It happens every time. Just as I put to bed a brand new edition of The Southern Living Garden Book, somebody comes along with a great new plant. Since I couldn’t tell you about it in the book, I will tell you about it here. Behold Lilium ‘Kaveri’ blooming its bulb off in Grumpy’s garden.
More species and hybrids of lilies exist than Greeks sobbing in an ATM line. Two groups of popular lily hybrids are the Asiatic hybrids, primarily bred from Chinese species, and the Oriental hybrids, mainly bred from Japanese species. Asiatics are vigorous, easy-to-grow lilies with abundant blooms in colors of white, yellow, orange, pink, and red. Orientals offer large, fragrant flowers up to 9 inches long, usually in colors of white and pink.
Crossing the two groups must not be easy, because I haven’t seen any Oriental-Asiatic (OA) lilies before. Then Longfield Gardens sent me a new one this spring to try out called ‘Kaveri.’ That’s it, above. What do you think?
I think I’m in love, and that’s not easy for a cantankerous Grump with no redeeming qualities. But look at all the flowers from just one bulb! The sturdy stem, about 40 inches tall, holds the blooms upright with no support. ‘Kaveri’ also makes an excellent cut flower.
As with just about all lilies, the secret to growing this new lily is planting in sun and fertile, well-drained soil.
Unfortunately, I just checked Longfield’s website and it says its lilies are all sold-out. But summer isn’t planting time for lilies anyway. Check again in the fall.
In the meantime, if any of you have been hoarding drachmas, could you do my Greek friend, Stavros, a solid? He’s a little short this week.