Fall orders and planting

Chicago, IL(Zone 6a)

I have been a member here at DG for several years but I just recently discovered lilies and this wonderful discussion group. What is everyone ordering and/or planting this fall? I have placed some embarrassingly large orders from The Lily Garden, BD, Old House Gardens and Van Engelen and I have been quite busy with planting all these bulbs and learning how to scale. If I had less self restraint and a deeper wallet I might have ordered every single lily offered by The Lily Garden! They are my favorite supplier so far and I really relate to Judith Freeman's breeding aesthetics. I also just joined the NALS to learn as much as possible.

While reading through all of the wonderful posts here (32 pages of them!) it seems this forum is not as active lately as it once used to be. Is there a reason for that, or are folks just busy and caught up in other projects?

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

How lovely that you have joined us! I have ordered from every company that you have ordered from except for Van Engelen, and I have ordered many other bulbs from them. They are all excellent. For future referenece, have a peek at Faraway Flowers. You will be very happy.

Ordering and planting this fall (mind you, I have dug dozens old ones up, so many of these are not purchased this year):

Silk Road

Amethyst Temple
Emerald Temple
Longidragon clone
Regale album
Silver Sunburst

Casa Blanca
Crystal Blanca

Prince Promise

Pink Heaven
Red Alert

Candidum Cascade Strain (grown from seed from NALS - you were celever to join)

August Ruby
Pearl Loraine
Rosepoint Lace

It is true that this forum is not as busy as it once was. There was an upheaval perhaps a couple of years ago when the original Dave of Dave's Garden allowed himself to be acquired, and a dispute ended up with him leaving. So Dave started Cubits. Some wonderful members left to go to Cubits, some stayed with Dave, and some are on both forums. So it did lessen the number of DG members, and some of them were very active posters. I am on both, and if you like, you can join Cubits, which is free. I must admit, however, that I post primarily on DG.

Welcome! What did you plant? Don't feel the need to categorize and alphabetize. I keep an acquisition list, and I'm anal LOL!


Saint Bonifacius, MN(Zone 4a)

Ispahan, welcome!

I too am part of both sites. In fact the cubits lily forum has made the move to the allthingsplants site, another of the original Dave's creations. I post there more often, too.

As you've perhaps already discovered, I tend toward the wild species lilies. I seldom buy lily bulbs anymore, and usually obtain seed from plant society seed exchanges or trading. A much longer ordeal, but for me, it is the learning that's important, more so than the flowers themselves.


Chicago, IL(Zone 6a)

Hi Donna and Rick,

Thank you for your wonderful messages. I just signed up for All Things Plants and have been diligently reading through all of the posts. I had no idea this other forum existed! Now I know where everyone has been posting lately, LOL! I have lots and lots of lily questions so I might start posting them there.

I just moved into a property that has extremely well-drained deep sandy soil with lots of organic matter that I think will be perfect for lilies. If anything it is too well-drained and I will have quite a chore keeping them moist enough during the growing season. It is also on the alkaline side, so that rules out growing many of the Orientals. I do have a large raised bed in which I planted quite a few Lilium speciosum this fall (both rubrum and album) and sprinkled slow release garden sulfur over the surface, so I hope I can at least get them to establish and grow for a few years.

I inherited a huge clump of Asiatics that I dug up and divided this fall. I have no idea what color they are, but the clump yielded about 60 mature huge bulbs and numerous smaller bulblets. I hope I like it because it sure is prolific.

Here are other lilies that I have planted:

Species: L. speciosum (mentioned above), L. henryi, L. pumilum, L. lancifolium 'Splendens', L. regale.

