please help me choose!

prairie_love(z3/4 ND)February 15, 2010


I am an experienced gardener, but not experienced with lilies. I've had a couple of LA hybrids, that's about it. I am planning to expand my lily horizon this year and would like some help choosing a couple to start with. For most of the areas I'm thinking of, I am willing to just experiment. But there is one area for which I have more particular wishes. I would love to hear your ideas or recommendations, as well as any comments on the particular varieties I am considering.

It is a sitting area, we call it our "meditation" garden. Has a bench and nice view. It is bordered by shrubs, so has shady areas that have hostas, but it also has plenty of sun around the edges and middle. I would love to have fragrance. I envision a lily positioned close to the bench so that you get wisps of aroma as you sit there. Possibly two that bloom at different times would be good too. Color - soft oranges, yellows, possibly white. If you are familiar with the rose Morden Sunset, this is the color scheme of that area (with dark blue/purple as counterpoint).

The ones I've considered so far - Northern Delight, Ortega, Griesbach Tetra Gold, Avocado, Elise, Montego Bay. All of these are available at the Lily Nook. A friend has had very good experience with them so we will be placing an order soon. All are orienpets except the Tetra Gold (trumpet). My friend has had good luck keeping orienpets and trumpets going here with winter mulching.

Avocado - described as apricot, fragrant. Looks nice but maybe boring?

Elise - described as mango colored. I don't know if it's fragrant but since it's an orienpet I assume it is. Can I make that assumption? Downward facing flowers.

Montego Bay - described as bronze/gold and fragrant but the picture looks quite pink. A google search found one that is more orange but I'm really not sure about the color.

N. Delight - melon orange blooms with purply background, looks lovely. Not sure about fragrance.

Ortega - white with orange/yellow throat, fragrant. Downward facing.

G. Tetra Gold - deep golden with purple back. I love the trumpet flower shape. Not sure about fragrance.

Thank you so much in advance for any help!


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Hi Ann wish I could give you more specific advice but just about all my lilies are either Asiatic or for the last several years I also have been growing L/A hybrids which I love and also I now have the three Oriental/Asiatic lilies that Lily Nook carries and they are beautiful as well. Your in zone 3/4 and I'm in 3a or 3b so experiment very little now on borderline plants. I do have Shocking, Zagora, and Montego Bay but they are fairly close to the house on the South side and they do well. However, they are not all that fragrant. In my sitting area I have decided to use plants like Sweet Peas, Evening scented stock, Datura, allyssum and containers with petunias, especially the Blue Wave. I've also started to grow Hybrid Tea roses in containers as well (Only two so far) and I usually plant 1 Double Delight and 1 Mr. Lincoln in a container beside the bench. Have fun with your decisions. Stan

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 5:44PM
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prairie_love(z3/4 ND)

Thanks Stan,

Good to know that you've also had good luck with Lily Nook. I know some of these are border zone-wise, but I'm willing to work with some finicky plants. My neighbor has had good luck so it gives me hope.

Thanks for your suggestions on fragrant plants. I do grow some of them, may have to expand.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 11:43AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I only have one lily in my garden but it is very fragrant. Casa Blanca, a white. I've had it for going on 6 years and it comes back faithfully every year. It has been taller than descriptions that I have read about it and the flowers are gorgeous with prominent stamens and a lot of texture to the petals. The fragrance is it's most outstanding feature.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 9:19PM
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