"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They neither toil nor spin, and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."
~ Matthew 6:28
I received a bouquet of Asiatic lilies last week. It must have been the coldest day of the week with temperatures in the teens with a cold wind. They were shipped via UPS Next Day and left on our doorstep. I'd seen the UPS truck go by, but wasn't aware that he'd left anything at our place. Probably an hour later, I went out the front door and saw the box sitting there.
As I opened the box and unwrapped the flowers, feeling how very cold they were, I had my doubts that the unopened buds would amount to anything. But I recut the stems and put them in water in the included pottery pitcher and hoped for the best.
Just look at them now!
Lilies were one of my first obsessions when I became a serious gardener. I already had a yellow asiatic that had been in one of the flower beds for awhile. Then I discovered there were other lilies, like orientals, orienpets, trumpets, martagons. Daylilies, too, although I was to find out that they aren't lilies at all.
Over the last several years, I've had some lovely lilies bloom in our gardens. The orientals are my favorites, because they bloom later in the season when all the other ones are pretty well finished and nothing beats the fragrance that fills the air when they're in bloom. They announce their presence with it.
The hawk moths loved our 'Starfighter' oriental lilies and I discovered this one night two summers ago when I was doing some after-dark watering following a hot dry day. That's not the best time to water, but better then than not at all when the plants are droopy and thirsty. When I saw the moth flitting around in the dim light, I thought it was a small bird. I ran into the house for a flashlight and my camera and I was able to get a couple of pictures of it sipping nectar with its long proboscis.
Of all the lilies we've had, by far the most fragrant and maybe even the most beautiful was 'Muscadet.' For some reason, after just one fabulous season, they didn't return. I plan to buy more though, and will site them in full sun this time, instead of mostly shade as they were before.
For now and until summer and the lilies flower in the garden again, I'll enjoy the apricot blooms of the cut asiatics for a few more days. Jilly seems to appreciate them, too . . .