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Propagating lilies: 6th update

I thought it might be time once again to show my motley collection of tree lilies, originally propagated from a handful of scales back in September 2014.

Though they were all started at the same time from a single bulb, they vary considerably in their development: some are only a few inches high, whilst others are much taller and about to bear a flower for the first time!

Here they are as a group:

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And here are some closer shots:

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The bulblets all seemed to be of very similar size when I potted them on into their current containers, so how they’ve ended up like this I’ve no idea. They all had the same compost and feed and spent the winter/spring lined up next to one another against a south-facing fence, so I wasn’t expecting quite such a difference between individuals – the shortest measures a mere 4 inches (10cm) and the tallest 24 inches (60cm). I can’t even blame pests or disease because none of the plants have been attacked by anything as far as I’m aware.

If I were being practical and space-conscious I suppose I would ditch the weakest ones, but, of course, I want to know if they eventually catch up and make garden-worthy plants, so I’m keeping them all – for now, at least.

My next update will hopefully include flowers – can’t wait!

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Lily “Monet”…I think!

Another of my gorgeously-scented, pollen-free lilies opened fully today, and I believe I may have identified it as Monet:

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I struggle badly with photographing white/pale flowers, and as usual, this image is a bit on the bleached side, but it’s close enough – there’s actually a better picture of it that I’m using as the background of the blog, but it’s not from this year so it would feel a bit like “cheating” to post it here where everything is meant to be current.

If it is indeed Monet, it’s rather short for a tree lily at only 4½ foot or so (should be nearer 8 foot!), but to be honest, smaller is better in my garden, so I’m not at all bothered that it’s a bit of an underachiever. The blooms are large, measuring about 7½ inches across, they are beautifully coloured with a subtle wash of pink over white and a dusting of pink dots, and they smell absolutely glorious – that’s all I could ask!

Care-wise, it needs staking or it would be flat on its face by July, and I’ve been diligent with the watering and feeding to try to get the best from it, but otherwise, it seems a pretty fuss-free plant.

It probably belongs in the “Spectacular But Brief” category, and as such should be under threat of removal in my teeny, tiny garden, but it earns its position by virtue of occupying much more vertical space than horizontal: an 18″ pot holds 6 of these stately beauties, and it can of course be moved aside once the display is over, so no ugly gap need be left.

Definitely one I’d recommend.