Thursday, July 13, 2006

Lovely lilies

These lovely lillies are called Monte Negro - in real life they are darker and more burgundy than they appear in the photos.

Where I usually think that more scent is better in cut flowers, I do find that the exception is in lilies - what is wonderfully evocative in a garden, sweet scent drifting across the flower beds - can in a house, particularly if it is warm, become overpoweringly cloying. In the cutting beds I grow my lilies for colour and shape not scent.

The lilies have been particularly good this year - mainly because I did resist cutting most of them last year to give the bulbs a chance to bulk up - now they are being cut it is important to only take 2/3 of each stem, leaving the remainder to deliver nutrients back into the bulb for next year. The result is tall thick stems with up to 15 flowers on each - with Monte negro it only takes 3 stems to make a massive bunch.


Heather said...

A few years ago I was at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. We were wandering through their gardens and I was suddenly assailed by the strongest perfume - obviously I was on high alert - there was no one around - how strong was this hidden womans perfume that I could smell it and not see her?

We turned a corner - and just in this little patch, completely hidden away and unannounced was easily 100 lillies - I had never before thought to plant them in such bulk - just a lump of ground dedicated to lillies.

Absolutely magnificent. I have always thought to repeat the experience in my garden - and your post today reminded me of the thought. I'm not that patient and would want to plant in a one fell swoop - but that would be very costly. I may exercise some restraint and add a few bulbs at a time - gorgeous prospect though.

I liked these - but would probably plant for perfume rather than looks.


Jane said...

Some lilies flower quickly from seed - Lilium regale take only 2 years and I think it has the best scent - I had about 50 planted just outside the courtyard in our last house and intend to plant them again once we have the extension built here and I have a private garden again.
If I had the money I would plant lilium regale in massive drifts in the sloping field that runs down to the river here - imagine walking down through a meadow of lilies.
Peter Nyssen sells lilies in bulk to non wholesale customers - regale is £75.00 for 100 - perhaps a nice birthday/christmas present?

Heather said...

Jane - I'm going to be bankrupt - I can feel it!

I'll check the Lillium regale for sure.