With their long stems, and showy blooms, rainbow collection of colours, not to mention the perfume of some Lilium varieties, there is nothing to compare them with for outstanding impact in garden beds and containers. Lilies are superbly long lasting cut flowers to boot! Yet their exotic beauty belies how easy they are to grow.
In this article we talk about just some of the luscious Lily bulbs on offer, to help you pick the ones that are right for you. Be they for pots, picking or garden display, there is a Lily for all occasions!
For outstanding colours, the Asiatic Liliums are superb. They have little to no fragrance, so those of you who suffer hay fever can rest easy. Taking colour one step further is the range of Matisse Asiatic Lilies. These are real conversation pieces for the garden. Varieties such as Lilium ‘London Heart’ have bold colour combinations of red and maroon.
LA Lilies are a cross between the trumpet shaped Christmas Lilies (Lilium longiflorum) and colourful Asiatic Lilies (Lilium x hybrida). They have larger, slightly, elongated, colourful flowers with a little or no fragrance. Try the racy red ‘Bourbon Street’ for a bit of zing in the garden!
The stunning flowers and heady fragrance of Oriental Liliums will have your senses reeling. These incredible show-offs bring their own magic to the garden, their enormous flowers filling the air with perfume. Unashamedly beautiful, they come in a range of colours from pure white to rich crimson, so you can pick your favourite shade to complement your own colour scheme in the garden and in your home too.
Matisse Oriental Lilies are another fine example, they have some crazy colour breaks and a nice perfume, new this season is Lilium ‘Tiger Edition’ which is strong pink with lots of lovely dark freckles.
Not to be outdone in the perfume department, the pristine white, or blushed pink blooms of Lilium x longiflorum – also known as Christmas lilies or November lilies – they have a more pronounced trumpet shape. They are simply wonderful additions to the garden, or in containers to place near your front door so you can enjoy their elegant beauty and fragrance. Like most Lilies, you can cut them and bring them indoors to fill your home with their intoxicating fragrance too.
Orienpet Lilies are also known as OT Hybrids. They are a cross between Christmas Lilies and Oriental Lilies. They have the decadent shape of the trumpet shaped Christmas Lilies, colour of the Orientals and the fragrance of both combined! You could try ‘Silk Road’ a delightful new variety with a strong magenta blush.
Sure, you could plant the well known Lilium varieties and be perfectly happy, but there are those amongst us who crave something different, something with a bit more of a modern edge, or something with some history. These are the Lilies for you.
For some old world charm with a new age twist, you might like the New Age Tiger Lilies. Breeders have taken beloved heritage varieties and made them better, stronger and more disease resistant. Because of their towering size, these are best grown in gardens.
Lilium ‘Lankon’ (Lilium x lankongense), a cutting edge hybrid, the first commercial cross of Christmas Lilies (Lilium longiflorum) and Japanese Turk’s Cap Lilies (Lilium lankongense). Released with a splash at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2011, it has really taken off. The pendent white petals are splashed with maroon. (Gardens or pots)
Species Lily ‘Scarlet Delight’ is tough as old boots, and a great choice for beginners. An slight variant on a Japanese species variety that flowers in varying degrees of pink and white with red spots.
If you want a little growl in your garden, a Leopard Lily (Lilium pardalinum) could be just the ticket. The strong stems stand tall and proud, up to 2.5m, and are topped with a candelabra of up to 20 glowing ember blooms. Gorgeous garden Lilies.
An oldie but most certainly a goody is the renowned Lilium ‘Scheherazade’ (Lilium x auratum x speciosum). It has been around the traps for many years and stolen many hearts with the strong stems of pendent red and cream. With its tall stems, it is ideal in the garden.
Other rarities include the graceful Henry’s Lily (Lilium henryi) with its lovely reflexed petals.
Whatever Lily you pick, you will be guaranteed of an amazing show.