LANGLEY’S GREEN THUMB: Tiny hybrids can add stunning colour to the garden

LANGLEY’S GREEN THUMB: Tiny hybrids can add stunning colour to the garden

Dwarf lily varieties offer same great features of full-sized plants, including strong stocks

by Pam Erikson/Special to Langley Advance Times

Lilies have always made their presence known in a perennial bed – tall, elegant flashes of varying colour, some with fragrance – but most needing a little support if not in full sun.

Years of breeding in Holland with lily bulbs has resulted in several new varieties through the last few years that offer the home gardener shorter, more compact varieties that require no support or staking – just plant them and enjoy.

One strain of lilies has become very popular with us – the Longiflorum Asiatics – new crosses developed between the Asiatic lilies and the old fashioned Longiflorum lilies.

This line of breeding has resulted in lilies with very strong stems and larger than usual blooms.

For the past few years, we have enjoyed these tall, strong lilies in our gardens, but this year we were thrilled to discover new dwarf varieties.

RELATED: So many new gardeners – hopefully a new trend

Not only do these hybrids have the same thick strong stems as their taller counterparts, and larger blooms, but they require no support whatsoever and the colours are stunning.

Two of the best we have ever seen are Summer Sky, a lovely deep pink with subtle yellow and white markings; and Summer Snow, with her huge white flowers that make other nearby plants just pop.

The Asiatic lilies have a nice big collection of dwarf varieties – this year we are loving Tiny Epic – with its very dramatic purple eye pattern.

In the spectrum of Oriental lilies, the best dwarf during the past two years has been Garden Party – a big white flower with red and yellow markings.

Whether planting tall or short lilies, just remember that they enjoy well-drained soil and lots of sunshine.

Be sure to feed them a well-balanced, slow-release fertilizer in late April – when they are about three to four feet tall; and then feed again with a high phosphorus fertilizer (something like a 3-15-6) when they are in bloom.

READ MORE: Prescribing a little gardening therapy

This will help to replenish the bulb in order to produce even more flowers next year. When blooms are finished, just cut off the spent flowers at the top and allow the rest of the foliage to turn brown naturally – this also feeds the bulbs.

You can also grow in containers but be sure to have lots of perlite in the potting mix for drainage as they do not like to sit in a lot of moisture through the winter.

Lilies are so easy and can give years of enjoyment throughout the summer – just plant the right varieties for your space.

– Pam Erikson is owner of Erikson’s Daylily Gardens and Perennials and president of the Langley Garden Club



LANGLEY’S GREEN THUMB: Tiny hybrids can add stunning colour to the garden

LANGLEY’S GREEN THUMB: Tiny hybrids can add stunning colour to the garden

Just Posted

Higher sales of cannabis helped Canadian farmers come out in the green. (Black Press Media File)
Cannabis processing could start shop in North Langley

Company is the latest to work on industrial operations locally

Langley Quilters Guild helped honour two long-time members of the Langley Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, including Pat Walker (left), with “beautiful quilts” to express appreciation for their years of service to the non-profit. Her quilt was presented by Nuala Adderley (right), the guild vice-president. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Giving everlasting thanks to devoted Langley volunteers

Quilts given to two women who donate more than 30+ years each to Langley Memorial Hospital Auxiliary

Nixon Mahovlic, 8, was inspired by kindness week at Fort Langley Elementary so he set out to collect bottles to raise money for a local family in need. (Steve Mahovlic/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Langley man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) (File Photo)
Police watchdog investigating after man found dead in Surrey following a wellness check

IIO says officers ‘reportedly spoke to a man at the home before departing’

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Surrey RCMP in the 4900-block of 148th Street, a short road just off of King George Boulevard, on May 15, 2021 after a male was allegedly assaulted with a “pipe-like” weapon that morning. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey RCMP investigating after person reportedly injured with ‘pipe-like’ weapon

Police investigating incident in the 4900-block of 148th Street

Most Read