Summer lilies thrive, first calla, Stargazer and doubles too

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog stargazer horizontal 2a'Stargazer' is such a wonderful sight in the summer garden. Photos by Doug Oster

I don't know what the summer garden would be without lilies. 'Stargazer' is very common because it's so easy to grow and beautiful. This plant is just a few years old and grows where it doesn't get enough sun, but blooms like a champ. In my garden lilies need staked. It's a little too shady for them, so they get top heavy and flop over without support.

blog first callaI've always loved calla lilies since I first saw them in a catalog over 20 years ago. I'm glad I finally got around to growing some of the bulbs.

Above is my first calla lily ever! I've coveted them for over 20 years, just never got around to growing them. I picked up the bulbs for a song last winter, from a nursery who wanted to give them a good home. They were stored with my dahlia and begonia tubers all winter long in vermiculite and resurrected in early summer. I just planted the bulbs in my containers of annuals and now they are blooming strong. Nurseries are selling lily plants and bulbs at a discount right now, you could enjoy the blooms this season and for many more to come.

I'll save these calla bulbs at the end of the season and detail the process after the first frost.

Below are double lilies sent to me to trial from Longfield Gardens. This is their second season and the flowers are thriving. They don't produce pollen, so they aren't a mess as cut flowers, yet retain their fragrance. It's always fun to grow something before it's released, but there's responsibility too. I always hope the new varieties are worth the trouble, these flowers are winners. If they bloom like this in part shade, I can't imagine what they will look like in full sun. Since I love anything that flowers as a double, these lilies are for me.

blog double longfield liliesThese double lilies from Longfield Gardens are amazing.

blog longfield doubles tight

During warm, humid nights and mornings, these lilies release their magical aroma and it fills the garden. They make wonderful cut flowers, which brings the fragrance indoors for all to enjoy.

blog stargazer tightTight shot of a 'Stargazer.'

blog lily and cool green spiderIt was cool to see this fluorescent green spider on a lily bud.


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