Category Archives: Oriental Lilies

RAINDROPS ARE FALLING ON OUR HEADS

 

July-1-2014-US-Drought-Monitor-Map

For several years now we have been living under “extreme drought” conditions.

Going back to the summers of 2011 and 2012

We’ve been below normal rainfall.

And those summers were hot….really hot.

Last summer got better.

A little more rain.

A little less heat.

Then came the summer of 2014.

What a gift.

Mild temperatures.

Crisp morning.

And rain.

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During June it was as if we lived in Camelot.

Remember the line?

“The rain never falls till after midnight.”

Well that’s where we’ve been living.

Camelot.

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OK, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch.

Especially since Camelot is fictional.

People kept saying

What till July.

So when July came

And it got cooler

We were amazed.

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Last week we got several days of rain.

Alternating between hard driving rain

And soft gentle misty drips.

With mornings in the low 60’s

And days struggling to hit 70

We were in heaven.

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Humans love these days.

But gardens

Well gardens come alive.

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It’s amazing to me the difference that rain makes.

I know it’s a fact

Given the extra nitrogen that comes with rain.

But I am amazed each time

I walk through my rain soaked garden.

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There’s something about standing in rain.

Soaking it in

From the roots

To the tips of the last petal

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Letting the goodness that falls from the sky

Wash over an entire garden.

We are all attuned to the weather these days.

For good reason.

It takes drastic swings

And is entirely unpredictable.

Perhaps we need to take a cue from the garden

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And stand in the rain

Soaking in the goodness

Experiencing the renewal it brings.

To all kinds of lives.

Gail

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Filed under Calla Lily, Clematis, cleome, Cosmos, Dahlias, hollyhocks, Mandavilla, Oriental Lilies, Rain, Tall Garden Phlox

LILIES GALORE

I have always loved Lilies.

Don’t really know why.

There is no great “Lily memory”

Or “Lily moment”

That comes to mind.

But, since I have become a gardener

I have always had Lilies.

It likely began when Elliott’s friend David’s mother Esther

Got that…

Gave me a start of Tiger Lilies.

The tall stately orange Lily with deep brown spots.

Unfortunately they were a bit invasive for my space

So I left them behind in my old garden.

I did however bring a Daylily of Esther’s

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That has filled a space between my house

And Torry next door. 

It too seems to spread beyond

The space I am willing to give it.

But it’s a great bit of mid summer orange

That we both enjoy.

Walking through my garden this week

I’ve realized how many different kinds of Lilies

Have come to call this place home.

Most of these like some shade during the day

So they are dotted throughout my garden

Enjoying the part sun, part shade it offers.

Perhaps the best known is the Daylily.

My season begins with the miniature Stella d Ora.

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It allegedly re-blooms but this year I was slow

In deadheading it so the second round of buds

Are just beginning to show. 

And let’s be clear about this re-blooming thing.

No matter what the plant

No matter what the promise

The second round of blooms

Is always much less of a show

Than the first…at least at my house.

Other Daylilies have been given to me

By my friend Madeline

When she over-bought on a trip down south.

Imagine that !!!

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Daylilies are just that.

Each bloom lasts a day

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But the stems of mature plants

Have lots of buds

Giving weeks of dotted bloom.

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Moving a little deeper into the shade

I find Calla Lilies.

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Not really supposed to be perennial here in zone 7B

But I chance it

And they reward me well.

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They are well protected from winter

Since they are buried deep in my garden

Nested under trees.

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Then there are the show offs.

Orientals.

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They are tall

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Fragrant

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Glorious

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And finicky.

Most don’t return the next year

At my house.

But fortunately

They aren’t too expensive

So I plant a few each fall.

Hoping to some day find the one variety

That wants to move here

On a permanent basis.

Lily diversity.

It gives me weeks of Lily pleasure

In mid summer.

Diversity.

It’s good for my garden.

Good for the earth.

