We always look forward to the start of summer, when the summer lily show begins. These summer lilies include mostly Asiatic lilies, and their hybrids. Our particular interest are in lilies that are taller than 4′ and have pendant flowers. The shorter Asiatic lilies, and those with upright-held flowers may look great in a container, but they have little design value in a naturalistic style garden. Since some of the lilies are top heavy due to the massive weight of the flowers, we recommend varieties with sturdy stems.
Be sure you can stand the fragrance, since most hybrid lilies are so fragrant, they blow gardenias out of the water. Because these lilies have little foliage, they can be planted into masses of other plants without any detrimental effects. The flower stalks seemingly appear out of nowhere in early July, and fade into obscurity when they are finished.
Below are a few favorites we photographed recently in the garden.