Monday, July 26, 2010

Mid-summer Lilies

At the end of the filaments the anthers hang crusted with amber colored pollen.

That unmistakable spicy fragrance announces their presence in the garden even before you see them. Then those large exotic looking blooms, the size of dessert plates, reel you in closer. The Oriental lilies are in bloom in my mid-summer garden.

Pink lilies softened by the haze of a humid summer afternoon.

In my experience lilies seem relatively easy to grow. Top among their demands is sun. I have tested this preference by planting them in the half sun of my back garden, only to be rewarded for my impertinence with small flowers and stunted growth. So, full sun it is.

After an early morning shower, the heavy flower of a white lily tips and stamen weighted with raindrops falls earthward from the flower's canopy.

The sensuous curve of the lily's back.

By day's end, the lily has opened to catch the last rays of sunlight.

Lily bulbs are best planted in fall, although they can be planted in spring as well. With their overlapping fleshy scales, lily bulbs look rather like a beige colored artichokes. Tucked into the heart of each bulb is the next season's stem, leaves and flower in embryo form.

A flashy tiger shows it spots.

 Raindrops pool in the cup of the up-curled petals.

This tiger lily skyscraper stands almost 5 feet tall.

There are four basic types of lily flowers, down-facing, out facing, up facing and trumpet. 

If you happen to brush past a lily in bloom and get the pollen on your clothes, don't rub the pollen with your hand or a cloth. (I've learned this lesson the hard way!) Rather, remove as much as the pollen as you can by shaking out the garment or use a piece of sticky tape to lift the pollen. Soak it in cold water and treat with a good stain remover like Oxyclean. If I bring the flowers into the house, I usually use a piece of tissue and snap off the pollen laden anthers.

Breathe in that glorious fragrance and enjoy!


  1. I have got to plant some lilies!
    Thanks for the info about the pollen.
    They are beautiful!

  2. Lilies are one of my favorite perennials. These are breathtaking.

  3. Wow! What a beautiful garden you have. As I went down through your postings ewwing and ahhing along the way. The lilies are gorgeous but so is all of your cottage garden beds. Beautiful!

  4. Lovely Lilly's! I really liked the yellow tiger lilly. I haven't seen too many like that :)

  5. Gorgeous assortment of lilies Jennifer and your photos are among the finest I've seen. I have some lilies planted in part shade ~ I guess they are not happy with me! I run out of room in the sun beds so quickly tho.
    I found out about pollen staining recently ~ wish I'd read your post first. I've been gardening for quite a few years and somehow escaped getting it on me until this year ~ not sure how I managed that!

  6. Dear Jennifer, Your lilies, which you present here so beautifully, are truly magnificent. I have never had such success with growing them and wonder whether, as you point out here, they really need a great deal more sun than I was able to give them.

    Thank you for your comment on my latest posting to which I have made reply. Unfortunately, try as I might, the technology does not seem to allow me to subscribe to your weblog. I shall try making you a 'Favourite' on Blotanical.

  7. Jennifer girl that was spectacular !
    You have me lusting after the Tiger lily type now .. I might just have to break my "only two types of lily" rule .. due to smallish nature of garden ? LOL
    I love my Casa Blanca .. and of course Star Gazer .. the scent has been wonderful while working in the garden .. and I do mean working .. bags of stone from pea gravel up to ornamental stone ? am I nuts ? ... YES !!! LOL
    Love the lily show case .. and I think I know where to order those spotted beauties ! Thanks !
    Joy : )


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