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

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