Wednesday, July 24, 2013


 This week I am greedily inhaling the intoxicating scent of the last of my trumpet and oriental lily flowers. Every time I walk outside I bury my nose deep in a blossom and then I shake my head in awe. There is no perfume like it.

I work really hard to have these lilies because of the red lily leaf beetle. I start scouting and squishing in the spring and keep at it until mid-July when they finally bloom. It is totally worth it. I have four stands of lilies and they all soar nearly 6 feet tall without staking. Their stems are strong and sturdy.

One stand of lilies is intertwined with a fragrant tree, Clethra barbinervis, which blooms at the same time. Talk about pure joy! Not only does this combination smell heavenly, it also looks amazing right next to my deck. The bees and wasps and other interesting pollinators love this tree.

As I enjoy these lilies for one last week, I can't help but feel sad that it will be another full year before I smell that incredible fragrance again. I remember feeling the same way about the last of my 'Nancy Nora' peonies and the Viburnum carcephalum. I adore fragrant flowers. Of course, they are so fleeting, gracing my garden for two, maybe three weeks, and then they are gone. It is a lesson it truly living for every moment. I am trying to enjoy every fragrant flower to the utmost every day I am on this earth. I keeps me tuned in to the cycles of life and makes me realize just how precious these gifts truly are.

As the lilies fade, the Clethra alnifolia (Summersweet) is opening. In the next few weeks I will be stopping by that plant every day and smelling a completely different sweet perfume. Life is good in the garden.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree that the lilies are worth all the work. they are divine! I have some Tarragona Orienpet lilies that are staggering. Ten, six foot stems of perfumed delight. I've never thought of planting lilies near the clethera and that is a great idea.