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Lilium regale

The Regal Lily (Lilium regale)

There is no questioning the fact that we are currently in the gentle grip of one of the nicest periods of weather we have had this year so far and I’m hoping that it continues for a few more days at least. This has led me to spend many enjoyable evenings in the sun soaked garden or up at the allotment, often with a glass of wine, and it is at specific moments like these that I really begin to appreciate what has been created around me and the particular plants that really shine. The Regal Lily is definitely one of those plants that earns its keep and helps to make this picture even more perfect.

This Lily makes a fantastic addition to any garden adding splashes of white and a degree of temporary height to borders. I often use it as a cut flower to bring in to the home and, in fact, I’m planning to grow quite a large quantity of these in the cutting garden planned for the allotment plot along with other flowers I use in the home (watch this space).

The reason I write about this plant is because it has everything that most gardeners ask for from a flowering plant. It’s beautiful, fully hardy, very easy to grow and it produces an intoxicating scent that fills the air, whether it be in the garden or home. In my opinion it is one of the finest Summer bulbs available at present.

Unlike other Lilies that often require additional drainage and a bit more care, the Regal Lily is quite tolerant of moist soil and is likely to grow happily for years to come once planted in to its final position. The height of its flower stems and the number of flowers produced will vary year-to-year depending on its growing conditions, soil fertility and available moisture. Plant it amongst other border plants as they will protect emerging shoots from early frosts or alternatively you can grow plants in pots and place them in to bare patches of earth previously occupied by other seasonal displays, which is what I plan to do with Lilium ‘Starburst’. These plants are fairly easy to come buy from various retailers, even including pound shops, and they are also quick to grow from seed, flowering after two years in some cases.

If you are looking for a Summer bulb that adds colour, height and scent to the garden I would most certainly recommend the Regal Lily. Do you grow these plants? What other Summer bulbs would you recommend to other gardeners?

food-from-flowers

Friends, Food, Flowers and France

Last weekend brought a long spell of fantastic weather, excellent company, a touch of sunburn and oodles of good food. I couldn’t have asked for more.

The colourful salad pictured above, made up of what was available in the garden and a few extras that had to be bought in, was so vibrant I couldn’t resist taking a photograph of it and it pretty much shouted out for attention. I put the salad together to accompany a meal made for friends who stayed over on the weekend. They very kindly donated lots of great plants to me for the allotment and fingers crossed they will help to contribute to a meal or two at some point in the very near future. I was also given a homemade Plum and Apple chutney . . . heaven!

Another good friend of mine is planning to move to France shortly, of which I am immensely jealous, and for this reason she asked me to pop over and pick up a water butt which is soon to be surplus to requirements. A few hours and several cups of tea later I left her house without the water butt. My intentions were to drop off a few saplings and collect the aforementioned water butt, Instead I came home with a horticultural bounty. A compost bin, Blueberries, Hostas, Aeonium, Salvias, Hemerocallis, Sedums, Begonia, Lathyrus, a Golden Hop and many other fabulous plants managed to sneak their way in to my small car, most of which are destined for life on the allotment.

It was really quite humbling that she would trust me with her prized plants, many of which were grown from seed or handed down by friends and relatives. I think, and most definitely in my case, that plants can hold many memories, have sentimental value and become treasured items in their own right. The feelings that came with taking these plants was bittersweet. I know that I will offer these plants the love and care that they have become accustomed to and when the time is right I will be able to provide her with cuttings and seedlings from which she can start her garden all over again with the exact plants she cherished for many years (hopefully). I hope I can do her proud.