Saturday, July 13, 2019

My (Orien)pets

Oriental 'Montana'
Calling my Orienpet lilies "my pets" is almost as bad as labeling them "my precious," isn't it?  I'm trying not to think of myself as the decrepit Sméagol/Gollum in Lord of the Rings as I say it, but I'm sure I have the rasping inflection and covetous smiling expressions down all the same.  They are just so beautiful and fragrant that they overload my senses.

After my experience with 'Yellow Dream' (picture below) a few years back, I had resolved to buy more Oriental Lilies and Orienpets and you can see the result here.  Oriental lily 'Montana', pictured above, is the most fabulous of the new Orientals I planted, just to the left of my front door, pouring out fragrance for 5 yards around.  Don't you just love her freckles?

Orienpet 'Yellow Dream'
Although some of the new lilies have struggled, others are flourishing and expanding, particularly the Orienpets.  Now if only I could get the Kansas winds to stop throwing them onto the ground, I'd be in semi-heaven for a few weeks.  I prop some of them up with stakes, but I neglect others and pay for it with a few more broken stems after every storm. 

Orienpet lilies, or OT lily hybrids, are hybrids of Oriental and Chinese Trumpet lilies, as opposed to the Oriental-Asiatic, or OA hybrids, like 'Kaveri' that I pictured recently.  Orienpets inherited the best of both their parents and are very disease-resistant and have better drought, and cold tolerance than either parent.  Most are very tall (some gardeners call them "tree lilies") and floriferous, and the only drawback of them that I've seen so far is that blooms of some of the hybrids, like 'Beverly Dreams', face downward, diminishing their impact.

Orienpet 'Beverly Dreams'
I complain about 'Beverly Dreams', but on the other side of that coin, those thick waxy petals survive the searing Kansas sun without shriveling, and indoors, that fabulous color lasts a week or more in a vase.   'Beverly Dreams', in particular, is tempting me to get my first black light since the 70's, since I suspect it would light up spectacularly in ultraviolet.

Orienpet 'Purple Prince'
'Yellow Dream' is, as always, a standout this year, but the rainy spring and early summer here have left her yellow hues more muted than previously.  I also made the mistake of intermixing her clumps with 'Purple Prince', and their colors clash a bit.  I'm not as crazy about the downward facing and slow-opening 'Purple Prince', and I may move these bulbs eventually to a less prominent spot. 

Orienpet 'Anastasia'
The most recent to open, and one of the prettiest, is 'Anastasia', the newest Orientpet in my garden; delicate-colored and beautiful, and reminscent of 'Montana', pictured above.  I must be irrationally partial to the pinks since those two are my "pick of the season" so far.  There are, however, more buds warming up in the bullpen.  And stay tuned, because I'm preparing a "best-of-show" entry of the new daylilies I'm seeing.  Wowsa!

1 comment:

  1. I need to expand our lily collection here, too. I sympathize with you on the Kansas can barely grow anything here without it blowing over. All of my eryngium toppled very quickly this year.


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