New Lilies for Your Summer Flower Garden
I can’t imagine my summer garden without lilies. Over time, I have planted so many different types and varieties that I now have lilies blooming continuously from mid-June through August. Though my garden has various color themes, lilies get to break those rules. I think of their flowers like exotic birds — welcome wherever they land!
I definitely have some favorite lilies, but I can’t think of any that are not worth growing. This spring, with 23 new varieties in our lily department, I’m in a heap of trouble. Good thing it’s easy to tuck lily bulbs in among other plants. I’ll be doing a lot of that this spring!
Read on for a quick look at this year’s bumper crop of new lilies. If you would like to plan for a succession of blooms, be sure to take a look at our Planning Guide for Lilies.
A Rainbow of Asiatic Lilies
Asiatics bloom in early summer, several weeks before any other types of lilies. In my garden, this is usually in mid to late June. Most varieties of Asiatic lilies are relatively short in stature (24-30″ tall). This makes them great for the front of perennial borders and containers. Asiatic lilies are also excellent cut flowers.
Customers have been asking us for a broader range of color options. So this year we have a total of 13 different varieties of Asiatics to choose from, and most of them are new to us.
LA Hybrids — The Lily World’s Newest Stars
The very first Longiflorum-Asiatic hybrid was introduced 30 years ago and more and more new varieties are becoming available. Think of them as super-charged Asiatics, with bigger, longer-lasting flowers and a wider range of colors. This year we added lemon-yellow Serrada and tangerine-orange Eniac. They join customer favorite Royal Sunset (shown near the beginning of this post).
OT Lilies – So Big and So Fragrant
These Oriental-Trumpet lily hybrids (also known as Orienpets) are vigorous plants with thick stems and enormous flowers. A single plant can stand over 5-feet tall and display a dozen 10″ blooms. OT lily breeders are introducing some stunning new colors, and this year we are excited to be offering pale pink Eastern Moon as well as the yellow and rose variety Rising Moon. Lesotho is another lovely option, with soft yellow flowers that open wide to show off dark chocolate anthers.
More Lilies You Won’t Want to Miss
Longiflorum lilies, commonly known as trumpet lilies, deserve a place in any flower garden. Taller than the other types, they typically grow to 6 or even 7 feet. As you’d expect, the flowers are trumpet-shaped and usually longer than they are wide. This year, we added two varieties of trumpet lilies: butterscotch and cranberry African Queen, and lemon-yellow Golden Splendor.
The world of lilies is a big one. If you are interested in growing something a bit more unusual, consider species lilies. They have a more informal growth habit, with more slender stems, finer foliage and smaller blossoms. Be sure to check out Martagon lily Alberta Morning and the single and double tiger lilies: Lancifolium and Lancifolium ‘Flore Pleno’.