Lily, Lily, Lily


“It’s almost here – It’s safe to say
I saw a Crocus yesterday
Its’ colors bright – A lovely thing
My heart Rejoiced! ‘Twil soon be Spring!

The winter blues will soon be gone
And birds will soon burst forth in song
The coral bells will gently ring
The Daphne yells “It’s almost Spring!”

It’s nearly here! It’s coming fast!
The Robins will appear at last
Oh Wonderous Joy! I too shall sing!
And join in Nature’s “Song for Spring””
–   M. Garren, A Song for Spring

OK I didn’t see a crocus or anything else, but I can dream.  After over 160 inches of snow, we are still in the final grips of winter here in Central NY near the Great Lakes.  I know I will see the beautiful soil soon, but for now I will post about another wonderful plant that has its Natives and non-natives; the lily (Liliaceae).  These beautiful plants pop up in the garden to throw some color throughout the late spring and summer.  Yes I am jumping right to summer…I need heat and sun here…

You can recognize them by their trumpets of white, orange, yellow, red, pink and purple.  They have hybridized them so much that some have fragrance, some do not; some are 6 feet tall and some just about a foot.

I love to plant lilies near the irises and other spring perennials so when they are done blooming, I have more color that follows with lilies.  And lilies actually signal a sign of summer; that we are assured the winds will be hot and the air humid.  Do not confuse daylilies with lilies.  They are not related although daylilies look like lilies.  I have loads of daylilies too, but there are no Natives of these unless you live in Asia.

Here are just a few of the many lilies I have that come up in June, mostly Asiatic and some Trumpet.












Then there are the Oriental and their hybrids; showier blooms with stronger scents.



In my area of the North East US, our Native lily is the Turk’s Cap Lily or Lilium superbum pictured at the top of the page.  They can be confused with some of the newer lilies they are crossing and growing these days so be careful that you are getting a Turk’s Cap lily. These lilies like to grow in zone 4-9  in full or partial sun.  They thrive best in moist to wet conditions in rich loamy soil.  Once established, they can withstand some drought. The beautiful flowers will attract hummingbirds, bees and larger butterflies as well as some unusual moths.  I hope to spot these pollinators this year and snap a few pictures.


There are two other Native lilies I have yet to plant.

photo courtesy of


Lilium canadense (Canada Lily) is almost impossible to find for your garden.








Lilium philadelphicum (Wood Lily) can be purchased online at this time.  Hopefully I will be able to add these to my garden this year.

photo courtesy of









In the Language of Flowers: Lilies are thought to mean purity and modesty.  Certainly such a beautiful nodding trumpet with it’s gorgeous colors and fragrance cannot stay modest in your garden.

“Lone and erect, beneath light’s primal flood,
A lily!  and pure as any one of you.”
–   Mallarme


Pop on over to Tootsie Time to see what is blooming in gardens all over the world on this Friday


  1. Laura @ PatioPatch says:

    Hi Donna – what a contrast the vibrant colours are with the reality of your snowbound landscape. But the poem echoes how we yearn for the new growth and renewal of the Spring.
    Just wondered if you, like us in the UK, are plagued with those scarlet lily beetles that decimate the plants, particularly the Oriental lilies.

    • Donna says:

      Laura I am glad you liked the contrast…I am unaware of the scarlet beetle at least in my area nothing seems to bother the lilies…

  2. Donna says:

    Oh you made me yearn my lily bed. They were not even on my mind until now. You really have a nice collection in your mosaics, mine are much quieter in the pale pinks, whites and yellows. Time to get the catalogs back out for a fix.

    • Donna says:

      glad you liked them…I have purchased one of the native ones so I can start getting those back into my garden area…will be interesting to see how they grow and who visits them…enjoy shopping for more lilies…

  3. One says:

    I see you have loads of orange here too. Lovely mosaics. I like those sweet colors. Too much orange over here already. 🙂

  4. Carolflowerhillfarm says:

    Donna, Lovely photos of your Turks Cap! I have been having a hard time with those nasty red beetles devouring the leaves of these lilies and so many more. Voles have decided they enjoy the bulbs too. From the looks of your beautiful photos you do not have these woes. I am in empathy with you wishing to see our snow melt and flow gently away. I hope for a slow melt as a fast one will be hard on many, for the flooding it will cause. Thanks for the uplifting and joyous post.

    • Donna says:

      Really…I don’t have beetles yet and I hope the voles don’t like mine although I did plant some Fritillaria to keep them at bay…I agree I want a slow melt….flooding will kill bulbs and plants

  5. Lona says:

    Your lilies look so beautiful. I can hardly wait until they bloom once again. The pinks and the yellow and white one are the ones I really love.

  6. EvoOrganic says:

    What lovely pictures! I too want to completly skip spring and go straight to summer, but at this point I’ll settle for spring!! Thanks for posting, I actually found my new background picture here 🙂

  7. Pam's English Garden says:

    Dear Donna, I have Turk’s Cap Lilies and they are stunning. I think those of us in snowy climes are all getting spring fever around now. Thank you for visiting my blog … so I found yours. P x

  8. Paula says:

    Your lily’s are wonderful – mine aren’t even poking through the ground yet. Makes me excited to see them again! Thanks for sharing, Paula in Idaho

    • Donna says:

      Thx Dona I can always count on your for inspiration…I am resigned to the fact that we will have a slow entrance to spring which is OK…I need time this year with so much going on…and I won’t have as many floods if we get a slow snow melt

  9. Holley says:

    My daylily foliage is coming up. I, too, am anxious for their blooms. Your photos are gorgeous! I hope your snow melts soon.

    • Donna says:

      So far I have been spared the beetles…winter will be gone soon and that will have to be enough…I will practice patience…maybe

  10. debsgarden says:

    You dream of heat and humidity; In summer, I dream of snow! I really like your native turks Cap Lily. I have lots of day lilies but only a few true lilies. Yours are beautiful!

    • Donna says:

      Deb thx…I know I really don’t like heat and humidity but right now with another foot of new snow falling I will take it…

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