Lilies are grown in their millions each year, but how can you ever decide what suits your tastes and garden? Michael Perry runs you through his favourites. There's everything from 10 feet high specimens to low, spreading, weed-beaters.
This is the giant of the lily family, blooms are 1 foot across and fragranced with a lovely citrus scent, not too overpowering. The crisp, lemon yellow colour is great with so many other shades, bolds or pastels. Plant up the top-sized bulbs into patio pots or the middle of the border. One of the most talked about plants in our trials last summer.
The biggest-selling lily in the world and a perennial favourite with florists, now you can grow your own quickly and easily. From bulb to flower is about 10-12 weeks. Treat yourself to one of the bumper packs so you have enough for the border, as well as for cutting. Wouldn't it be great to make up your own home-grown bouquet, rather than buying something limp from a supermarket!
An innovation from Thompson & Morgan - ground cover lilies. These ultra compact varieties are great for close-planting in borders or under trees and shrubs, where they will knit together over the years, keeping weeds at bay and keeping maintenance down too! Why not plant some as edging, like I'm going to this year.
A bit of a different lily, the Glory Lily! A bit of a tropical, but certainly good for summer patios, and fun to grow from seed. The exclusive mix here has all sorts of unusual colours too. Glory lilies are so eye-catching and different, with their climbing habit and highly colourful blooms.
A real buzz plant of recent times, tree lilies are easy to grow, quick and reliable. For something a bit different to the usual trumpet-style varieties, give 'Crystal Tree Lilies' a go, they have double flowers which last longer and have a more agreeable fragrance. They're also pollen-free so won't stain your clothes, probably the only downfall of lilies!
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