On the other hand, “Little Joy” bears pink flowers having a pink strip on each petal, while another relatively taller variety named “Mona Lisa” grows up to a height of about 50 cm to 60 cm (20 inches to 24 inches) and produces pink and white blooms. The last variety has been introduced into the European market and its big, outward facing blooms are highly impressive. They not only look wonderful when grown in pots, but are equally marvellous in borders. The white and pink hues of these flowers are underlined with deep crimson spots, which appear in each petal’s centre.
In addition to the ones discussed above, there are three other dwarf lilies that are sold as “Little Rascals”. These include “Mr. Sam”, which bears white and rich pink flowers; “Mr. Ed”, bearing pure white booms; and ‘Mr. Rudd,’ whose flowers come in white as well as golden hues. These dwarf lilies only grow up to a height of 30 cm (12 inches), but produce copious outward-facing blooms.
Orientals in the garden
Lilium auratum and Lilium speciosum are considered to be the main original Oriental lily species and today they are nothing more than somewhat short-lived plants in just a few gardens. However, it is not necessary that the frustration experienced by gardeners owing to the failure or just partial success in growing these two species will be passed on to the hybrids developed from them. On the other hand, nearly all the hybrids developed from these founder Oriental species that are available on the market are extremely easy to grow and are reliable as well. Nevertheless, even these hybrids have a preference for full sunshine and lime-free soil that is loaded with humus. Provided these plants are grown in such conditions, they can be much more overwhelming towards the end of summer and beginning of autumn, when majority of these lilies bloom naturally.
It has been often found that lily growers often shunt the familiar Oriental lily named “Star Gazer” into the garden after they acquire it for growing in pots and enjoy its blossoms indoors. The stems of this lily grow up to a height of 60 cm to 90 cm (2 feet to 3 feet) and bear rich crimson hued flowers that are upward-facing. This lily is generally associated with various border plants. Growing this lily against a backdrop of silver-grey foliage is a very effective combination. Just imagine growing a dense Anaphalis margaritacea clump in the front and readying itself to cover with packed in heads of small white hued everlasting blooms and growing the silver foliaged Brachyglottis “Sunshine” bearing golden flowers in the background or at the side. In addition, the well-liked dogwood or Camus alba “Elegantissima” with its vividly multicoloured foliage creates an impressive contrast, both in color as well as form. Nonetheless, Orientals appear so marvellous when they are in bloom that growers need to take extra care to ensure that there are no warring competitors.
While harmonizing red and luxuriant green foliage also provide a suitable background for “Star Gazer”, it is perhaps best to depend a lot on ornamental grasses and ferns, which offer calm, but pleasing complement that is somewhat different as far as form, color and habitat is concerned, still they add to the environment one way or another. In fact, ferns particularly bring the tranquility that existed prior to the first flowering plants emerged on the planet. The intricate fronds of ferns emanate some sense of stillness that harmonizes with the elegant appearance of the Oriental lily plants, which come with shaped leaves and amazing flowers each of which is held wondrously into their individual distinct space. Even if you confine your selection to varieties of lady fern like Athyrium filix-femina and Dryopteris filixmas, the male fern, forms only, you can still choose from numerous different ferns. They are all outstanding ornamental plants and excellent for accompanying lilies.
Among the entire Orientals, the “Black Beauty” is considered to be the most extraordinary garden plant and it was created by crossing Lilium speciosum rubrum with Lilium henryi. The constitution of this lily hybrid is said to be as resilient and enduring as the snout of a pig. In fact, “Black Beauty” owes a lot to Lilium henryi vis-à-vis its constitution, while its flowers are credited to Lilium speciosum. The stems of “Black Beauty” are very strong and some of them grow as tall as anything between 1.3 meters and 1.8 meters (4 feet and 6 feet) and are sturdy like bamboos. This kind of strength is necessary for the plant, because when established it may produce more than 50 flowers on a single stem. In fact, some “Black Beauty” plants are said to bear more than 150 flowers on a single stem! Therefore, this plant needs to be grown in a site where its display will be proper during the period between later summer and beginning of autumn. In addition, the location where it is grown should ensure that the plant will not be in conflict with other plants in the vicinity.
Ideally, you need to plant the “Black Beauty” bulbs in a spot that is rich in humus content and allow them to remain undisturbed for about two to three years. During this period they will gain strength each year and prepare themselves for displaying their blossoms. If left for three years, “Black Beauty” bulbs will develop a good number of stems and even the blossom will be significant. When the plant has matured, you will in fact have a flowering shrub instead of a lily. It would be best to position these lilies between shrubs, but not so close enough that they are either encroached upon or smothered by the adjoining shrubs. “Black Beauty” bears rich crimson hued blooms and they look best when they are displayed in the backdrop of pale green foliage. Alternatively, they may also be grown against a background created by the pale variegation of the shrubs.