I Need More Lilies
The ‘Casa Blanca’ oriental lilies are blooming in the back garden’s raised bed. I planted them last fall. There used to be ‘Casa Blanca’ in the Driveway Border, but they are no more. Foul play has not been ruled out.
Anyhow, these are wonderful lilies. The ivory white petals are rich and luxurious. But it’s the deliciously sweet fragrance, which can be detected ten feet away from the plant, that has me in its thrall. Some people think the scent of oriental lilies is too strong. I, on the other hand, have the same approach to floral fragrance as I do to floral color: you can never have too much. It is probably a good thing I do not wear perfume.
One of the neighbors was admiring the beauty of ‘Casa Blanca’ when she added, ” But those lilies are practically obscene.” It is true, I think, that lilies in general and ‘Casa Blanca’ in particular remind us strongly that flowers are about sexual reproduction. How could they not when the sexual organs, the pistil and stamen, are so prominent?
Which is odd when you consider that white lilies have often been used as symbols of chastity and purity. The late garden writer Cassandra Danz had this to say regarding another white lily, Lilium candidum: “In Renaissance paintings… at the moment when the angel tells Mary that she is going to be a mother, there is always a Madonna lily in the picture… It’s there because it represents fecundity and new life. Only later did it become associated with virginity and death, in that order … What a gorgeous creature this lily is, and virginity has nothing to do with it.”
‘Casa Blanca’ is the third and final act in my year of lilies. (Last year it was only a one act play.)
In June the Asiatic lilies burst upon the scene with bright yellow, orange, and red flowers.
Very striking, but sadly they have no fragrance.
As the Asiatics are fading in July, the orienpet lily ‘Conca d’Or’ opens its blooms of yellow and ivory in the Driveway Border. Like my current ‘Casa Blanca’, the ‘Conca d’Or’ were planted last fall. They are supposed to grow to around six feet, but apparently it is normal for them to reach just one third of that height in their first year.
Orienpets are fragrant crosses of oriental and trumpet lilies. I’m looking forward to seeing my ‘Conca d’Or’ at maturity.
But here’s the exciting news: I should have a new place to put some new hardy lilies this fall. I’ll talk about why shortly. Now, though, I want to ask what lilies you would recommend. It can be tallish but not a giant, and it must be fragrant. In terms of color, we want to avoid pink or purely white for this location. So – any suggestions?
Nice collection of Lilies! While I’m a big fan of Lilies and Dayliiies, I don’t know much about specific cultivars to recommend one. I have a mix in my garden, but the tags are gone. Mine mostly bloom in July, although I have some tall yellow ones that are still blooming. “Casa Blanca” and “Conca d’or'” are my favorites in this post.
Have you had trouble with lily beetles? Sounds like you have a nice collection.
Judy’s photos are so much better than mine. I guess the ipad does not suffice. But maybe it’s not the camera, but the photographer.
I thought your ipad pictures were excellent.
Wow. Those are some beautiful lilies.
Really would love to grow more lilies, but we are plagued with lily beetle.. 😦
They are a problem on the east coast, but are still not seen much around here. Probably just a matter of time, though.
I currently do not have any oriental lilies. I guess that I’ve been deterred by the beetle problem. Do you have issues or should I just get ordering? 🙂
They’re not a big issue this far west – not yet. Have you seen them in your garden?
No I haven’t seen them so I’d better get ordering. 🙂
Oh I am SO envious! I had the most exquisite lily garden in MA. and I miss it every time I read lily posts! I totally get why you’re excited to plant more!!
Your Conco d’Or are just stunning!! Orienpets are so special!
This is my first time growing orienpets, I think the next lilies I buy may be trumpets.
I always feel I need more lilies at this time of the year. I absolutely love Honeymoon but it looks very similar to your Concha d’ Or. I also wouldn’ t be without Lilium speciosum rubrum because it is beautiful, flowers profusely and is late flowering, so it extends the season.
Just looked up ‘Honeymoon’ and it is carried by John Scheepers. It is similar to Conca d’Or but could still be worth a try.
I love lilies but voles eat them like candy!
Fortunately voles don’t seem to be common around here.
How about some orange or yellow martagon lilies? That would add a whole new variety to your lily collection.
I just looked up Martagon lilies and Brent and Becky’s has a variety called ‘Arabian Knight’ that looks great. How fragrant are they?
Good question. I’ve seen them but don’t grow them, and have never stuck my face into them to find out. Apparently they don’t smell like orientals. I’ve seen reports that describe the scent as “musky.” Others say it’s neutral. And still others call it almost offensive.
