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

Christine's garden Gardening Home page features

Corner Bed make-over plan

Hi Barbie – When you were here on Tuesday I told you my ideas about the make-over for that corner bed next to the entrance. (The one I used to like and now really dislike). When the rest of my garden was a complete mess, this one had something nice about it (though when I look at it now I’m not really sure what it was I liked). I can’t find any photos of it before the tree was this big, it probably looked better then. Anyway, as we both agreed, the tree actually had to go. It made that whole area very dark, was not attractive and the area was infested with slugs and snails. Last year when the tree was smaller, at least the lilies and tulbaghia flowered and it looked quite nice(ish), but this year the deep shade and mess it was causing made everything so dark in there that nothing was happy anymore. The lilies never flowered, the Tulbaghia were falling over and not flowering, none of the annuals I planted in there grew … no amount of TLC was making any difference and to top it all, the tree made an incredible mess. Everywhere.

So … regretably, this tree finally had to go and on Thursday the deed was done – and I didn’t cry this time :).

Here are the pics of before and after. We’ve kept the Star Jasmine growing on the trellises, I added the bird bath which was intended for the back garden (not sure if it will stay here though), left the Tulbaghia (not sure about those either) and moved all the shade plants to the back where they filled in some gaps. Here are the “before” and “after” pics (click to enlarge).

[one_half]Before: Thursday with the treeBefore: With the tree[/one_half]

[one_half_last]After: Today without the treeAfter: Without the tree[/one_half_last]

I would love to make this a gorgeous, flowering garden and as it gets lots of sun now I think I may have many options. I’ll need to do lots of reasearch and planning before I can go shopping for plants though … I want to get this right as it will be my very first “garden design” project I do all by myself. The only thing I don’t want to change is the Star Jasmine creepers – I love those and now that they get plenty of light I think they will fill the walls beautifully.

For this weekend my plan is to add compost to the soil, clean up the area, get rid of dead leaves etc. and start planning … Any suggestions and advice will be MOST welcome!

Have a happy weekend and don’t work too hard.