A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Monday, June 06, 2005


This was supposed to be the Year of the Lily. When I was ordering a Madonna Lily for the Medieval Garden, I realized that aside from a clump of daylilies that came with the house and three orange Tiger Lilies that I had planted around the birdbath, I had no lilies. There are many wonderful heirloom and species lilies that would be great in my gardens. I went on a lily buying spree. Last fall, I carefully sited and planted the bulbs, being careful to cover the evidence with a thick layer of leaves so that the squirrels wouldn't find and eat them. Here's what came up in the spring:

The Madonna lily came up in April, sprouted a lot of leaves and then stopped. It has done nothing else for months. I've never grown one before, so I don't know if this is normal behavior or if I got a dud or if it is just unhappy with where it is growing.

In the Yellow/Orange garden, three Citronella Lilies germinated, grew lustily and are now covered with buds. I know, they are not really heirlooms, having been developed in the 1960's, but I have wonderful childhood memories of them. In the same bed, I planted three Pumilum Lilies . One germinated at the same time as the Citronella lilies but was chewed by a rabbit or a squirrel. It hastily retreated back underground and warned the other two bulbs of the danger. All three have been conspicuous by their absence.

In the Purple Garden, I planted a number of Lavender Mountain Lilies . I don't recall the exact number but apparently they decided there were enough purple flowers there already and only six came up. They have begun to bloom. I don't find them particularly attractive. In the same bed, are three Cernuum Lilies who also heard about the overabundance of purple flowers as well as the rodent threat. They have decided to stay safely underground.

Despite these setbacks, I remain undeterred. I have ordered another Madonna lily. They are expensive, so I order one each year. I'm hoping that either this one will not be a dud or that they grow better if they have a buddy. I have also ordered a Leopard Lily , a North American native. It just screams New World Garden. And I have found a lovely lily that tolerates semi-shady conditions, the Martagon Lily .


At 12:22 AM, Blogger crazygramma said...

Hi Old Roses your roses look great. I can hardly wait for mine to take off.


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