21 April 2016

Lilies Galore from Longfield Gardens

It is time to buy and plant lily bulbs. There are hundreds, if not thousands of lily bulbs to choose from and every year new hybrid colors and sizes are introduced. 

Lilies love part shade so they are ideal for adding beauty along fences, around perennials, shrubs, etc. As cut flowers, their trumpet shaped blooms are hard to beat.

One source for garden quality lilies is family-owned 
Longfield Gardens, (www.longfield-gardens.com, 855-534-2733).Their website has beautiful displays of the lilies they offer, garden advice, articles, videos, etc.

Black Beauty is one we have grown in part-sun in our garden for many years. They are tough plants that return reliably and produce a huge abundance of flowers. The outside of the petal is raspberry and the center is apple green. Fragrant flowers in July.
Purple Prince is a trumpet-flowered Oriental lily that grows 4 or 5 feet tall. The stems are sturdy so they are great to cut. The flowers are purple to dark pink. Fragrant.
Lollypop is another personal favorite that we have divided a few times over the years. It is an Asiatic-type with a simple trumpet. The tips of the petals are rose colored and the centers are white with a lime green touch. Lollypop stays short so it is good for planting in containers with other perennials. 
Lollypop’s stems are strong enough to withstand strong wind without staking.

Muscadet is a playful combination of white flowers with dark pink freckles and pale pink brushstrokes. Ruffled, scented, Oriental lily. Good for bouquets.

Playtime has ruffled white petals with a stripe down the center of each. The brushed colors are two-toned canary yellow and rose-red. Long lasting, scented flowers for cutting. Blooms mid- summer.

Stargazer is widely planted by the cut flower trade. The colors – all pinks and reds - are beautiful plus the flowers have a long vase life. This one is loved by butterflies in our garden.

Dizzy is a large-trumpet Oriental lily with white petals that have a deep red stripe down the middle. Fragrant, mid-summer color. This one is reliable in our garden.

Most lily vendors offer collections or samplers. Longfield has one called Cutting Garden, which is a collection of 24 bulbs in assorted colors and Asiatic Sunset Mix – 9 bulbs in warm colors...

Like all bulbs, lilies can be destroyed if the soil doesn’t drain well. After you select a planting area, dig a hole twice as deep as the bulb is.  If this is a new planting area, cultivate the soil a foot deep, adding organic material as you back fill the hole.


Put a small gravel or sand in the bottom of that hole and set the bulb in place. Add a little more sand and then fill the hole with rich planting soil.

Top the area with compost or leaf mold so there is a little mound up to 4 inches above the soil line. As the soil settles it will become even ground again.

After lily bulbs have been in place five years it is a good idea to lift, divide and re-plant them. The ideal time is two to four weeks after the flowers finish. Lift the bulb by digging down, around the area. The mother bulb in the center should be re-planted immediately.

The bulbils, the tiny bulbs around the outside of the mother bulb. are detached and planted in a growing bed. In a few years they will bloom and then can be moved to their permanent location.


When cutting lilies, leave as much stem on the plant as possible. The stem will continue to feed the bulb for next year’s flowers.

No comments: