Christine's garden Gardening Miscellaneous

I’m Wordless this Wednesday

For Mom and Dad …

Wordless Wednesday

Not often I’m lost for words but today I am. Both my parents are in hospital, on opposite sides of the world and I’m feeling helpless here in Africa. Nothing taking my mind off it, not even the Garden brings any joy today.


Christine's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

Lily Love

What’s not to love about these lovely salmon pink Asiatic Lilies? They are easy to grow, thriving in a shaded position, putting on a splendid show now that the Azaleas having finished flowering. According to the books, Asiatic lilies are among the easiest to grow. They’re very hardy, need no staking, and are not particularly fussy about soil, as long as it drains well (although they do better if you add a good mulch and plant them in compost enriched soil).

Here are my newest Bloomers …

Salmon pink Asiatic Lily

[one_half]Salmon pink Asiatic Lily[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Salmon pink Asiatic Lily[/one_half_last]

[one_third]Salmon pink Asiatic Lily[/one_third]

[one_third]Salmon pink Asiatic Lily[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Salmon pink Asiatic Lily[/one_third_last]

Salmon pink Asiatic Lilies

See? Whats not to love?

Happy Gardening

Christine's garden Gardening Home page features Miscellaneous

I Won, I Won (Actually, the Lily is the Winner)

Can you believe it, I actually won a competition. Not only that, I won it for a photograph of one of my flowers (doing the happy dance here).

I bought all my bulbs from Hadeco, South Africa’s prime bulb producer. Then I found out that they have a weekly photo competition they run on their Facebook page and a few weeks ago, when my bulbs started flowering I started entering, and have done so faithfully each week. This week one of the first entries they received (you can see the entries on their page) was a magnificent green Arum Lily (Zantadeshia) and I thought it would surely win and I decided not to enter this week as I didn’t stand a chance.

But what do you know … excited about my first white Asiatic Lily flowering, I took a photo very late Thursday afternoon as the sun had gone down and decided to enter it after after all. And yesterday afternoon I got a huge surprise when I received an e-mail telling me my gorgeous Lily has won me a hamper from Hadeco!

Here is my winning lily …

Winning Lily

I’m sure it is the lovely Lily that won me the prize as it hasn’t got anything to do with my photographic skills. But in case you are interested, you can click on the left photo below to see the original, uncropped version that I submitted. The one on the right I took today when the sun was shining, just to see how it would look with the sun shining on the flower.

On the winning photo I love how pure the new Lily looks against the magnificent bark of the tree. On the other photo, It shows me that sunlight and time of day makes a huge difference to the overall look of the photograph (i.e. the flower looks more beautiful without the harsh light of the sun on it).

[one_half]The winning photographThe winning photograph[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Same Lily, different time of daySame Lily, different time of day[/one_half_last]

I’m very excited to have won something and thrilled that the prize is a hamper of Hadeco bulbs! I’ll post on the blog when I receive the hamper.

Happy Gardening


Annuals Christine's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

The first Asiatic Lily and other Joys of Spring

“If you’ve never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom” – Terri Guillemets

Plant, care, watch, wait, stand back and admire … repeat.

How immensely satisfying it is to plant a bulb, seed or seedling and watch it develop and finally bloom. Had I known all this 30 years ago I may well have made very different career choices in life. How I envy those who chose the road of Horticulture or gardening as their profession. Don’t get me wrong, I love my work, but oh my! I admit to loving my garden a whole lot more! What a Joy it is to step outside on a Spring morning and discover new blooms and fresh new shoots on plants. From bulbs that are blooming to plants specially selected for foliage … add some loving care, a good downpour and then a bit of sunshine and … Ta Da!!

