Learning to like lilies

Last year, when Matt and I transplanted a lilac from beside the driveshed, I dug up a few other plants that looked like they might be something (as opposed to just being weeds). I was wishing for hollyhocks because I had found a plastic tag near them that said hollyhock. (Plus I love hollyhocks).

This year when they started to grow, I realized they were probably not hollyhocks. As they started to bud, I thought lilies, but maybe (wishfully) calla lilies? Surely they wouldn’t be ubiquitous day lilies, would they? (Not my favourite flower, honestly).

Well, they are day lilies, but they’re a bit special. They’re two-toned, which is kind of cool.

Orange and yellow day lilies

A bunch of lilies still in their nursery pots were among the plants we inherited from the previous owners. I stuck them in the ground last year, and they’ve done super well.

There’s the orange sherbert (again, I’m not the hugest fan of this version).

Yellow lilies

The lemon sherbert is a bit more palatable.

Yellow lilies

Then we of course have what I classify as regular orange day lilies.

Orange day lilies

The late bloomers that have come on in just the last week are these dark red ones. I actually like these quite a lot.

Red day lilies

But the star of the show is one special lily. Yes, this an Easter lily. I stuck it in the ground last year. And this year, after doing nothing (except having a close call with Wiley), it’s blooming. In fact, it’s bloomed so big that the second blossom has split open.

Easter lilies in the garden

The success of our lilies makes me think I may not have such a black thumb after all. Or else lilies thrive when neglected.

As the lilies are growing in the garden, they’re also starting to grow on me. I think I actually like them. I know for sure that there is one type of lily that I’d really like to add to our garden.

Growing up, we had two clumps of tiger lilies in our backyard (basically day lilies with spots). My Mom had transplanted them from her family’s farm where she spent childhood summers. The tiger lilies eventually got squeezed out of the garden, but I’m hoping I might be able to find some for our farm. For now, I get my tiger lily fix from a plate painted by my great grandmother that lives in my Mom’s china cabinet.

Tiger lily plate

I’m hoping I can find some tiger lilies to add to our farm. Sentimentality always wins out for me.

Do you have lilies growing at your house? Are you a fan? Any suggestions for a source for tiger lilies?

8 thoughts on “Learning to like lilies

  1. My favorite are the lemon lilies! And the standard orange lilies my mom calls “ditch lilies” because down here they grow all along the road sides! At my last house I had a variety called school bus lilies (I am sure not the official name), they were the exact yellow of a school bus! I think lilies are very pretty, but I don’t like to grow them as much because you can’t really cut them and put into vases, Day Lilies really only last a day!

  2. I didn’t love them until we painted our last house blue. Suddenly the green stems and yellow lilies looked amazing against it! I started noticing just how many varieties there are. Some of them are gorgeous…but I wouldn’t want too many because the leaves can get boring and unruly.

  3. I think you will find that daylilies are great, relatively low maintenance plants. There is a wonderful nursery in Quebec that you can order from called Vivaces Nordiques: http://www.vivacesnordiques.com/Daylilies-vn.htm
    For lilies, including tiger lilies, I would suggest the Lily Nook out west. There website is terrible, but the selection is really good: http://www.lilynook.mb.ca/index.html
    or a mail order company on the west coast called Botanus :
    Though you can order and plant lilies like tiger lilies in the fall, I’d hold off and do it in the spring. Maybe check out the daffodils and tulips at Botanus instead! Happy gardening!

  4. Lovely day lilies! And even lovelier plate! Was your great-grandmother German? We have a couple of hand-painted plates (with blackberries) that were painted for my grandmother’s wedding by her friends, apparently a tradition among German families then living in northern California.

    • What a lovely tradition. My great grandmother simply enjoyed painting china as far as I know. My family are fairly long-time Canadians, but I think there’s some British way back there. No German on this side of the family as far as I know.

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