OTs: Anastasia, Alchemy, Silk Road, Scheherazade, Silver Scheherazade, Caravan, Sarabande, Black Beauty, Shocking, Satisfaction, Invasion, Robina, Hacienda, Conca d'Or, Leslie Woodriff, Carte Blanche

Trumpets/Aurelians: African Queen, Pink Perfection, Golden Splendor, White Henryi, Madame Butterfly (Mak)

LOs: Triumphator, El Condor

Asiatics: Ariadne, Eurydice, Eros, Karen North, Antique Lace, Rosepoint Lace, Peach Lace, Yellow Whoppers, Last Dance, Tiger Babies, Red Velvet, Midsummer's Eve

I think I might double post this at ATP as well to start talking lilies! :-)


(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Always glad to welcome a new lily lover, Corey. I hope you'll enjoy it here at the "Original" Dave's Garden.

Rick and Donna have so many beautiful lilies. It's always worth gaining knowledge.from them.

Conca d'Or is one of my favorites and the fragrance is so enticing. Mine came from Faraway Flowers and the owner, Ramona, is DG's own Mainiac.


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Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)


What a great list! I've counted seven that we have in common and I can see our preferences are very similar.

I have been ordering lilies since 2000 or so (started with Casa Blanca and Regale), and I should put in a plug for Faraway Flowers. The beauty of Ramona's lilies is that she has many that I have never seen before. And they are incredibly reasonable in price. She offers a good selection of MAK lilies, amongst other things. I had never HEARD of MAK lilies until last year. I have now ordered from her twice and I think that she and her lilies are wonderful. And yes, she is our own Mainiac - and a delight!

One of the favorites I intend to order again is speciosum Uchida, which I have received from B&D. But the lily I want most again doesn't seem to be available - the screaming red "The Vamp". I had gotten very pastel, so I started introducing intense reds.

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Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Here are Hiawatha and Red Alert, and if you look to the left, you will see Ariadne peeking out.

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Chicago, IL(Zone 6a)

Pirl, thank you for your message. It is nice to hear that Conca d'Or is a winner with such a nice fragrance. I got most of my bulbs for this one from B-D Lilies. I can't wait to see it sprout and bloom next season, although I know it won't really shine until 2013 or 2014... Does this one multiply for you?

Donna, what beautiful pictures! I also like dark red lilies, which is why I chose Red Velvet. Maybe I am strange but I really prefer lilies with down-facing or out-facing blooms. Is Ariadne really a short lily or is that picture deceiving? How long have you had it and how has it performed for you?

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Hi Corey,

It took me a while to understand the charms of downward-facing blooms, but once I got it, I got it.

To give you some perspective, here are two pics of Ariadne and Rosepoint Lace. Since you have Rosepoint Lace, it will give you a better idea. Mine have grown to multiple heights, as you can see. And they have been in for ten years. Being anal, I record what I plant, and these went in during October of 2001!

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Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I love the interplay of the two. I have White Henryi to the right, and the reds to the left.

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Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Hiawatha, on the other hand, grows both down-facing and out-facing - the best of both worlds! And it's very tough.

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Chicago, IL(Zone 6a)

Beautiful photos, Donna! Don't apologize for being anal. I even created an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of my new lilies: cultivars, species, type, hybridizer, when planted, quantity planted, fragrance, source, etc. Of course, I can only start to fill in some of this info next year but it gives me something to look forward to.

This will sound horrible and snobby, but I think it was the upright Asiatics that kept me away from lilies for so long. They are so stiff and gaudy (not that anything is wrong with that--I love my gaudy dahlias) that they just never excited me. I thought the only two choices were upright Asiatics or the Orientals which, though lovely and fragrant, can usually be considered very expensive annuals around here. And so I stayed away from them for as long as possible. Now I am a hopeless addict. I had no idea that the world of lilies was so vast and varied.

In the process of discovering lilies, I had two eye-openers: the catalogues of Old House Gardens and The Lily Garden. OHG introduced me to some of the wonderful species lilies and TLG to some of the most beautiful lily hybrids I have ever seen in my life. They made me realize that lilies don't have to be delicate or stiff, but they encompass looks and aesthetics for almost everyone.