And here we have today’s surprises …

[one_half]First Asiatic Lily in bloomAsiatic Lilies[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Freesias wherever you look…Wherever you look there are Freesias[/one_half_last]

[one_third]Ixias about to flowerIxias about to flower[/one_third]

[one_third]Sinfonietta Iris budSinfonietta Iris bud[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Lemon tree covered in budsLemon tree covered in buds[/one_third_last]

[one_third]Sigh, I love them … so prettySigh, I love them ... so pretty[/one_third]

[one_third]The first Lily in all her gloryThe Lily in all her glory[/one_third]

[one_third_last]All these colours on one plantAll these colours on one plant[/one_third_last]

Today the first of the +/- 80 Liliums I planted is blooming, and how gorgeous it looks. Of all the bulbs I planted I am finding the Liliums the most satisfying. All the bulbs have come up, some are standing 1.5m high and all are covered in buds. The Lilium Longiflorum (St Josephs Lilies) bulbs were planted towards the back of the bed and the slightly shorter Asiatics were planted slightly forward. The overall look of the bed is fabulous – even without the flowers.

The individual plants are strong and standing proudly upright (no staking required although I’ve read it is sometimes required) and I enjoy the shiny green foliage that has filled the bed and makes it look most promising. (I will do a post soon to show before and after photographs of this bed – It’s an amazing transformation – my absolute favourite right now).

Wherever you are, I hope you are enjoying the fruits of your labour, regardless of the season!

Happy Gardening

I’m linking this to Weekendflowers # 10! Click to visit!

Christine's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

I Heart Liliums ♥

Liliums are on at the top of my favourite cut-flower list! Liliums and Dutch Irises to be exact, but St Josephs Lilies are easier to purchase here. Every two weeks throughout winter I hotfoot it to Woolies and buy two bunches of St Josephs Lilies for the very large vase which lives on the table as you enter my home (via the back entrance). The flower filled vase is also in my direct line of sight whenever I glance up from the computer screen in my office. So now you understand just how much I love these Lilies. I want to see them all day long, and I do. And I smell them. They fill the entrance of my home with their lovely scent which can be a bit overpowering in winter if doors and windows are kept closed for too long.

Lilium - St Josephs Lilies

I love the huge vases filled with these beautiful flowers I regularly see in Home Decor magazines. Huge vases filled with these long stemmed white lilies – I love the green colour of the foliage, the way the flowers stand upright, the beautiful glossy petals … to me they are the perfect “architectural” blooms. One lily on its own in a long slender glass vase, 20 or more in a massive ceramic vase … always perfect. Always beautiful. And the cut Liliums I buy for my vase always last at least two weeks, sometimes more.

If I love them so much, why don’t I have them in my garden was the question I asked myself when I saw Hadeco were selling Lilium bulbs online. Because I didn’t know that they are easy to grow. I didn’t know you could just buy the bulbs, plant them in the right place and then sit back and enjoy their lovely blooms in a few months time. I thought anything this beautiful must be massively difficult to grow. Which is why I keep buying them as cut flowers. But having seen them for sale and reading that they are easy to grow – well it seems like a no-brainer that I should at least try.

So after much online research and finally convincing myself that I can do this and have a few “perfect places” for them, I took the plunge and ordered. Two days later they arrived in a box, 3 bulbs per pack of the varieties I bought and the kind people at Hadeco included 30 extra bulbs of Mixed Asiatic Lilies for free! I have no idea why I got the extras, but thank you Hadeco – I will plant and love them!

[one_half]Today’s Liliums in the vaseLilies in the vase[/one_half]

[one_half_last]A perfect bloom up closePerfect Bloom[/one_half_last]

[one_half]It doesn’t get much prettier than thisPerfect Bloom[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Two are pretty togetherTwo pretty faces[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Beautiful leavesBeautiful Leaves[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Yes! I bought my ownLilium Bulbs[/one_half_last]

The Lilium bulbs I bought are:

  • Lilium Longiflorum – Snow Queen (I believe these are the type I always buy as cut flowers like the ones in the photographs above)
  • Lilium Asiatic – Soft Pink
  • Lilium Asiatic – Salmon
  • Lilium Asiatic – White
  • Lilium Asiatic – Mixed (the free ones)

I’ve spent the whole afternoon cleaning up and preparing the bed where I plan to plant my Lilium bulbs! Then it got dark and I had to stop for today. Wish me luck with these – I’m really excited about having them in the garden.

I’d love to hear from anyone that has Liliums growing in their garden – How do they grow for you?

Happy Gardening