Sunday, July 13, 2008

Red Storm Border Lilies

Remember the "mutant lilies" I wrote about back in May? They're blooming like crazy now but if I didn't know better I'd still swear they were to different varieties.

I bought them from Michigan Bulb and this is some of what their catalog says:

Botanical Name: Lilium 'Red Carpet' (Asiatic)

Height/Habit: 14 - 18"

Unique Characteristics: Border lilies are referred to as the 'garden charmer'. Extremely suitable for planting in containers or front position in a border.

After reading this I planted them at the front of the border on both sides of the walkway through the butterfly garden. The ones on the garage side, the ones that looked funny in May, are just as promised with a couple taller than I'd like, a little over 2', but OK. I have them planted with dwarf shasta daisies and behind them are bright yellow coreopsis.

The ones on the other side are 3 1/2' tall! I can't make up my mind if I'm unhappy with this or not. They flank a butterfly bush. Right now there is a small patch of sundrops and violets that really look terrible. Also there are some tiny dahlias and a mum to the left and sweet william to the right. I have no idea what this area will eventually look like and I may decide I have too much red here but the dark red of the lilies is gorgeous and I don't want them to be hidden behind something else.

Which brings me to the color difference.
The taller ones are a very dark red.

The shorter ones are a lighter shade
and the petals roll back a bit.

Of course if I move the taller ones to the back of the border someplace they will undoubtedly decide to grow just 2' tall and be lighter in color. I've had some other hilarious mistakes where plants I thought would stay short were planted at the front edge of the border but I'll save them for another time.


  1. I too think the border lilies need to be moved. I have a rent free vacancy they're welcome to.

    I never believe what I read anymore. Not that the catalog lies but rather the plants seem to want to make liars out of anyone who attempts to describe them.

  2. They say rent free sounds good to them, I charge them beautiful blooms.

    I'm still trying to figure out why bulbs from the same order acted so differently.

  3. That really is wierd, isn't it? I have 2 lilies of a very similar color (just posted pics for bloom day of them) - one tall, one short. The shape of the short one is much like your tall ones. The others are more of a cup shape.
    Where the tall red one is supposed to be I have one blooming orange! I have no idea why!! I know for a fact that I didn't plant the orange one there.
    Ah, the mysteries of plants :)
    Your lilies are gorgeous, regardless of their idiosyncrasies :)

  4. The lilies are beautiful in your post but after seeing them in person last night, wow! Sorry Wise Acre, I may get to a few before you do! I love shopping in Apples garden!

  5. I just ordered Red Border lilies from Michigan Bulb and they arrived today, May 28th. I live in hot and humid Zone 7b. When should I plant these bulbs and what should I do with them until planting time if it is not now.

  6. Plant them now. They may not bloom until next year but I don't think there is any reason to wait until fall.

  7. Thank you Apple. Should I refrigerate them first?

  8. No, just get them in as soon as you can.