While most are not fragrant like the Oriental Hybrids or Trumpets, Asiatics do have their own charm. They are the first ones to bloom in late spring and since most are fairly vigorous growers and multiply quite readily, even a modest beginning will quickly grow into a nicely developed stand.
We don't know for sure which variety this is, for convenience sake we refer to it by the name of the chap who gave it to us: "Harry". It could well be 'Orange Beauty', and the more looking around I do trying to identify it, the more I think I'm correct by referring to it as 'Orange Beauty'. Whatever it is, it's an Asiatic Hybrid of some sort and is very vigorous. It also multiplies very readily through stem bulbils and we have done a number of people a favour with offspring from the ones we got from Harry in 2001.
In the first week of March 2004 they are already the most advanced in terms of growth of all the lilies we have planted, you can almost stand in front of them and watch them grow. We'll see 7 or 8 bulbs in bloom this year and expect to handsomely exceed the number of flowers we saw from them last year. On top of that we're seeing a great many new ones come up from bulbils we missed picking up last fall.
In 2003 we had in excess of 80 buds on 4 plants, they made quite the show:)
For 2004 we are pleased to report that there are quite a few new ones popping up as of late February (see below) and we cannot wait to see how big a show they'll give us this year. A quick bud count in late May was in excess of 140, so they'll be quite the show again!
It looks like quite a few in this picture, wait until you have seen how the stem bulbils have popped up by April! There now is such a number and variety of lilies in this planter, they will all get labelled on the stem as they flower, the planter will get dug over and this will get re-arranged for next year. The excess will get potted and sold off in the spring garage sale! We need to generate some cash to support our lily habit:)
In the front yard we have planted some Asiatic Lilies which came to us from the old folks home Grace used to be in, they're spent presents of flowering lilies of the kind you see in supermarkets and cornerstores from early to late spring. We suspect these are 'Orange Pixie' lilies, but we'll probably never know for sure.
In addition to the orange ones we have, there is also a yellow variety we got from my brother Chris. We thought we had lost it last year and were pleasantly surprised to see 3 of them come up again in 2003.
New for us in 2003 is this cute little lily called 'Lollypop'. On June 6th, 2003 it was the first of all our lilies to open up, followed a couple of days later by the orange ones you saw above on this page.
Early spring 2004 has us quite excited: 'Lollypops' are popping up all over the planter they're in. Can't say it's thick as grass, but the 3 bulbs we planted originally have now multiplied to become well over a dozen!
Here you see them in early April 2004, they're around the perimeter of the pot. The oriental ever so slightly to the left in the middle is a 'Casablanca' and as you can see, it is nicely multiplying as well. Matter of fact, this whole pot has just gone crazy with lily growth for 2004. Come fall we'll dig them all up, replenish the soil and start all over again for 2005.
Mid April 2004 there was a neighbourhood garage/car port/yard sale and we took advantage of the opportunity and in addition to the usual assortment of household items put up for sale, we also had a nice assortment of plants. We had some Hostas, Honeysuckles, Bleeding Hearts, assorted Mints, a number of Tiger lilies, Violets, you name it, if it grew in our yard chances are we had it on the table, with the exception of an assortment of lilies. And I think we did quite well, to the point where next year I want to make sure we have an assortment of our lily offspring up on the table for sale. Seeing how things are expanding for us this spring that shouldn't be a problem. Our biggest headache will be to find enough pots in the fall to pot them all out and dig them in for the winter, so they'll be ready for the table next April 15th or so.
'Suncrest' is a new LA for us in 2004 and should pair nicely for 2005 with another new Asiatic, 'Red Bull', which you see below.
'Red Bull' is an Asiatic we got in 2004 and at the time we obtained them, the bulbs had been sitting around way too long. They had started to develop shoots and some had even started to develop buds when we planted them. They were a sorry looking lot, along with the 'Polyanna' from the same package.
I'm happy to say that by mid July '04 both of these are showing ample signs of hybrid vigour. All of the 'Red Bull' bulbs have started to develop new shoots, some quite sizeable actually, like around 12 inches with healthy, fat stems, and the 'Polyanna' ones are developing stem bulbils like crazy. So it looks as if we'll have these two around for a while, in spite of their poor start this year.
By late August all those 'Red Bull' offshoots are at least 24 inches and all are budding up; looks as if we'll have Asiatics well into the fall this year!
A goodly number of our pots and beds/planters will get dug over and composted and refreshed this fall. It will be a good time at that point to do some creative planting in an attempt to have complimentary colours together that will bloom at about the same time. 'Red Bull' and 'Suncrest' would be one combo were likely to try, as would 'Orange Beauty' and 'Cordelia'. We'll keep our fingers crossed that they will at least partially overlap in blooming time and that the colours will harmonize.
'Cordelia', the yellow one shown to the left, was a late bloomer for us this year, but only because it was planted late. All the other asiatics had long broken ground before this one was planted.
Judging by a quick and dirty photo montage I just did -never mind there is a difference in size of blooms in the picture-, the idea was to get a rough idea of what it might do in terms of a colour combo. As long as they at least partially overlap in blooming period I'd say 'Cordelia' and 'Orange Beauty' will make a lovely combo, don't you think so?