Now that all of my bulbs are safely put to bed, I will still be worrying about them all winter. Did I plant them deeply enough? Are they safe from rodents? (I did interplant a lot of them with mini daffodils, though.) Will my soil pH make them rot and decline? LOL, it is just like having a new puppy with all of this constant fussing and worrying! :-)

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Corey - I'll be lifting the Conca d'Or within the next two weeks to move it to a better place where it can show off so I'll let you know if it has multiplied. I only planted it 4/16/2010.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

How funny! I have an excel spreadsheet too! I have one for lilies, one for roses, and one for every plant I ever bought, complete with supplier and installation date.

Frankly, your aversion to upright Asiatics was shared by me. I found them small and uninteresting, lacking scent and being the lilies people just stuck in their yards. And then I discovered that oriental lilies are temperamental. There is actually a thread somewhere on DG about reliable orientals and red orientals. My very first lilies were from Brent and Becky (5 regales for $6.00, if you can imagine) that I still have today, and 5 Montreux, which I drowned. Then White Flower Farm had a special on a dozen Casablancas. I put them almost a foot down, thinking it was necessary, in soil next to the house with lots of gravel in it (didn't realize it, but that provides sharp drainage) and they were unbelievable. Thy were growing from the base of our foundation plants, which were bayberries, and the combo was magical! I was sold. But there are only a handful of reliable orientals (Sorbonne and Acapulco amonst them) so I moved on to trumpets.

I got lilum martagon, White Henryi and Silver Sunburst from OHG. I got Amethyst Temple from White Flower Farm. The last two are very difficult to find in commerce, as are Emerald Temple and Logidragon, which came from B&D. Once I discovered The Lily Garden, and subsequently B&D, I bought exclusively from them for many years. Then a couple of years ago I found Buggy Crazy (sadly, out of business) and Faraway Flowers.

The mini daffs should keep them safe. I discovered it a few years ago and started writing about it everywhere on DG. I kept recommending WP Milner, and was amused to find that it was sold out everywhere. Before that, 50 plus lilies were wiped out by voles one year. Since then - not a one! Is there anything more disappointing than planting these beauties, only to look up in spring and find them gone? Then there the lilies that had their little heads bitten off by rabbits. After at least five years of having the same lilies disappear every year (my rabbits have a favorite spot) I put mini daffs where I though the stems were, and the next year "found" Jubileo, Coral Babies (gifts from TLG) and Longidragon. It was like Christmas. And the most satusfying thing? Because the bulbs hadn't bloomed in 5 years, they were huge, and when they bloomed, they made up for lost time.

Don't worry too much about your bulbs. I noticed this spring that a Silk Road had risen to the surface during the winter. I spotted the yellow in the bulb. Panicking, I pulled it up and put it in a pot. It was one of my best bloomers (go figure).

And wow, I miss Buggy. This is Lilium Champagne.

This message was edited Nov 6, 2011 12:54 AM

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Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

After the lilies bloom away, what do you do with them. Do you cut them down and plant something else or just leave the leaves till they die?? I am new at the lilies, my order just came in and wonder how to plan out the garden, most of them will be about 4 feet tall. Etelka

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You allow them to grow and when they are done blooming just remove the top where the flowers were to prevent them from going to seed. Instead they will direct their energy back to the bulb. Only cut them down when the leaves have dropped and the stem is brown. Enjoy them, Etelka!

Chicago, IL(Zone 6a)

Etelka, once lilies bloom you need to leave them alone until they die back naturally. It is okay to remove the spent flowers to prevent seed formation, but try not to remove any foliage. The need all of their foliage to build up energy in the bulbs for next year's blooms, multiplication, health, etc. If you would like to cut your lilies for the house, try not to remove more than 1/3 of the total foliage to ensure the bulb's health for next year.

Donna, I will have to keep my eye on Faraway Flowers. I already have their site bookmarked. Problem is, I can't afford any more bulbs this year! :-) But there is always next year... And not to mention that I want to buy nearly every single bulb in Judith Freeman's catalogue.

