Oriental lilies are showstoppers in the summer garden, opening richly colored and intensely fragrant blooms. Flowers appear from mid- to late summer and can linger for a few weeks. Oriental lilies grow from bulbs, which are best planted in fall in colder zones. Lily stems grow 24 to 48 inches tall and usually benefit from staking. Plants often spread over time to form a clump from 12 to 36 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 3-9. Good vase companions for Oriental lily: hosta or baptisia leaves, ribbon grass, garden phlox or bee balm.
Using real fresh flowers, create a true showstopper of a tree for a Christmas dinner party. You have two options when creating a floral tree: use silk flowers to have it last all season or use fresh flowers to design a dramatic Christmas tree for a special occasion. For this tree, I used non-traditional Christmas colors of pink, burgundy and mauve. Pink roses, pink lilies, white hydrangeas and red roses are inexpensive flowers that are readily available at your local grocery store or florist. Keep the color palette monochromatic and you can’t go wrong with a fresh flower tree.
‘Stargazer’ Oriental lily unfurls large blooms that exude a rich perfume. Petals are deep pink with a white edge. Oriental lily grows from a bulb that can be planted in fall or spring. Top-heavy stems grow to 3 feet and benefit from staking. Add stakes at planting time to help avoid spearing bulbs. Flowers appear in midsummer and can scent an entire yard on a steamy summer evening. Grow Oriental lilies in planting beds or containers. Hardy in Zones 3-9.
Above Lily's crib hangs her name made from basic white letters dressed up with ballet slipper pink ribbon. This is an excellent way to personalize a nursery with affordable, easy-to-find materials. A similar look can be achieved with metallic house letters or numbers found at leading home improvement stores.
‘Sorbonne’ Oriental lily unfurls large blooms that exude a rich perfume. Petals are a pure deep pink with a white edge. Oriental lily grows from a bulb that can be planted in fall or spring. Top-heavy stems grow to 3 feet and benefit from staking. Use care not to pierce the bulb when you insert stakes. Adding them at planting time helps avoid bulb damage. Flowers appear in midsummer and can scent an entire yard on a sultry summer evening. Hardy in Zones 3-9.
Plant this shrub in masses for sweeps of winter color. The buds start out a dark, purplish-pink and open to bell-shaped flowers. ‘Impish Elf'® Lily of the Valley (Pieris japonica) can be used as a container, foundation or border plant. It's hardy in USDA zones 6 to 8.
Bring part shade areas of your yard to glowing life with the bright pink flowers of ‘Valley Valentine’ pieris (P. japonica). Dangling flowers open from deep red buds in late winter and early spring. Also known as lily-of-the-valley shrub, pieris is a slow grower, eventually reaching a mature size of 5 to 7 feet tall and wide. Use ‘Valley Valentine’ as part of a foundation planting, shrub border or hedge. Hardy in Zones 6-8.
This large garden potting shed features lots of windows and a stone garden border. Rose pink doors and shutters add a sense of whimsy to a utilitarian structure. It's surrounded by a colorful cottage garden with canna lilies, black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia,) black sweet potato vine, chard, lavender, roses and amaranth.
A classic native wildflower, purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) brings a steady stream of color to gardens all summer long. It’s a hearty plant, withstanding full sun, drought and poor soil of all sorts (clay, rocky, shallow). Plant breeders have worked to improve this flower powerhouse by expanding blossom color and form. The result? You can find (no longer purple) coneflower plants in a rainbow of shades, including red, gold, white, orange and pink. This variety is PowWow Wildberry, which unfurls vivid rose-purple blooms. Coneflowers are deer- and rabbit-resistant. Purple coneflower grows 24 to 60 inches tall and 18 to 24 inches wide. Some newer varieties grow shorter. Hardy in Zones 3-8. Good vase companions for purple coneflower: Oriental or Asiatic lily, Russian sage, catmint, hosta and gas plant.
Available in orange, pink, bicolors, salmon, purple or yellow, calla lilies are easy to grow houseplants. White callas are lovely in Christmas-red containers, and stay in bloom a long time. They're tropicals, so wait until all frost has passed if you want to transplant them into your garden. They'll thrive in a sunny spot in slightly moist, organic-rich soil, but will require repotting and bringing indoors before the first fall frost. If you prefer, you can let the bulbs go dormant and store them in a cool, dry, dark place until you're ready to replant next spring.