Poll: Well planned lily bed - what are your favorite lily compani

alina_1July 26, 2006

Hi all,

I can see beautiful lilies in every other garden here in Maryland (half of them are Stargazers :-)). Well planned flower bed with lilies is a rare find though (if any). So what do you plant with lilies for a 3 season interest? For some structure? For unusual locations - islands, slopes, etc.?

If you have pictures of your successful combinations and nice lily beds - please, please post them!

Thank you in advance.

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I am in Iowa, zone 5.
I have oriental lilies planted in an area that in the summer is dappled shade. In the spring I have the area planted with tulips and iris bucharica. Both of these spring things are gone by June 1. I then have planted annuals, in this case impatients. If there was more sun some different annual would work, as long as it was not more than12-18 inches tall. The annuals then last until frost.
This mostly works for three season interest.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 10:01PM
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philipm ,
How are your lilies doing in dappled shade? Do they get some direct sun also? And do you leave your tulip bulbs in the ground or you dig them up and plant new ones every year?
Probably your tulips and iris bucharica get more sun since dappled shade comes from mature summer leafs?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 10:00AM
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leslie197(z5 MI)

I use lilies just about anywhere. Here are some samples of where & how I use them. The ones with shade plants are planted on the East side of the house in part shade. I have posted some of these pictures before, but I thought they might help give you some ideas.

Jacob Cline Monarda & friends. This oriental got planted here because a furry beast made a burrow in its original home!

Asiatics with Variegated Solomon's Seal

More Asiatics with Cinnamon Fern

With Endless Summer Hydrangea

Orienpet Touching with Echinacea Sunrise

Regal Lilies about to bloom on the edge of the Shade Garden - these really bend to the sun but do not break!

On right side of picture, see the pink lilies just beginning to bloom on the outside of the stone path, between the Lady's Mantle and the annual plum-colored bedding salvias and salvia purpurescens

LA Hybrids with Allium sphaerocephalon in the Daylily Bed

A late July bloomer on the Northeast side of the house in fairly dense shade to set off a glowing orange daylily

Pastel colored LA Hybrids with Catmint in the Daylily Bed - all DLs are 20 inches or shorter - I call this the cottage garden.

White Asiatics with the chartreuse blooms of Lady's Mantle - these bloom before the pink ones shown earlier by the stone bench.

Along the patio for a little privacy - lots of sun in the early spring but fully shaded at bloom time - they lean out into the patio towards the sun.

Sometimes just because they match the brick

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 8:42PM
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bean_counter_z4(Zone 4, Rkfd,IL)

Leslie, your photos are breath taking! I don't stop by this forum nearly enough. From now on I'll stop in to get a 'lily fix'. I only have one Stargazer and a few Asiatics, but of course that is a problem easily solved - lol.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 10:17AM
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That is what I hoped for starting this thread! I remember the picture of your garden bench. You are the expert!
I am sure that the pictures of your garden will be quite an inspiration to all.
Thank you so much for sharing!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 10:40AM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

I'm a little embarassed to add anything after Leslie's gorgeous pictures, but here are some of mine.

Asiatics with asparagus and underplanted with annual phlox

Asiatics with Cilantro flowers and roses (which were not blooming at the time). Please ignore the floppy chives in the back.

This lily bed is all underplanted with annual phlox and marigolds. The marigolds take over when the phlox fades.

An LA Hybrid with roses

And an unknown white Asiatic with a daylily

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 10:58AM
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What gorgeous lilies and photos. So much imagination is shown with combining plants, did not see anything I didn't like, some great ideas here!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 1:22PM
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Great photos. I take advantage of thier narrow vertical growth and plant them pretty much anywhere in my yard where there is Sun. I even have them growing through rose bushes, and am planning to grow them amongst late flowering decidous azaleas.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 1:31PM
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I agree, aren't these guys wonderful? Before I started this thread I tried to find this info and pictures in the books and WEB. What I can see in this forum is so much better!
northspruce, your lily bed is gorgeous! What is the first Asiatic? Nerone? Love the bold color of it. Do you grow your annuals from the seeds or plant prestarted plants?
I always thought that I am too lazy to plant annuals every year, but after seeing how beautiful it looks... I might reconsider:-)
Thanks for ideas!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 1:40PM
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leslie197(z5 MI)


