Monday, July 12, 2021

In a Vase on Monday: I've got lilies!

The truth is, I don't know much about lilies, except that they have a reputation for being short-lived in Southern California.  Last year, in a fit of pandemic-related frustration with my limited planting options, I ordered two varieties of what were called "tree lily" bulbs from a catalog I was flipping through.  Although I was careful planting them, I had very low expectations so I was frankly surprised when I saw three plants pop up in the back garden and another three in the front garden this spring.  I was even more surprised when they developed buds.  The buds slowly grew larger and larger but, as temperatures rose, I began to fear that an ill-timed heatwave would take them out before they bloomed.  However, all five buds of the 'Pretty Woman' variety bloomed this past week.  (I'm still waiting for blooms from 'Purple Prince'.)  As we're currently in a heatwave, I went ahead and cut one stem of two blooms for "In a Vase on Monday," the meme hosted by Cathy of Rambling in the Garden.

The seller didn't identify the lily's classification but a little online research revealed that it's an Orienpet interdivisional hybrid, bred by crossing trumpet lilies from China with Japanese lily hybrids.  They reportedly tolerate more heat and require less winter chill than lilies originating from Japan.

Back view: I wasn't sure what to combine with flowers as flashy as the lilies but I kept to a relatively restrained color palette

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Abelia grandiflora 'Hopley's Variegated', white Agapanthus, Daucus carota 'Dara', pale green Eustoma grandiflorum (aka Lisianthus), Leptospermum 'Copper Glow', and hybrid Lilium 'Pretty Woman'


Flower arranging was interrupted by my cat Pipig, as she announced her entrance to the house from her enclosed catio with an unearthly yowl.  I dropped what I was doing to intercept her, knowing that there were two possibilities: either she was in acute distress of some kind or she was bringing me a "present."  It was quickly evident it was the latter.  When she reached the dining room rug, she sat down, opened her jaws and released a lizard.  The lizard was very much alive and skittered away so quickly I had only a general idea of its direction.  Pipig herself lost track of it and, disgusted (or perhaps just confused), she soon turned tail and walked back through the cat-flap to her catio.  My husband and I conducted a search, moving some furniture and checking underneath appliances with a flashlight, but we couldn't find it.  I returned to flower arranging, hoping that the lizard would reappear on its own.

As my purple foxgloves were developing crispy brown edges, I created a second arrangement including them and other flowers in related colors.

While the short stems of the foxgloves set the color scheme, the flowers of Monarda 'Peter's Purple' stole the show

Back view

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Abelia grandiflora 'Edward Goucher', Delphinium 'Pacific Giant', Digitalis purpurea, hybrid Monarda 'Peter's Purple', Polygala fruticosa, and Scabiosa columbaria 'Flutter Rose Pink'


Fortunately, a few hours later, I sighted the lizard sitting in a floor-level windowsill staring out at the garden.  My husband and I managed to corral him using two small plastic storage containers and a piece of cardboard and I escorted him outside.  The house is once again lizard-free!

The lizard appeared stunned to find himself back outside, some distance from his point of origin in Pipig's catio.  Meanwhile, when I checked on her, Pipig looked annoyed.  Whether that was because I hadn't properly appreciated her gift or because she wanted an opportunity to wander around outside to look for more lizards, I can't say.


For more IAVOM creations, be sure to check in with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.



All material © 2012-2021 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

28 comments:

  1. Oh those lilies are gorgeous! I've got one stem that has managed to survive here, it should be opening very soon. As for the lizard, I think I would prefer that to a mouse, still I'm glad you were able to return him to the outdoors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I've been completely desensitized with regard to any negative feelings I may once have held regarding lizards. There are so many here, I can't walk more than a few feet without one scuttling by. The western fence lizard is the most common. Among other things it's known to eat ticks, a major service in my view. That said, I'd prefer Pipig to refrain from bringing them inside the house as they're not easy to catch!

      Delete
  2. I admire your calm and ability to resume flower arranging while a lizard is roaming your home, God knows where!!! My heart is racing just reading about it.. I would have moved into a hotel till the visitor vacated the premise :-D
    Love the first arrangement, and I bet it smells divine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I prefer our western fence lizards to rats, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, gophers, possums and coyotes ;) The lilies do smell wonderful and two blooms is just about perfect - more would have been overpowering.

      Delete
  3. Is that stink eye Pipig is giving you?

    Happy lizard got away, to eat more bad bugs.

    Beautiful lilies, they star in a beautiful arrangement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! No, but based on her body language, I wouldn't say that's the feline version of her resting b---h face either. I think she wanted to be released from her catio to wander outside, after all, she'd given me a gift. Because of the completely unpredictable hours now observed by the local coyotes, I don't let her out even under supervision anymore.

      Delete
  4. Beautiful arrangements Kris as ever. The tree lilies are gorgeous and so huge! Glad they're doing so well for you. I adore the second design with the monarda, Scabiosa and foxglove. Colors are perfect. Have a good week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The lily blooms are as large as my open hand, which surprised me. The big test of their success is still ahead: will they return again next year?

