Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lilies for low maintenance color and beauty

When I was in the initial stages of planning the perennial garden in 2002, one goal was to have the garden as low maintenance as possible. A choice I made  to that end is to have lilies of various colors and sizes throughout the beds.

Lilies are easy to grow, are steadfast performers year after year, and come in many colors and sizes. While there are many kinds of lilies, one of the more common distinctions for the home gardener is Oriental vs Asiatic. How to tell them apart?

Asiatics face upwards or outwards.

Oriental blooms face down. But so do Trumpet Lilies, of which I have several spectacular specimens.

Asiatics have many leaves and Orientals have fewer.

Asiatics bloom earlier as well, June and July while the Oriental bloom later, July into August.

 For the most part I have Asiatic lilies.

I have a few trumpet lilies. They can grow very large. This plant is easily 6' tall!

While these plants can be expensive, I have found a good way to get them on the cheap. Pick them up late in the year from the nurseries or garden centers after they have already bloomed. Most people don't want to purchase a plain stick that has no blossoms. However, if you are willing to wait until next year, you can often get them at less than half  the original cost. A few time I have purchased lilies that had already been pruned down to about 6 inches. a stick in a pot. But put them in the garden in late summer, early autumn and enjoy the blooms the next warm season.
Make a space in the garden for lilies!

Until next time, Keep Digging & Eat Well!

The Gastronomic Gardener
Garden blog
Cooking blog
Twitter -


  1. That's a lot of lilies you have in your garden, David! A very spectacular display. And I like your sensible advice about buying them. I used to have a few, but I stopped growing them when I discovered that their pollen can be fatal for cats, when ingested.

  2. Thanks Mark! Yes, people should be aware that they are TOXIC TO CATS. All parts of the plant are considered toxic. Any exposure to the plant could be toxic to the cat, ingestion of part of a leaf or licking pollen that came into contact with their fur, could cause renal (kidney) failure. For that reason, cat owners should not bring lilies into the home.

    While I like cats, I don't have any nor after 11 years in the house can I say there are any in the neighborhood.

  3. I am planing to get some lilies for my garden. But each time I decide to buy bulbs, I conclude that they are too expensive. So I don't have any lilies yet.
    Your lilies are so beautiful, and they come in so many colors!

  4. Which came first, David - the lilies in your garden, or a lack of cats in the neighbourhood??? There could be a sinister link you know!! :)

  5. Thanks Ana! Perhaps someone would trade for some fresh produce or sausages?

  6. I just love lillies!! I only have a few Asiatic and one trumpet. I do however, have at least 25 varieties of daylilies.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...