Good for the soul.

It’s just plain good!

Gail

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Filed under Lilies, Oriental Lilies, Stella d Ora Daylily

The Morning Walk

When I first began to garden

I unconsciously created a habit.

The morning garden walk.

I distinctly remember going out each morning

To walk through my first garden

To observe the changes

That can happen over night.

For instance, Lilies open in the night.

As do the blooms on Hardy Hibiscus.

So even though I walk along the same path each day

The path in spring

The path in spring

It’s different every time.

And summer

And summer

Subtle changes.

But change just the same.

The irony of this is that

We used to laugh at Daddy

When he would go to “check on” the wheat.

We accused him of spending time

Watching the wheat grow!

Every farmer does it

And they should

Just walking through the garden or wheat field.

Helps find things.

The first buds of spring.

Hellebores in January

Hellebores in January

Things that need to be done.

Bugs that have arrived to do good

Or not.

Remember last summer’s Harlequin bug invasion?

Diseases at their beginnings.

Weeds – always a few.

But I don’t stop to solve these problems on the morning walk.

No, the morning walk is simple to take it all in.

To enjoy

Nature's accident

Nature’s accident

To smile

To observe

Curious Peg

Curious Peg

To wander

And to wonder.

Gail

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Filed under Diseases, Gardening, Gardening;Perennials, Harlequin Bugs, Hellebores, Hydrangea, Japanese Tree Peony, Lady Bugs, Oriental Lilies, Perennials, Shasta Daisy, tulips, Uncategorized

A DIFFERENT KIND OF “BLACK FRIDAY”

Thanksgiving Weekend.

I love the slow pace of this 4 day weekend.

At least the way it used to be.

Before Black Friday came along.

For me, I simply can’t get into the retail version of the day.

So yesterday I had a different kind of “Black Friday”.

I spent the day in the garden.

Digging in God’s great black earth.

Things are winding down in my garden.

Almost to a crawl.

But there is always something to do.

Megan and I are still trying to get our scheduled afternoon of bulb planting.

Because it’s getting a little late in the season

I went ahead and planted everything except the tulips leading to the garden house.

Lilies were the first on my list.

You may remember I’d gone a bit lily crazy on my order this year.

I have 25 mixed Oriental Lilies

They are going on the east side of the garden.

In front of a bank of Yews

Behind the Digitalis bed.

Or should I say the hoped for Digitalis bed.

I plan to try again with them in the spring.

This area lends itself to a trench as opposed to big oval holes.

It’s the same principal though.

Don’t dig a hole for each bulb.

And, because these come out of the ground a bit later.

Be sure and mark them so you won’t dig them up.

The saddest sound in the garden is a shovel slicing a lily bulb

Or a daffodil….or tulip…or dahlia.

I know I’ve sliced them all.

Then off to plant Trumpet Lilies.

These are golds, yellows and whites to fill in what I all ready have.

Next came the tulips that Debra gave me.

She selected black (Queen of the Night), white ( Maureen) and orange (Daydream)

For her dad’s garden.

So she gave me a few in memory of my dad.

Both of them taught at OSU during their “second careers”

So it is fitting. 

Then, I never can resist Parrot tulips.

This year I’m doing Rai a purple and green with a touch of white.

And Blumex – kind of pink and orange.

Now, I know, most of you finished your bulbs weeks ago

And you are likely pulling your Christmas decorations out of the attic today.

But…there is still a bit more to do.

The pumpkin tower I’ve had in the front pot

Is well…over.

So I buried a few daffodils in a plastic pot.

Actually I did the lasagna method but with all daffodils.

Then I buried the pot within the pot.

This is important because my front pot sits right out in the open.

Lots of cold air swirling around it all winter long.

The double layer of pots will provide a little insulation.

I covered it with pansies.

We’ll see what kind of winter we have.

And how they survive.

I likely have another day or two in the garden this season

The afore-mentioned garden house tulips

and I’m still hoping to move that rose bush.

Though it is likely too late.

Normally by this time of the year I’m ready to be done.

But not this year.

I’m enjoying these days of digging.

Winter is closing in.

But for now

Fall is still with us.

Who could ask for anything more.

Here are the last of the season’s flowers.

Still blooming happily.

Take care,

Gail

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Filed under Daffodils, Dahlias, Digitalis, Fall, Garden House, Gardening, Oriental Lilies, Trumpet Lily, tulips

BULB PLANTING TIME

It’s the time of the year when I begin my frost dance.

Or should I say “threat” of frost dance.

You know the routine.

The first few nights you just throw a sheet or towel over a few tender plants

Then you drag most of the ferns in to the warmth.

After a few more sunny days

It happens again.

Freeze warnings

You begin to take them seriously.

You start picking things.

Almost ripe tomatoes

Not quite mature peppers.

Then the freeze frenzy really sets in.

One cold windy morning you yank every green tomato off the vine.

Cut cockscomb to the ground.

 Whack away at armloads of roses and zinnias

Dig up baby basil plants for your winter supply.

Then lie in wait for mother nature to kill everything you’ve nurtured all year.

After several nights of freeze warnings

It finally happens.

The first hard freeze.

The killing freeze.

With the end of one season

Another begins.

So now it’s time to plant…….

Spring Flowering Bulbs!!!

Even though I won’t actually plant my bulbs till later in the month.

I thought I’d send along this primer.

Here’s what I know about planting bulbs.

As with all of gardening the health and size of the bulb will determine the quality of bloom.

So look for big bulbs that are firm.

Make sure there is no mold present

Soft moldy bulbs will only turn into compost not flowers.

Tulip bulbs should still have their brown “skin” attached.

We talked about bulbs a bit in August in two prior blogs.

Planning Time and Planting Hope

So lets cover how to plant all this stuff.

First – find a gardening friend

Make a pact to help each other plant bulbs.

This friend may be a spouse, a child, a sibling, a neighbor

Or if you’re lucky you have a Megan.

Megan has helped me plant bulbs for well…

I don’t remember how long.

We use the “lasagna” method. 

It saves labor

And makes for glorious blasts of color.

Which means you never….never….never

Plant in rows.

Instead if you want to line an edge

Dig a series of oval holes.

Good sized holes

Because you will put a minimum 7 daffodils and 11 tulips in each hole

Dig the hole 6 ” –  8″ deep.

Mix in a little Bone Meal

Place the daffodils pointy end up

(That is very important !)

Make sure they don’t touch – or they will rot!

Use odd numbers 7 – 9 – 11.

Cover with a few inches of soil

Add a bit more Bone Meal

Then place Tulips

Again pointy end up.

To get a good show use at least 11 tulips or more.

Then repeat soil and Bone Meal

Top off with Dutch Iris.

Then refill to ground level.

Actually a little higher since it will settle when you water it all in.

And do water it all in

The water will fill up the air pockets in the soil

This will keep it from freezing when it’s first planted.

If you’re really energetic or inspired you can cover it all with pansies.

Now….that’s a blast of spring!

We do a series of these “lasagna Holes” on each side of the path

Leading to my garden house.

This forms a full border that doesn’t look contrived.

You’ll notice that the biggest bulbs need to be buried the deepest.

So you plant from large to small bulbs with this method.

Lilies can be planted 3 – 5 to a hole

Or…you can dig a winding trench

Place the bulbs in a zig zag pattern along the trench.

I generally don’t plant anything else with them.

So…that’s pretty much how we do it here.

It’s a tried and true method you may want to try.

Or not.

After all gardening is personal.

We learn from each other.

We adapt to our own garden.

We create.

We wait.

Gail

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Filed under Basil, cockscomb, Daffodils, Dutch Iris, Ferns, Garden House, Gardening, Gardening Friends, Grape Hyacinths, Green Tomatoes, Oriental Lilies, Peppers, roses, Spring Flowering Bulbs, Tomato, tulips, Uncategorized, Zinnia

PLANTING HOPE

Last week we talked tulips

Glorious tulips

Now lets see what else we can find to bury this fall.

Daffodils are just about the happiest flower there is.

They will often begin poking their noses out of the ground  before Christmas.

Some years they even bloom by Valentines – more often in early March.

My favorite is a solid yellow called King Alfred.

It’s the traditional large cupped solid yellow.

There are hundreds of varieties, but I must confess to only planting this one kind.

Don’t let that stop you from finding your own favorite.

Daffodils are more perennial than tulips.

King Alfred edging the garden in late winter

Which is good since they cost more.

Another standard for me is Dutch Iris. 

You might recognize them as a standard in florist bouquets.

Dutch Iris "Delft Blue"

They are a smaller bulb, don’t require much space and easy to plant.

One of my real favorites is the tiny bulb and bloom of the Grape Hyacinths.

They bloom early and long. 

They are wonderful at edges.

I’ve lined much of the path of my garden with them.

Grape Hyacinths along the brick path

I’ve also scattered them on my one little “hill” and let them roll down to the edge.

Grape Hyacinths and vinca minor on the "hill".

And best of all they are pretty cheap!

The other bulbs I order this time of year are lilies.

Asiatic, Oriental and Trumpet

I love them all.

This year I’ve found a semi-shady place to add lots of Oriental lilies.

So I’m buying a mix of pinks and creams and whites.

Stargazer - a staple Oriental Lily

Mixes generally save you a little money, but you don’t get to pick the colors.

I’m also adding Oriental Lily Golden Star to the yellow Orientals I all ready have.

I’ve also found Trumpet Lily African Queen.

I saw this melon colored beauty in a magazine and tracked it down.

Now…no bulb order would be complete without Amaryllis.

You will know them as the fantastic flowers forced into bloom at Christmas.

My favorite is the  Hybrid Dutch Amaryllis.

The pink and white Apple Blossom is glorious.

Apple Blossom Amaryllis

A fairly new Black Pearl is a most dramatic dark red.

Black Pearly Amaryllis

Actually, there isn’t a bad color of Amaryllis.

They are monster bulbs fitting snuggly into a 6 ” pot.

Forcing Amaryllis for Christmas in the garden house.

OK

Where do these bulbs come from?

How many do you order?

How do you know a good bulb?

How do you plant all of this stuff?

We’ll save the last question till time to plant.

Which for me is in November.

Suffice it to say it’s good to have friends in November.

Let’s tackle the rest.

Where to get bulbs?

You’ll find them at garden centers, nurseries and stores that add seasonal greenhouses.

Along with all kinds of catalogs and websites.

I find them well…everywhere.

I will tell you though I don’t like the pre-packaged bags of bulbs.

Though my friend Debra literally grabbed a bunch of these last fall

Through them into the ground.

And had glorious bulbs.

But, I like to pick out each one to make sure that it is firm, has no sign of mold, and most importantly, big.

The bigger the bulb the bigger the bloom.

It’s just that simple.

Though I do my best to support local merchants I do have to confess to being a little picky about the colors I want.

So for that reason I do order from catalogs.

My long time favorite is a company called k. van Bourgondien.

I have found their selection to be very good – to the point it takes me a week to figure it all out.

I also think their quality is excellent and reliable.

Their prices are fair.

As for quantities.

Well…this is my weak point

I always over buy

But I always get them planted

With Megan’s help.

Here are a few guidelines

But remember – it’s just my own opinion

Which is worth exactly what you are paying for it here in the blogosphere!

With the exception of grape hyacinths and other tiny bulbs I never plant in rows.

I dig  – rather Megan digs – big oval-shaped holes.

In them we plant odd numbers of bulbs

Daffodils & Dutch Iris – 5 or 7 or 9

Tulips  – 9 or 11 or 15

Lily bulbs are bigger and need a bit more space 3 or 5 per hole.

So…that gives you a guideline.

You can measure and multiply and see how much trouble you can get into.

We’ll cover more planting information come fall.

OK

This should get you in over your head.

But come spring you’ll be so glad you took the time to plan ahead

I think of it as planting hope!

Gail

Hope !

 

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Filed under Amaryllis, Daffodils, Dutch Iris, Grape Hyacinths, Oriental Lilies, spring, Spring Flowering Bulbs, tulips

IT’S LILY TIME

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Conca d'Or Orienpet Lily Bud & Bloom

It happens every year.

Just like clockwork.

About the time the sky fills with fireworks

Oriental lilies light up my garden.

They should nick name them 4th of July lilies!

Oriental lilies are tall

5’ – 7 ‘ tall

And fragrant.

Intoxicatingly fragrant.

You’ll notice the scent just by walking near them.

And beautiful.

You will recognize two as florist favorites.

The pure white Casa Blanca

 

Casa Blanca Lily

And hot pink Stargazer are frequent visitors in bouquets and arrangement.

 

Stargazer Lily

Showing off in my garden this year is a lily of unknown lineage.

I know – I planted it.

But I’m not good at record keeping.

I’ve looked in the catalog and can’t seem to figure out what I ordered.

My best guess is that it’s actually an Orienpet Lily.

That’s a cross between Oriental Lilies and Chinese Trumpet Lilies.

Possibly it’s named Conca d’Or

 Conca d'Or Orienpet Lily

It’s a lemon yellow.

One catalog described it as lemon-meringue pie.

Sounds good to me!

Since Orientals bloom in the heat of the summer they like to live in the shade.

You can give them some morning sunshine but please not in the afternoon.

I learned this the hard way.

The first time I planted Stargazers I ended up covering them with a tea towel every afternoon to keep them blooming a few days longer.

Can’t believe I actually just admitted doing that!

Stems can have up to a dozen or so buds.

Buds will open from the bottom to the top of the stem over a couple of weeks.

It’s not a long bloom period but it’s worth it.

Years ago we took Elliott on an “urban vacation”.

Boston was our destination.

I’d always wanted to see the Boston Pops on the banks of the Charles River on the 4th.

The trip was great – a memorable family lore kind of trip.

But..all the Stargazers bloomed and finished while we were gone.

So sad.

Another great feature of these beauties is that they don’t take up much space.

They grow straight up so you can fit them in anywhere.

But since they will have completely disappeared by the time you get ready to plant bulbs in the fall it’s important that you mark the empty places now.

I use bricks.

Just place a brick or two any place you think would make a good home for lilies.

That way you won’t have to guess or try to remember.

The worst sound in the garden is the sound of a lily bulb being sliced in half by a shovel.

I know.

So this year when the bulb catalogs start arriving – I’ve actually already gotten one – look at Oriental lilies and their cousin the Orienpets.

 

I have 4 Aloha Rose bushes.

They are a hybrid.

I knew better but got sucked in by the glorious peachy pink blooms.

For the past three years they have been plagued by a tiny bug that sucks the life out of the blooms – thrips – I think.

I’ve tried everything – to no avail.

Last week at the Farmers Market I was spinning my tale of woe to Kate who is an excellent gardener.

She said a friend tried “blue sticky traps”.

Found them and installed them this week.

Blue Sticky Trap on Aloha Rose Bush - Goodbye Thrip

Hope they work since they are not the prettiest addition to my garden.

Another great reason to go to your local farmers market this weekend.

Advise!

As you garden in this tough heat remember to drink tons of water and most importantly…..follow the shade.

 

Enjoy,

Gail

P.S.    the Dahlias are coming!!!

 

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Filed under Orienpet Lilies, Oriental Lilies, Uncategorized