      Delete
  5. Good to see Pipig feeling enterprising. And that the lizard survived the adventure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not bad for a 13 year old cat that survived cancer, is it?! And at least she didn't try to eat the lizard. She did that only once to my recollection and it wasn't pretty when she almost immediately threw it back up. I suspect she learned that they're not very tasty.

      Delete
  6. Congrats on the success of your lilies! They are a lovely, soft color and I bet they smell divine. Pretty pinks in the second vase as well... reminds me of candy confections!
    Glad the lizard got to do another day of pest control, even if Pipig wasn't pleased about the loss. Glad to see she is doing well. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm anxiously awaiting blooms from the 'Purple Prince' lilies now. I'll be eyeing the fall plant catalogs for more bulbs next ;)

      Delete
  7. Kris, you always have such beautiful arrangements. I LOVE that first one with the combination of colors but also the height. I don't grow tree-lilies, but two weeks ago, I received a bouquet from my good friend, and they lasted until a couple of days ago and they were HUGE. I need to check if they would grow in my area.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was VERY surprised the lilies were labeled as appropriate for my climate zone, Angie. Actually, the seller said they'd grow in zone 10 and, by most assessments, my zone is now classified as 11a. My Sunset Western Garden Book claims the Orienpets are suitable up to Sunset zone 23 and I'm right at the margin in 23/24. It pays to experiment!

      Delete
  8. Pretty Woman certainly lives up to her name. What a gorgeous arrangement, I love the Leptospermum 'Copper Glow too. The Orienpet lilies are fabulous and a plus here is that lily beetles don't like them quite so much. My favourite Orienpet in my garden is 'Silk Road' but I shall certainly be looking out for 'Pretty Woman'. The second arrangement is lovelt too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Despite our drought, I'm planning to order more lily bulbs this year and I'll look for 'Silk Road' when I do. I'm very fond of Leptospermum 'Copper Glow' too, although keeping my 2 tree-like shrubs within bounds is a challenge. As the flowers tend to grow atop the tallest stems, cutting them is another challenge.

      Delete
  9. Those lilies are glorious - I really like the soft colours on it. Around here, lilies are pretty resilient. In fact, I have a clump on the north side of our house that only gets a smattering of sun in the afternoon & it has bloomed since I planted it probably 9 years ago. I do intend to move it though, as I think it would do even better in a sunnier spot. And your Pipig story gave me a chuckle - pets provide never-ending entertainment, don't they ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 'Pretty Woman' lilies get partial shade, which I thought might be a problem but actually they bloomed earlier than the 'Purple Prince' bulbs which are in full sun. 'Purple Prince' is close to bloom but not quite there yet.

      Delete
  10. Beautiful lilies, enhanced further with your magic touch!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I hesitated to cut even one stem of the lilies as it's not like I have gobs of them but, given the heat, I guessed they might last as long in the house as they will outside.

      Delete
  11. Oh that is one lovely lily Kris living up to her name. Are you lilies troubled by red lily beetles across the pond? Pipig was obviously thwarted but a happy end to the story and one no doubt extremely happy lizard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know that lily beetles are a big issue in parts of the US but, thankfully, I haven't heard mention of them here. As to the lizard, I think it was in shock at the time of its release but I hope it's enjoying its extended life in a part of garden far away from Pipig :)

      Delete
  12. And now I can see what your 'Peter's Purple' looks like, per your comment on my post. I like it! I also have an Orienpet lily. It's called 'Conca d'Or'. Nice fragrance, though not as intense as an Oriental lily.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When compiling my next bulb order, I'll have to take a look at that lily too, Jason. I love its color.

      Delete
  13. I love both floral arrangements equally! I covet your Monarda ‘Peter’s Purple’! I have never grown this lily type or even any Asiatic lilies before. I especially love Pipig’s eye color and the photo you captured of her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interestingly, according to Sunset Western Garden Book, the Asiatic lilies, bred primarily from Chinese species, are better suited to our (Sunset) zone 24 conditions than the so-called Oriental lilies, bred from Japanese species, which aren't earmarked for anything above Sunset zone 22. I hadn't previously understood the distinctions between the two in terms of their viability in our climate. The Orienpets sit between the two forms, said to be suitable to Sunset zones 1-9 and 14-23.

      Delete
  14. That story reminded me of when one of our dogs brought a mouse in and let it run wild. Fortunately it headed straight for the door onto the patio that was open and escaped on its own! Your lilies are gorgeous Kris, and the white Agapanthus is also very striking in that arrangement. I love your Scabious in the second vase! Similar to my 'Pink Mist' but a little more frilly. We don't have many varieties available here, but I will be keeping an eye out for that one. Love the Monarda too…. pretty shade of pinky purple. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! A mouse in the house would unnerve me more than a lizard, Cathy. I told the story of the lizard to my neighbor this morning and she told me that a friend of hers has had her cats bring in rats, possums and rabbits. I'm counting myself lucky ;)

      Delete

I enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions!