This is the lily 'Altari,' and it's a winner. It's an oriental/trumpet lily. 'Altari' is tough, beautiful and smells like heaven. Check out the white spider hiding on the left petal.Photo by Doug Oster
All gardens are works in progress, mine is no different. When I first moved in, I quickly discovered May was the best month for this garden. Azaleas and rhododendrons were the stars.
Over the years I've worked to make the summer garden more interesting by adding hydrangeas, agastashe, perennial salvias and lilies.
They are planted from a bulb, usually in the fall or spring and when they bloom, the fragrance is astounding.
'Altari' is one of my favorites. It is only a few years old and has four tall stems filled with beautiful blooms. But it's the intoxicating fragrance which will put you under its spell.
You can enjoy the aroma from 30 feet away, it's amazing. The heavy scent lingers in the humid summer air at night.
The variety came from Brent and Becky's Bulbs, one of my favorite places. I've learned many lessons over the years from plant people and Brent Heath has taught many of them. The best advice I ever received from him-"Buy bulbs from a place you can trust." I follow it for any plants I purchase.
'Altari' has found the perfect spot to thrive and I'm going to plant more when the time is right. Can you imagine 20 bulbs after a few seasons?
I've seen lots of lily bulbs on sale at the nurseries and they would be fine to plant right now. You might even luck out and get some blooms at the end of the season.
Take a good look at your garden and see what can be done to make it interesting through the season.
Here's a close look at the camouflage spider waiting for prey on the leaf of 'Altari.'