Lilies at Quarry Bank Garden

A Lily in full bloom in the Garden © Sarah Witts

A Lily in full bloom in the Garden

Latin Name: Lilium

Common Name: Lily

Planting: Plant bulbs in the autumn (although you can plant in the early spring if you forget!) at a depth of 2-3 times the height of the bulb. Lilies grow best in well-drained soil that is enriched with leaf mould or well-rotted organic material so they have plenty of nutrients. Most varieties prefer full sun although some will tolerate partial shade.

While the bulb is growing and the leaves appear make sure to keep a vigilant eye out for lily beetle; this bright red pest will rapidly eat all the leaves so ensure you check often and dispose of them.

Description: There are over a 100 species of lily and many hundred more garden hybrids. Lilies are summer flowering bulbs that produce a dazzling display of colourful flowers which are often sweetly scented.

Lily flowers come in several different shapes, trumpet, funnel, turkscap and the classic bowl-shaped. They can be solitary flowers or depending on the variety, several may be borne on the flowering stem. There are a range of different colours and sizes to suit any garden, and are best given a position in the border where they can show off amongst a supporting troupe of other summer flowers. They can also be a statement in a container on the patio.

Lilies come from across the globe and are organised according to division (just like daffodils and many other bulbs) which allows botanists to classify them, but don’t let this put you off growing them. Find a lily you like and simply check its growing conditions so you can give it what it needs, the large range of lilies means there is something for every garden.

Other plants of interest

Lower Garden
Candle-stick like yellow Verbascum
Leafy Hostas
Hydrangeas
Candelabra Primulas
Crimson spikes of Persicaria
And the purple spires of Veronica on the terraces

Upper Garden
Lilies
Sweet William in a range of white, pink and maroon
Cephalaria the Giant Yellow Scabious
Large flowering heads of Artichokes
Scarlet flowering runner beans