Great pictures! I especially like the one with dark red lilies & the asparagus, wonderful texture and color contrast. I've never grown annual phlox - neat idea for an early groundcover.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 3:38PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Thank you for your kind words! :0)

The lilies in order are
1) BLACK OUT - it's very dark in person and not purplish like the pic shows.
2) CHEOPS - dark yellow with red splashes
3) MODERN STYLE - Buff apricot and fragrant

The phlox is "Twinkle Mix", I have been starting it indoors because the place where I used to buy flats of it stopped selling it. The marigolds I direct sow so they will be a little later. I really like asparagus in a perennial bed, it's so pretty and airy. Not a good idea if you spray your roses or ornamentals with fungicide or pesticides though.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 4:08PM
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Crazy_Gardener(Z2b AB Canada)

leslie197, I'm overwhelmed, great combos and photos!

Here are a few of mine....

Lilium OA 'Fancy Crown' Lily & Coreopsis tinctoria 'Dwarf Red', annual but will self seed like crazy.

Lilium Asiatic 'Freedom Glow' Lily & Achillea ptarmica The Pearl Superior

Lilium Asiatic 'Brunello' Lily & Nepeta sibirica ÂSouvenir d'Andre ChaudronÂ

Lilium Asiatic 'Unknown' Lily & Gypsophila paniculata 'Snowflake'

Northspruce, you know I luv you ;)


    Bookmark   July 30, 2006 at 3:50AM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Whaddya want now Sharon... LOL. Great combos there, looking great as always.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2006 at 12:16PM
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leslie197(z5 MI)

Yummy pictures, great colors on your lilies! The Baby's Breath contrasts beautifully with the sleek shiny lilies.

I've got a dwarf variety gypsofila in my raised bed - wonder if some of the pixie lilies would work? Right now I use the dwarf BB to mingle with some of the new colored echinaceas and some fussy penstemons - has to be a way to squeeze in a few more bulbs. LOL

    Bookmark   July 30, 2006 at 5:55PM
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bluesibe(NoCa 9a)

With roses


Feverfew and roses


    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 9:22AM
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rosysunnygirl(6 Mich)

Longtime lurker and new lily lover here.. I planted my first ones this spring -- Triumphator and Vivaldi -- in between my roses. They're prettier than I thought they'd be, and the smell!

Leslie, I have a 2 questions for you: What's that you've got with your Endless Summer hydrangeas, and what are the peach-ish daylilies and lilac-purple stuff behind them in the other photo? I really love those color combinations...

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 4:03AM
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crazy_gardener and bluesibe,
very nice!
bluesibe and rosysunnygirl, I have a question: how do you water your roses? I mean, how do you manage not to overwater lily bulbs that are so close to roses? Good drainage? This combo (roses and lilies) is superb!
And question to all:
How much time does it take to maintain your beautiful gardens? Leslie, it seems that your garden is relatively large. Do you have a helper?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 10:21AM
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leslie197(z5 MI)

Alina 1,

I garden on a small suburban lot. The garden is extremely heavily layered. No outside help. I am a ruthless pruner! And yes it is a lot of work - most heavily in spring.


The lily with the hydrangea is an LA Hybrid, but I have no idea which one. It blooms in late June to early July.

As to your other question I wasn't sure which picture you were referring to - the peachy pink daylilies with the catmint and pastel LA hybrids is Siloam Double Classic. Smoky Mountain Autumn is interspersed with them. It has a slightly more terracotta color. Plus another dozen small daylilies.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 9:57PM
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bluesibe(NoCa 9a)

Alina, I, too, garden on a small urban lot near Berkeley, CA. I have clay soil that gets amendments every year. All plants get watered the same amount. That included Dahlia tubers where the directions stated that watering to much before the leaves come out is not good. Also includes lavendar planted next to roses. My area is a very mild temp range, mid 60s to 70 most of the summer. In the recent heat wave where for me it was a bit warmer than usual I watered everyday. Lilies are very happy.

