Grow­ing them

Country Life Every Week - - In The Garden -

❍ These lilies are usu­ally or­dered about now for de­liv­ery and plant­ing in spring

❍ Plant the bulbs about 6in deep. If the ground is too shal­low, mulch the sur­face thickly with com­post to raise it or plant in deep pots

❍ All will grow in full or partly di­rect sun

❍ Lily au­ra­tum and L. specio­sum var. rubrum need acid soil, ide­ally, a gritty, loam-based mix such as John Innes Eri­ca­ceous. The other species will tol­er­ate a wide ph range, although L. re­gale prefers al­ka­line con­di­tions. For all, the soil should be fer­tile and moist but free-drain­ing

Stems can be tied to canes if they’re be­com­ing overly bowed or top-heavy

Re­move dead flow­ers, but al­low the main stem to die back of its own ac­cord after bloom­ing

When in growth, give a high-potash liq­uid feed ev­ery 2–3 weeks

❍ Once planted, the bulbs should be left per­ma­nently in the ground

❍ Pests in­clude mice, mol­luscs and, above all, the scar­let lily bee­tle, which can be spot­ted and seen off with vig­i­lance. Avoid fre­quent wet­ting of the fo­liage—it en­cour­ages fun­gal dis­eases

❍ Most lily parts, pollen in­cluded, are toxic to cats

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