Someone is Out to Get my ‘Casa Blanca’ Lilies
In the horticultural justice system, the gardener expresses two separate but equal responses to the loss of a beloved plant. The first is to have a tantrum. The second is to rush out and buy a replacement. This is my story. CHUNG-CHUNG.
I love my ‘Casa Blanca’ oriental lilies. The ivory flowers are wonderful, and the fragrance incomparable. Earlier this spring it looked like they would have an exceptional year, growing tall and healthy.
Then tragedy struck. One of the lily stalks became discolored. On closer examination, I decided that some kind of borer had gotten into it. To be on the safe side, I yanked the whole plant, including the bulb, and disposed of it. There were five lilies to start with, so that left four. Tragic, yes, but I could still move on with my life.
A couple of weeks later I discovered that another of the lilies had become headless – the upper part of the stalk had snapped off. I was so disturbed by this that I went out and bought a replacement in a one gallon container.
Then this afternoon I got home and discovered that another lily had been snapped off near the bottom. Three lilies lost in one season. Coincidence? Hardly. Who is responsible for this crime spree? Neighbors jealous of my flowers or resentful of my unwillingness to have a normal lawn? Senseless vandalism by wayward teens? Or something more sinister?
Even worse, could this be a case of negligent lilycide? One of the snapped lilies was not staked, the other was. Could my failure to stake, or improper staking, be the culprit? Or could it just be birds attempting to perch on the lily stalks?
Will my ‘Casa Blancas’ ever feel safe again?