Monthly Archives: August 2014

Many plants and flowers are called lilies because of their flower shape or foliage and are not  lilies at all so for that reason the whole group of these including the true Lilium family fall under the larger family known as Lilaceae. OK, where is this going? Well I thought I’d talk about lilies and then realized how I could confuse so many that I just had to make clear that I will be talking about Hemerocallis – Day lily and of the true Lilium – bulb oriental lily. These two plant groups are some of the oldest flowers in the world and are still found where old gardens once flourished, but have long disappeared. But there in the middle of no where is a stand of these lilies as a shadow of what was. So to think of a garden of today without any of them would just be wrong. They have proven the test of time and with the new varieties and reblooming hybrids its time to take another look at them. What was once thought of as boring, old, and over planted in  gramma’s  garden, is now revised and offer many new colors and sizes. Hemercallis – Day Lily has become one of my old but new-found interests for the garden. A friend of mine has a garden full of about 150 varieties and colors and she has turned me on to Day Lilies. She has correct me more than once on my denouncing them as road side trash lilies. I was only referring to the orange day lily we see every where along our road sides, I do apology now because they do bring interest to those area when in bloom.

Hemercallis    is  Greek meaning, beautiful for one day. they are pretty care free and need no protection of any kind, even from the severest winters. Their clumps can often be left for 5 to 6 years before needing any division. Always remember that their blooms follow the sun throughout the day, and if you plant them on the wrong side of the garden or path their flowers will always have their backs to you. Their culture needs are few as they grow in most soil conditions, most will do best in rich humus well draining soils. Most will tolerate dry conditions for a short period, but prefer moist conditions. Here in the Shire Garden they are found in the  Four Seasons Border Garden in drifts as well in the Angel Garden as a symbol of their heralding. They are in the element of water thus if planted within the astral signs of  Scorpio, Cancer, Pisces all will do famously well. I plant mine in the new moon of June and divide and transplant on the full moon of late October and the first of November and have had great success with this. They seem to blossom fuller and for a longer period of time.

Lilium – Latin  from the Celtic word,” li, ” meaning whiteness, purity. These plants are often used as symbols of purity, royalty, holiness and life everlasting. Here in the Shire Garden I have planted many bulbs for their size and fragrance. It is their presence at this time that fill the air with the sweetest of fragrance throughout the day and night and heightens all of our senses with their size alone, its magnificent. There genus are divided into seven groups; by flower shape, the main five are;

  • Eulirion ( true lilies, trumpet – funnel flowers )
  • Archelirion ( open – flowered )
  • Martagen ( Turk’s cap or turban shape )
  • Pseudo – Martagon ( bell shape )
  • Isolirion – ( erect or upright shape )

This will help when it comes to picking the verity you might want. The most fragrant of this group are the Eulirion and Archelirion . Always plant them in groups of 5 to 8 and some staking will be needed. They also are of the water element sign and I plant mine in May or October.  One other note, the red lily beetle and or Asiatic lily beetle has no none predator here, so every year they have to be controlled by an early, just as the lily plant emerge from the soil, systemic insecticide that will protect the plant throughout the growing season from these beetles that will kill the plant in  one to two growing seasons.

When I see lilies, I am reminded of by gone summers and of old friends and gardens that are now gone, of holidays and late summer picnics. They let me know of summers wane, but most of all they remind me  to stand tall, that presence is everything.

A thought; Lilies can transform a sad and weary feeling into JOY!