What does global warming look like? Er, this

Orienpet lilies

The last flowers of these lilies – an oriental/trumpet cross – always presage the end of summer for me. The final blooms usually drop off at the end of August; they’re early this year because of the extraordinary weather.

And wow, what a year it’s been. Can’t remember a summer like it since ’76. I’ve moaned continually on this blog about the lack of water, but this is kindergarten stuff compared with the nightmare they’re enduring in Russia. My Muscovite in-laws are choking on smog, smoke and 40ºC. People are dying from it.

If this is the future – ie if this is what global warming looks like – we’re all in for a very bumpy and painful ride. Hold on to your hats.

Posted on 10th August 2010
Under: Flowers, Summer | 4 Comments »

Lily seed right on schedule

Lily seeds in their podsLilies are marvellously predictable. Their seed pods ripen and split a day or two either side of mid October. They’re metronomically reliable.

I’m passionate about lilies. I’ve bred some of the varieties in my garden myself, and it’s a thrill to see them thriving. There is no flower more dignified, beautiful and elegant.

Posted on 21st October 2009
Under: Flowers, Seed saving | 3 Comments »

Lilies in June

Regale lily Asiatic lily

Doesn’t get much better than this. I have six pots of Orienpet and Asiatic lilies on my patio and a flower bed full of Regale species. My pride and joy are the Black Dragon hybrids, which are 7ft high.

The smell at dusk is take-your-breath-away sweet. I’ve been under the weather today, but had to drag myself from my sickbed for 5 mins to breathe it in.

There really is no lovelier aroma in all Creation, fact fans.

Posted on 15th June 2009
Under: Flowers | 5 Comments »

Emerging lilies

Emerging lilies Yes! Yes! Yes!

Here they come – the highlight of the summer. I’m addicted to the smell of lilies in bloom, and I grow a dozen varieties in pots and flower beds. Come July, the smell in my garden is strong enough to kill at 100 yards.

On a different note: Anyone know anything about globe artichokes? I sowed some seed a fortnight ago (in an unheated greenhouse), but it’s done nothing. And I mean nothing; I poked about in the compost and the seeds are still obstinately intact.

Is this normal? Will they only germinate in warmer weather? Or do I have dud seeds?

Posted on 21st March 2009
Under: Flowers | 7 Comments »