A while back I cleared out a very small border that had become choked with carex grass and stumps of old buddleia. It was only a few feet long and barely a foot wide. Once cleared, instead of letting the grass grow back, I reached for my favourite tool – the lawn edger – and cut a small, but perfectly formed petite border.
I didn’t have anything to plant into it at the time but that was quickly solved by the purchase of two small bags of “mixed” lilies from the supermarket. With no idea what variety, shape, colour or form these lilies were, the results were going to be a complete surprise.
Can you guess what variety they are yet?
After many weeks of anticipation, looking at a patch of bare earth, the lilies emerged in spring. We counted the number of plants that emerged and came up with a failure rate of 10% (we lost two). We lost another couple after some rather enterprising slugs managed to strip two plants bare. We watched out for signs of Lily beetle but thankfully, didn’t come across any. We carried on playing the waiting game.
As spring gave way to summer, the remaining lilies grew out their flowers buds, which then began to colour. We still had no idea what the flowers were going to look like so at one point, we were checking every day to see whether any had opened up. The buds coloured and got fatter and fatter but still refused to open.
Still several days to go before opening.
Then, after several days of hot sunshine, the lilies were encouraged to all open in one big bash:
The Petit Border Mixed Lily Show.
So in two packs of ten “mixed” lilies, the “mix” we have is a mix of two types. One is a deep, dark plum velvet while the other is a contrasting “raspberry and custard”. I don’t know what these varieties are and disappointingly they don’t smell. The two contrasting lilies go well together but I still find it amusing that in different packs of “mixed” lilies, we have exactly two varieties.
I’ve come across this before with “mixed” seeds, plants and bulbs where one person’s idea of “mixed” is very different to what you actually get. While I do like this particular “mix” of lilies and am well aware that it could have been much worse, I’ll leave the mixes to patio pots in future. I am planning to keep these lilies where they are and won’t be digging them up and I have plans for a much large expanse of lilies elsewhere but they will be selected varieties. Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy the show these two are currently putting on.