It was an end of season impulse purchase. One hundred LA hybrid lilies, Lilium ‘Summer Breeze Mixture’, were offered for a ridiculously low price late last fall from Van Engelen, one of several bulb emporiums that I patronize. These would make a fine gift to share with my gardening offspring, each getting a bag of twenty-five, with the same number for the Fairegarden.
The LA hybrids, a genetic mix of Longifolium and Asiatic lilies, have proven to be perfect for the conditions here. Lilium ‘Royal Fantasy’ and L. ‘Royal Sunset’ have done quite well. They are early blooming, sweetly scented, not so tall as to need staking, beautiful, upward facing trumpet-shaped blooms of good substance and long lasting, and best of all, rapidly increasing each year for beaucoup blooms. All good. The large, fat bulbs arrived in late November. There had already been several frosts and it was getting colder. One of the few places with room for that many bulbs and fairly easy digging was at the end of the blueberry box behind the shed. The box had been reconfigured to allow room for a pathway and seemed the perfect spot to stash the lilies quickly.
The plan was to stuff them close together with the intent of sorting them for permanent planting after the colors were revealed the next spring. It worked. As each stalk flowered, ribbons and string were attached and photos were taken.
The time has come to dig them up and place them where the colors will best blend into the surroundings. The foliage was left to ripen and feed the bulbs for future blooming. It is now turning yellow and dying back. Now where is that color chart I surely made?
Oops, no list, no chart could be found in the notebook of loose papers that include receipts, notes, journals and purchase lists. But there were photos in a folder on the laptop of all the lily blooms for 2012, thank goodness. Detective work showed there were five different varieties, each with ribbons attached to mark one from the other.
In a code that only I could understand, the color of each flower, the color of ribbon/thread used to denote that color and the location proposed to plant that color was written down. There has been rain, with more in the forecast. Today is the day for this plan to come to fruition, with the reward being postponed until next May/June. Let us dig now, replant in the chosen beds and dream of summer breezes in 2013.
Not everyone would go to this trouble to separate the lilies by colors and replant, my offspring don’t have the time nor inclination to do so. They just tucked the bulbs into their gardens and enjoyed the flowers. As the title suggests, my planting was an experiment. The results will be tallied next year.