Pirl, can't wait to see the update about Conca d'Or after you move it! :-)

Chicago, IL(Zone 6a)

Donna, more questions. Are you involved with any regional lily societies? I just noticed that there is a Wisconsin-Illinois Lily Society and wondered if it would be worth joining. There was also a recent lily bulb sale at the Chicago Botanic Gardens recently that I missed...

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Hi, just got back.

I am indeed a member of the Wisconsin Illinois Regional Society, but unfortunately their meetings are always in Eau Claire, which is quite a hike. One year they actually sent bulbs to members, but it never happened again. I really joined to give them moral support. They aren't really in a position to provide us with anything tangible (unless you want to drive to Eau Claire - their bulb sales are absolutely wonderful).

There used to be a Wisconsin Illinois Lily Society in the northern suburbs (their bulb sales were the one at The Botanic Garden, and a former member runs them). I enjoyed being a part of it (I was a Member-at-Large) and even enjoyed selling lilies at the Botanic Garden in 2002 (yum, the leftovers were fabulous). Unfortunately when the new president took over the former president was an incredibly disruptive force, and the society imploded. So there is no Illinois based society.

Ah, your problem is just good taste. I think that TLG is wonderful, and buying every one of her bulbs will keep you busy for a while!

This message was edited Nov 6, 2011 7:14 PM

Chicago, IL(Zone 6a)

Thanks for the info, Donna! You're correct, Eau Claire is quite a long trek for us. It is a shame that there is not a more local group we can participate in around here. Do you know of any local lily fans? Maybe we should restart our own club?

I did join NALS and enjoyed reading through "Let's Grow Lilies" several times. It is such a fun book. I can't wait to peruse the seed exchange as well. I also just joined (today) the Lily Group of the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon (formerly the Pacific Northwest Lily Society) to take advantage of their biannual bulb sales. I noticed that The Lily Garden was one of the vendors this fall, and Judith was offering all of the bulbs I ordered (or would have ordered anyway) for a discounted price.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

You will LOVE the seed exchange. I managed to get my hands on Lilium Candidum Cascade Strain seed collected by the late, great Ed McRae, who was the head of the Species Lily Preservation Group, which has now merged with NALS. He and Judith Freeman were married.

As you probably know, Lilium candidum is usually fiercely expensive and disease prone. The Cascade Strain is an improved, strengthed strain. I have five plants that will bloom in the spring. I can't wait! I have also grown the formosanum/longiflorum strains, because I can start them in January and they will bloom for me in September. Immediate gratification. Then I have the choice of overwintering them indoors in pots with minimal watering, or starting new ones every year. I probably have ten packs of NALS lily seed in my minifridge (great for seed storage and overwintering lily bulbs.)

I'm glad I'm writing to a lily lover. I can't talk about this stuff to the people around me - they think I'm nuts. But when you can produce such beauty with your own hands - AH! But that's the problem. There are no lily fans, and the powers that be (the person who runs the Botanic Garden sales - I won't mention his name - is very controlling).

But maybe we can get together at The Botanic Gardens for their lily sales. Wouldn't that be fun? (I have two reciprocal memberships - we can get in free!)

I was also a member of the Pacific Northwest Lily Society and took advantage of their great sales last year. I should rejoin. It's just that I am a member of the American Rose Society and two peony societies, as well as a sponsor member of the Raulston Arboretum, which ships me the most rocking plants. Between the ARS and Raulston, my memberships are $300 a year. I think I am going to drop ARS (chemical/hybrid tea land) and keep the North American Lily Society and join the Hardy Plant Group.

Buggy also offered Judith's lilies. She was amazing.

I'm so glad you started writing. It is such a pleasure reading your wonderful and enthusiastic postings.

Here is trumpet lily Silver Sunburst from Old House Gardens.