I think it is best to experiment and see what happens, don't always worry about the 'rules.'


    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 9:04AM
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Well, then you set an excellent example how to create a masterpiece garden on a small lot. We are looking for a single family home now and it will definitely be on a small lot also. Thank you for ideas and sooo inspiring pictures!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 10:24AM
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rosysunnygirl(6 Mich)

Alina --

Gardening in a small space is fun! I'm a city dweller -- the widest point in my backyard is 20 feet. Having only so much space, I think, forces you to be more creative in putting things together, and to be more ruthless and experimental. So many things are trial and error anyhow in gardening. This season alone, I've redesigned my front yard twice, and there's still tweaking to do. I'm sure whatever you end up doing will eventually look fabulous. :)

As for the roses, I don't plant the bulbs right up against them (they're about a foot from the base), and I use a soaker hose for watering. The bulbs aren't waterlogged because I wove the hose a couple of inches away from them, so they still get water, just not as much as the roses. Ironically, though, the couple of lilies that ended up on the waterline are taller and thicker than the others. They seem to be very happy.

Leslie --

Thank you so much for sharing your combination. I love those 2 daylilies together against the purple. You have a really good eye...

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 5:16AM
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I agree 100% with you - it is fun! I live in townhome and have 2 tiny beds and a deck for all my garden experiments. People from these garden forums are so knowledgeable and generous. I've been reading this forum only for two months, but it helped me so much!
I think I will get some roses after all. I am still afraid of them; they are too finicky for beginners, IMO. Well, I was afraid of clematis either, and a couple of baby clems are blooming for me now. It is all about learning, I guess.
Thank you for your inputs! I am sure, many readers of this thread will appreciate your pictures and advices as much as I do.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 10:54AM
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dtpforu(7a NC)

Absolutely beautiful pictures. I loved seeing them all! I am an avid lily lover. I can't get enough!

Here's a picture of my bed on July 1st of 2006. I'm in NC, by the way, in Zone 7b

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 12:01AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

crazy gardener, I'M crazy about that red coreopsis! Where did you find/ order it? Seed or plant?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2007 at 12:56PM
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robiniaquest(z6 MO)


Don't be scared of roses! They are much easier than people think. I am a roseaholic, scared of lilies! Please tell me they're easier than I think... I am concerned that they will rot with typical rich rose soil and watering. Am I just off base? It seems a lot of people do plant roses with lilies, so are there any secrets?

Get yourself some sturdy Old Garden Roses, English roses, or even vigorous floribundas - as mature a plant as you feel you can afford - and just make sure that planting hole is big and well-amended with organics. Simple as that. Give it a little time and plenty of water in the beginning - NO fertilizer, though - and it will really get going when it's good and ready. The hardest part is the waiting, cause some can take a good 3 years to really hit their stride. I'm sure you've been hanging out on the rose forums - those people really know what they are talking about and are very generous and courteous. I have learned so much from them

Good luck, and buy a rose or two or three asap!!!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 11:03AM
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Crazy_Gardener(Z2b AB Canada)

Thanks linnea56!

I wintersow seeds of Coreopsis tinctoria 'Dwarf Red' every year, although they do self sow if you let them be and some will also stay perennial in my zone if we get lots of snow cover.

I bought seeds a few years ago from JL Hudson.


Here is a link that might be useful: JL Hudson

    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 10:44PM
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Robiniaquest, thanks for the advice! We are finally buying a single family home and I will have some space for my garden experiments. The lot is not large, but I am hoping to squeeze all my 40+ types of Lilies, 20+ types of Peonies and about 40 of Clematis into it. And I believe I will find a room for Roses! I know it is ambitious, maybe I will get some kind of jungle :-)

dtpforu, what a beautiful bed! Nice!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 12:23PM
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