September 9, 2009
Mugshots: 5 Oriental Lilies in Pink & White
The Oriental lilies in my backyard were gorgeous this year. Above is pictured 'Brasilia', which was purchased from Costco on a whim this spring.
The color of this lily varied greatly with fluctuations of temperature. Cooler days brought out deeper pink shades.
We brought a whole stalk inside after my son stepped on it and broke it off at the base (he felt really badly about it). We probably won't see flowers from that bulb next year, but hopefully it won't die completely. The bloom above was especially vivid and very different than some of the mostly white flowers on the same stalk.
I also cut several blooms of classic 'Casa Blanca', shown above, to bring inside. Although I love the spicy-sweet fragrance of lilies outside, it was almost overpowering in the house. I kept wishing they would finally wilt and die so I could throw them away and escape the smell! Next year I'll just enjoy them outside.
The bargain bag from Costco (18 bulbs for $13.99) also included 9 of 'Wilke Alberti', with a nice soft pink bloom. Most of these poor lilies were camouflaged by the giant cosmos foliage this year; next year I'll have to leave them more room.
This double-flowered pink lily came home from Lowe's already in bloom. I can't find the tag; perhaps it was 'Farolito'. All of these pinks are on the cool side.
Here is another shot of the mystery Lowe's pink lily. Oriental lilies don't have a very long bloom period, but it comes in the middle of summer when the iris and peonies are done and my english roses and delphiums are taking a break, so the garden welcomes some flowers. The stalks don't take up much room. It's easy to tuck a few into the garden here and there for a nice July surprise.
I'll finish with this picture of the most famous oriental lily, 'Stargazer'. These bulbs were purchased (from WalMart, of all places) two years ago, and this year baby plants came up all around the large ones. When transplanting some of them last fall, I noticed tiny bulbils along the stems. I didn't bother removing them to plant separately, but they seem to be taking care of reproduction all by themselves. No complaints from me, I'll be happy to have more of these elegant flowers.