This message was edited Nov 11, 2011 5:12 AM

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Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

And Amethyst Temple. I love the contrast between the exterior and interior color. The two lilies appear to me out of commerce, so I treasure them.

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Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

And Emerald Temple from B&D. Love those trumpets!

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Chicago, IL(Zone 6a)

Beautiful trumpets! Do these do well for you and multiply, or do they tend to dwindle after a while? I am curious about these since I think they are wonderful and planted a ton of L. regale and a few select strains this fall. If they do well for me ( I know they may not perform their best next season) I will move on to some of the extraordinary selections from The Lily Garden, tetraploids and color selections and such.

I was also a member of the American Rose Society for many years. I also found them to be very hybrid-tea-and-spray-the-beetles centric, which is not really my taste or style at all, and as such let my membership lapse. Most of the time I have lived in Chicago I was in a condo, so I had no yard space or garden to speak of, other than a back porch that was overflowing with containers in the summer. I just purchased a property with a yard this summer and moved in early this fall. I made sure I planted a few own root heritage rose selections that I had been fond of in the past, like 'Madame Plantier' and Rosa x centifolia 'Muscosa'.

Most plant societies I tend not to find very useful to me. Most are focused on exhibiting, which I have no interest in. I joined NALS for the seed exchange and cultural support since so few people seem to be interested in lilies and HPSO for the fabled bulb sales. I have been a member of Seed Savers Exchange for many years because I cannot resist seeds with a story or growing unusual vegetables. Other than that, I haven't really found many society memberships to be worth it to me.

I have always been fascinated by Lilium candidum since I was a child and saw pictures in books. Everything I have read about it always points out how fussy and fragile it is and it does cost so much, too. Needless to say, because of all of the above it did not make it on this year's list of "must buy" lilies. But how wonderful that you were able to start them from seed and nurture them successfully. When they bloom next year I can only imagine how proud you will be! And please remember to take lots of photos and post them here :-)

Yes, it seems that I missed out on Buggy as a great lily vendor. The good thing is that I will never know what I am missing since I will never be able to order lilies from her, LOL! However, I do have to say that The Lily Garden has provided very generous and thoughtful help and service to me this fall. Judith's bulbs are not as huge as B&D's, but they are just as healthy and always look beautiful. I also think B&D's selection is much more run-of-the-mill commercial than TLG (with a few exceptions of course) in spite of their huge bulbs. That said, I think both companies are fantastic and both are a great value considering the time and labor it takes to grow great lilies. Maybe next year I can add Faraway Flowers to my list of favorite vendors. I am already eyeing some of her incredible martagons...

I was also pleased and shocked to find that Van Engelen was selling 'Anastasia'. 25 bulbs for $43! Of course I had to order them. They were beautiful healthy bulbs too. I just hope they are correctly labeled and not some Dutch reject or inferior clone since 'Anastasia' is one of my most-wanted lilies.

Definitely we should plan on attending the lily sales at the Botanic Gardens. That would be so fun! My partner and friends have no interest in plants whatsoever so it would be nice to be able to talk plants with someone who understands! :-)

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Ah, trumpets. They last forever. I have had many of them for years. I find them to be THE most reliable lily type. I have put in a couple of orienpets that did not return ($30 lilies, of course) but the trumpets multiply. I have given away almost every one I had because they are becoming rare and lovely people on this forum sent things to me. I think that they are my favorites, with color (all right, a bit mild) scent shape and reliability. White Henryi is amazing for me. I actually end up neglecting them because they never fail!

In terms of roses, I much prefer the old garden ones, especially the Portlands. I have Rose du Rescht and Marchesa Bocchella.The latter blooms continuously, is very disease resistant and has a glorious scent. I have Madame Hardy and Marie Pavie in a white bed with white lilies and white borage. Zephirine Drouhin is divine. But I also have the Austins Tess of the D'urbervilles, Heritage, Glamis Castle and Constance Spry. And a number of others. I do not care for hybrid teas, grandifloras, and the few floribundas I like do not work in my zone.Really, the ARS does not like the kinds of roses I like, but their Roses in Review did direct me to be best old garden roses.

