Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Lilies of the Field




"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 . . .



12 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

OOOOoooooooo These lilies are so lovely. They make my heart sing and my eyes dance.

Muum said...

Those yellow lilies are beautiful! My fave is the Stargazer. I had some in OHio that I got as a gift, and planted them in the yard, where they came back and multiplied beautifully. I have some more here in Utah, but they are struggling. I think I 'need' some tiger lilies, too, so I am on the look out for them. Hope your Dr. helps you out, glad you are feeling better. Thyroid probs can be tricky, I have hypo- stuff going on, but so far, so good with the meds and stuff.

Mamma Sarah said...

I love Lilies and maybe I'll try my hand at some this year. Any tips for first timers?

Robin's Nesting Place said...

What a lovely and thoughtful gift! I'm glad they didn't freeze.

I went to the library one evening during the summer and sat in the car for a few minutes while talking on the phone and I saw a hawk moth going from lily to lily.

All of your lilies are lovely.

Randy and Jamie said...

These pictures make me long for Spring. Tomorrow I will go buy fresh flowers for th house. I don't know why I haven't already done it.

jodi said...

Good to hear you're doing better, Kylee! I love the lilies too, in all their colours and forms, but the fragrant ones are the very best.

Nancy J. Bond said...

The lilies are gorgeous, Kylee...and lovely shots of them, too. Your kitty is also very pretty. :) Glad to read you're feeling better.

Rosehaven Cottage said...

I can almost smell them through the computer screen! *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* Mmmmmm...

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Love Lilies, especially the fragrant ones. My Ruskies love Lilies too as is demonstrated by the yellow stains in their fur. ;-)

Jessica said...

The Lilies are beautiful and I am honestly reconsidering my personal disinterest in them! I think because I always see the orange lilies that are standard at shopping centers, etc., I never cared much for them...but seeing yours have really opened my eyes to the variety available....It's funny because since I have no gardening buddies, I use the blogs as my mentors:)

Diane said...

every one of the lilies is beyond gorgeous. I'm not sure if lilies or peonies are my favourite flower -- maybe it's both. What a great coup to get that photo of the moth actually taking the nectar!

I too adore the fragrance of some of the ones you've also mentioned. The coleus at the feet of the summer lilies is a perfect contrast, especially that lime green! ooooh :-)

Diane
Sand to Glass
Dogs Naturally

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

It would be very easy to become a Lily collector, & then develop a Lily obsession. They are so easy to stuff into spaces in the garden & they add much needed height & fragrance (okay, not the Asiatics). Last year a friend gave me a catalog from a Lily nursery in Washington. I was so tempted. I still am. Must resist...keep eyes averted from Lily photos...must not look...

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