22 June 2009
in my bouquet (outdoors only)
Have a look at these!
The Regal Lilies (Lilium regale) have survived the bashing of footballs and the gnawing of beetles and opened their magnificent fragrant trumpets. They were some of the first bulbs planted five years ago in a self indulgent moment and I didn't expect much success, the garden's dry and big exciting buds get snapped off all too often by bored selfish fingers. They are growing in clayey brick rubble and have received little additional care since being planted with a dollop of compost in each planting hole. They are plagued with lily beetle each year and we try and squash as many as we can - Alex is an effective beetle squasher with now seriously impaired karma - and this is obviously an adequate control. The dry soil probably helps with slugs and snails, both notorious lily eaters. Despite my low expectations they have flowered each year atop tall stems and fill the garden with dangerously rich perfume.
Sometimes they get stolen and I rage against the world for a while. I recover.
Up close these are majestic flowers but it is at a distance when I think the big trumpet heads hovering over smaller bedfellows look so good , and they need that bit of distance.