I'm like you, exhibiting is not my bag - unless exhibiting to passersby. Sometimes people will walk by, and they or their child exclaims "ooh!" They are immeddiately invited to have a look around at the roses, lilies, lilacs, peonies
and grasses. Let's convert them all to gardening! And I will definitely post my candidums.

I laugh when I see the price of Anastasia now. I bought it many years ago from The Lily Garden at a price of 3 for $42. I had to have it! It is so eager to reproduce that my three became six and then nine and I transplanted them to two other places and then started gifting them. With such robustness, I do not understand why they were so expensive then. But Judith deserved to recoup the cost of her hybridizing efforts. Now they can be obtained quite inexpensively at Brent and Becky's, for example. But step back - if your experience is like mine, you will have hundreds in a couple of years!

Here they are in two different spots. They go with everything. Grasses.

This message was edited Nov 6, 2011 7:18 PM

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Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)


Get ready to spread the love!

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Chicago, IL(Zone 6a)

'Anastasia' is gorgeous! Believe it or not, it was your photos of it posted here on various threads on the DG lily forum that made me want to buy it in the first place. I am surprised at how hardy and robust it is since it is mostly Lilium speciosum by breeding. I hope it does as well for me as it has for you. TLG still sells it 3 bulbs for $35. That is why I am afraid my Van Engelen specimens will be mislabeled. I know that they probably tissue culture a lot of cultivars for mass production, but how can the Dutch produce it so cheaply if it is really 'Anastasia' and TLG still sells it for such a high price? Or maybe I am just paranoid due to price snobbery, LOL! :-) Hopefully I will be pleasantly surprised, And hundreds of lilies can never be a bad thing...

Ack! Orienpets that did not return?! Please tell me which ones they were. I know that it is just the nature of things that some of my lilies are bound to fail, but I will probably be a little sick with my first lily no-shows.

I also have 'Marie Pavie' and 'Rose de Rescht' planted this fall, along with another of my favorites 'Stanwell Perpetual'. I like the older roses the best. There is just nothing in a modern rose that can compare.

You have such beautiful grasses, too! I planted a clump of Panicum virgatum 'Dallas Blues' and Sporobolus wrightii from Plant Delights and I hope to incorporate more grasses in the future. But first I need to remove some scraggly old shrubs, either seriously trim or remove a large tree plaguing me in the back yard and then reevaluate my gardening space before I commit to too many plants. You have such a spacious suburban lot, and I am now working with a cramped city lot. I also tend to have a plant collector's sensibility rather than a garden designer's, so I need to be careful I don't end up with just a hodge podge of muddled weeds. As it is, almost every square inch of suitable garden space is now filled with lily bulbs.

Duluth, GA(Zone 7b)

Ispahan, welcome to the lilies forum. I too an sort of a newbie to lilies, and only recently started paying attention to varieties. You're going to have a beautiful spring/summer based on the lilies you've ordered. I have a few that I had over the years gotten from the big box store, and then last spring I ordered some named ones from bleek's lily co-op. I got Toronto, Sphinx, Dizzy, Conca d' Or, and Citronella. I also have Belladonna, and one that I believe is Shocking, and another Orientpet that I got from another company. I need to find the order sheet to get those names.

For the fall, I ordered the entire lily collection from GH Wild, as I have two large beds that I put in this spring for peonies, and I wanted lilies, and irises for companions. I just planted the 27 types of lilies this week (81 lily bulbs total). I had gotten Pink Pearl, First Lady, Bernini, and Montenegro from them past and they have done really well here when not eaten by the bunnies. Thanks to DonnaMack's suggestion, I also planted Narcissus Hawera around the new lilies.