Hi Jason, I love lilies, particularly Regale and Stargazer, of which there were lots in the previous garden. Being bulbs and buried deep, we sadly left them behind. The good thing is that they’re not too expensive to buy and I’m looking forward to the day when one of the borders is prepared for hundreds of bulbs to be planted in long sweeping ribbons. It’s all a long way off yet so I haven’t begun looking at varieties to plant so I can’t help you with recommendations I’m afraid.
‘Stargazer’ is not my favorite but I just looked up Regale and I like it! A definite possibility.
I’ve loved ‘Casa Blanca’ everytime I’ve seen it, but just never gave it a try. The orientals seem a little short lived for me.
This fall may be a lily fall. I’ve had a list put together since last year, and I think this is the fall it will happen. Lots of tall ones though, I’m all about the monster lilies!
I like them, too, but I don’t think I’ve got the right space available. Although “tall” is a relative term, I could probably grow them up to 4′.
omg lilies.They are among my favourite favourite flowers. Favourite flower family even. From wild onions to trout lilies, I think I love them all. Each year after Easter I go to stores to rescue the lilies that would normally get thrown out or get reduced to give away prices. I was more successful growing them in Alberta but I just can’t give them up. Someday I’d like to try one of the tall varieties like the martagons in my tropical bed.
Aren’t there lilies that like a hot climate?
I don’t know if it just me. Lilies just don’t thrive here. They will come back for a couple years but then kind of disappear. I thought maybe we don’t get enough chill hours for them to thrive.
How beautiful they are, especially the white ones. The lily beetle did for all of mine this year so nice that I can enjoy yours.xxx
Oh, I’m sorry that happened. I’m praying those lily beetles don’t come out here.
Beautiful lilies. I have 2 scented ones, and I am also looking for new ones.
I have seen some great ones, which all are scented.
Gold Class, Big Brother, Robert Swanson and Yellow Space.
Those sound good, I’ll have to look them up.
I am mostly a fragrant pink or white lily person so I am not sure what I could recommend but I look forward to seeing what others think. My other colored lilies are not fragrant.
Maybe they are Asiatics like mine. I do like white lilies just not in the location I have in mind.
If I recall a previous post of yours about oriental lilies, they made you (at least want to) roll around your garden in ecstasy over their fragrance. Hmmm. I’m kind of fond of the African Queen strain of trumpets. They have an amazing fragrance and a nice cantaloupe color. http://www.bdlilies.com/l6018.html
Thanks for the link! I really like that African Queen lily. Plus it was such a great movie.
I love lilies and for fragrance the oriental stargazer was always my favorite. I had to stop growing them though, because of lily leaf beetles. I hope they don’t find your garden!
I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
Oh, what a lovely collection of lilies! That bright orange one really stands out for me. I`m behind on my blog reading and see Ì`ve missed a few!
I like the bright orange also, but it is not fragrant.
How very beautiful! I can’t be of much help in the suggestion department. I always went for the white or pink lilies, except for the day lilies and there it was yellow, and red! I did once grow auratum Gold Band which may be too white for you, but the yellow bands and “freckles” are fabulous!
Gold Band is a possibility, yellow and white together I think can work.
I never thought about lilies as being obscene…but Casa blanca is definitely a stunner and I’d like to have it too 🙂
Is it not common in Europe?
Great display of lilies. ‘Conca d’Or’ is very nice. I haven’t grown any in many years but can see how valuable they are. The deer might enjoy them too much though in my garden.
Luckily we don’t have deer this close to the city.
My mother had Casa Blanca lilies in her garden. Not only are they voluptuous looking, but their fragrance is intoxicating. I’m looking forward to including them in the new fragrant garden that will grow outside the bedroom window of my new addition.
Voluptuous is a very apt word for CB, and a garden for fragrance is a great idea!
Oh Lilies are so lovely! Where I used to live the beetle & slugs were awful beasts to them 😦 If I were you and were ok about buying things on line, Oakes Daylilies have some AWESOME varieties! I don’t know about their fragrance-you would have to ask. I had good luck with their Lilies and have bought some for my aunt who also has had good luck but deer & critters have been not let many bloom this year 😦 We both live in NH.
I have bought daylilies from Oakes – very good quality. As for deer, I thank God on a regular basis that we don’t have them in our area.
Wonderful lilies Jason! Love your oriental Casa Blanca.
I can imagine the scent you feel every day!
I only wish I had more!