Lilies

It will soon be time for the earth to warm up, so we can actually think about planting flowers and bulbs in the ground! Some of my favorite summer bulbs are lilies, which bloom from early to late summer, depending on which variety you plant. They will grow in full sun, part sun or even dappled shade. Because they like good air circulation, it’s best to plant them about a foot apart.  They make great cut flowers. They will multiply year after year, so at some point, you will want to separate them at the end of the season. Plant them back right after you dig them up; they needn’t be stored.

Asiatic lilies bloom first. They come in numerous colors: red, peach, white, pink. They grow 2 to 3 feet high. Each stem has six to eight blooms.

Trumpet lilies bloom in mid-summer. They are large and quite fragrant. They grow three to six feet tall. Colors include white, pink and yellow.

Oriental lilies are the largest and most fragrant of all lilies. My next-door neighbors at my first place in Canonsburg said that, because of the prevalent wind direction,  they got advantage of most of the fragrance! They are pink, red, and white, and blossoms can be 5 to 6 inches across. There are even bicolor and double Orientals.  They grow 3 to 4 feet tall and bloom from mid to late summer.

Turban or Turk’s cap lilies all have recurved , downward-facing petals (like a turban!). Many have petals with black specks. They grow 2 to 3 feet high and bloom in mid summer. Orange is the most widely seen color, but they do come in red and pink.

Barbara Wittman Alsip was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, of German, Austrian and Prussian grandparents. Her father was a horticulturist, (Texas A&M, Class of 1919), and her mother was active in garden clubs and flower growing. She has two grown sons and two grandsons.

She received her BA and MA in French and Spanish from Texas Christian University and her PhD in French from Emory University. She taught at the university level for a number of years.

At her first home in western Pennsylvania, she had 165 trees, evergreens, flowering trees, perennials, herbs and annuals. She is looking forward to landscaping, with Bedner’s direction and help, at her new home.

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