Donna, your pictures are gorgeous. Love the companion plants, what's the blue bloom in your last post? I also consider both you and Ispahan enablers, as I've now bookmarked The Lily Garden, B& D, and OHG as suppliers of llilies. LOL Annette

This message was edited Nov 6, 2011 10:43 AM

Chicago, IL(Zone 6a)

Annette, it sounds like your garden will be beautiful next year with all of the new (and old) lilies you have planted. I have never been called an enabler before, but I really do recommend The Lily Garden and B&D. Old House Gardens is wonderful too for some of the species and older hybrids, but they are not growers or lily specialists. If I had to choose just one supplier, so far it would be The Lily Garden. Judith Freeman is truly one of the best hybridizers of our time, and she is also accessible and truly generous with her bulbs. With lilies, you usually do get what you pay for. I feel fortunate to have have found these companies for my first lily experiences (although my wallet is not so fortunate, LOL!).

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I LOVE Stanwell Perpetual - it's been on my wish list forever. It is nice having more space but it's really a quarter acre (with the house) but it's CRAMMED! In the city, with a condo, I had 30 plus pots of plants. My "thing" then was heirloom flowers, which really lend themselves to pot growing.

The blue blooms are platycodon grandiflorus - such a beautiful blue. It was installed for me, and I liked it so much that I grew perlemetter and alba as well. Wonderful, deep rooted plants that last forever!

Judith Freeman is such a pioneer, along with all the people from Oregon Bulb Farm (a great place of the past). I love supporting her work.

Orienpet Luminaries was another very expensive bulb for me. Not only did it not come back, it never bloomed!!!

I was given a glorious Rococo in a pot, which I subsequently put into the ground. I do suspect that a heavy male foot is resonsible for its demise.

This message was edited Nov 6, 2011 7:20 PM

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Chicago, IL(Zone 6a)

Well, I didn't plant Luminaries per se, but I did put in three bulbs of 'Quintessence' which is Judith's special selection clone from Luminaries. It is supposed to get very tall once established and the pictures in TLG catalogue look amazing, so I will keep my fingers crossed that it lives and blooms for me.

'Rococo' is another one that was tempting me, but in the end I decided on 'Conca d'Or' instead because of all the glowing reviews and that fact that it was just elevated to the Lily Hall of Fame. The other yellow that I am really curious about is 'Allegretto' in Judith's catalogue. It has a stunning flat-faced flower, medium yellow with green highlights and rumored to be fragrant. However, due to the $70 price tag (for 3 bulbs) and paucity of information online about its health and vigor, I decided on another cultivar (Silver Scheherazade) as my big splurge.

I read all about Oregon Bulb Farms in Ed McRae's book. What a fascinating piece of horticultural history! One of the most tragic things that I read somewhere is that when the banks took over OBF after bankruptcy, they destroyed acres and acres worth of valuable lily breeding germplasm that was the culmination of decades of work by people like de Graaf, McRae and Freeman. No one knows what could have resulted from the countless lilies that were destroyed in terms of breeding advances and garden worth. But at least we have people like Judith who continue to persevere in their quest for excellence and provide a way to offer their extraordinary goods to the public. I only hope she is doing well enough in this horrid economy to continue to support her breeding and propagation efforts. I know a lot of heirloom rose nurseries are really struggling right now, and now Vintage Gardens will be closing in 2013.

Saint Bonifacius, MN(Zone 4a)

Regarding use of a spread sheet, I don't know what I would do without it!!!

I keep one that catalogs everything I have in my 4 tenths of an acre yard. It has about 1050 entries, and over 200 of them are Lilium species and cultivars and crosses. At least half of those are still yet to bloom seedlings.

Over the years, I have found one thing extremely advantageous that I don't think most people do:
As certain entries become obsolete (plant dies, is removed or given away), I don't just deleted the line. Make a new spread sheet for "past plant materials" and move them there so you will always have a record. I can't tell you how many times I have asked myself (or someone has asked me) "What was that plant I used to have?". Without that archive, I would be lost.


(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I have mine in an Access database, and like you, when one stops performing or dies, I change the location code to one called "dead". So I can run a report by location 'dead' and get all the ones that for whatever reason didn't make it. Hate to do it as it also totals cost. ouch.

My orienpets all do very well. Conc d'Or in particular is gorgeous and huge. It has little babies coming up from around the 1" origiinal stem. Don't know if these are from bulbets or just more from the original bulb. I have had no luck with Album specioso.(?). Grows, has buds, never flowers. Same with Miss Lucy. I wonder if I move them to pots and start them indoors in say February if that would give them time enough to bloom.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Isn't Ed McRae's book wonderful? The economics of the lily business are difficult, but not nearly as bad as roses. Were you on the rose thread, reading about the problems and the closures? Happily my favorite Pickering seems to be doing very well. I do love Antique Rose Emporium and ordered many of my roses from them but they are gotten quite expensive because the shipping on two gallon containers is very high. I'm getting myself into real trouble now because I read Peter Beal's book and am getting emails from his nursery. That amazing man is hybridizing antique roses! Be still my heart.

It's always bad when corporations and hedge funds get involved in horticulture. They don't understand the business, and they see plants as commerce (don't get me started on Knockouts - as others on the rose thread know they make me seethe) and that is why some wonderful plants aren't being produced anymore. And then there are the vagaries of nature. B&D's fields were raided by voles a few year back, and they lost some plants altogether, and had to pull some bulbs from sale in order to rebuild their stocks. Yet they persevere. I have such admiration from these small companies. It's from them I find the best goodies.


This message was edited Nov 6, 2011 11:10 AM

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Rick, you are so right about keeping records of past purchases and things that fail. It saves many a bad purchase.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Bless you Ispahan. The lily forum is no longer quiet!!!!

Chicago, IL(Zone 6a)

I agree with all of you. Spreadsheets are wonderful garden tools, perhaps just as essential as a good shovel and garden hose.

Oberon, is your lack of success with Lilium speciosum 'Album' and 'Miss Lucy' due to short seasons, early frost, disease, failure to thrive, or...? Does it form buds which then abort, or just gets frozen out before it blooms? By the way, I was in Anchorage this past June. I loved it, and all the other parts of Alaska I saw, too.

Donna, have you had a frost yet out in the burbs? Here close to the lake the coldest we have gotten is around 35-36 degrees F. Still no frost and many plants in my yard are still up and growing. A lot of trees are still losing leaves and some are still green(ish) but beginning to change.

This message was edited Nov 6, 2011 12:08 PM

Parma, OH(Zone 5b)

DonnaMack I had similar experience with 'Luminaries'. Out of three, only two came up and have remained scrawny for a few years. I purchase by pictures and descriptions and so far they just haven't lived up to their billing. As far as down facing lilies go I can't quite wrap my heart around them yet. Maybe I just need more time although 'White Henryi' sure has my interest.

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

I have recieved my order of bulbs, I am planing to put them in flowerpots. Should I keep them inside and let them sprout and maybe in March put them outside to bloom, this is my first year of planting lilies.
I got Corina, Sunset, Loreto, Mango and Lollipop. They came 3 in the pack, can I put all three in one 2 gal. pot, or should I put them one at the time in smaller pot. Thanks a bunch for your advice. Etelka

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Miss Lucy forms buds and alllllmmmmoooosst opens. then nothing. They push well into the fall to even begin opening. The other forms small buds that go nowhere. I had them in a bed overwhelmed with dahlias and snaps and have moved them to the front of a bed warmed by brick rim and in full sun. Will see if that helps next year. But the Miss Lucy have been in the same bed, full sun almost all spring, summer, fall for three years. No change in results. I thought maybe last years rains affected them as the beginning of the flowers turn brownish. but it happened this year also. Course, we had some long stretches of rain, but they lilies only had buds at that point.

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