Lilies are practical and beautiful plants in any garden. These hardy perennials can form the backbone of a St. Louis garden.

Gardening with lilies

'Gardening with lilies is not only a therapeutic past time; it also offers us the chance to step back from the chaos of our daily lives to appreciate what is pure in life and preserve our future.'

(from Angela Gynp)

Lily flowers come in an array of colors and sizes. In addition to the common orange and yellow, lilies come in red, pink, lavender, magenta, red, peach, white, and combinations of these colors. Every color but blue is represented in this flower.

Lily symbolism & lore

Egyptians decorated their tombs with paintings of white lilies

Madonna lilies were planted in gardens 1500 years before Christ

Peoples in China, Korea and Japan used tiger lilies for food

White lilies symbolize purity of the heart

According to a folk belief lilies in the home help protect the home

Several color patterns exist in lilies. Stripes, "brush marks", spots, and color-tipped petals are some of the more common coloration patterns.

Pamela McGeorge ; photographs by Russell McGeorge.
Toronto : Firefly Books, 2004.
Introductory guide to growing hundreds of species and varieties of lilies, and provides practical advice on how to plant, propagate, cultivate and landscape lilies.
Lilies : a guide to choosing and growing lilies
Michael Jefferson-Brown ; special photography, Andrew Lawson.
New York : Rizzoli, 2004.
Lilies are among the most glamorous and exotic of plants, yet they are surprisingly easy to cultivate in a wide range of temperate climates -- there is a lily perfect for almost every region in North America! Their increasing popularity as both a cut flower and a garden subject is well deserved, and this handsome volume combines the unrivalled visual allure of the lily with a wealth of practical information on growing and gardening with these romantic garden favorites. Book jacket.
Andrew Mikolajski ; consultant, Christine Skelmersdale ; photography by Peter Anderson.
New York, N.Y. : Lorenz Books, 1998.
This informative book covers how to use these regal summer plants to their best advantage in containers, borders or in a wild or woodland garden. A visual reference to over 60 varieties of lilies with full botanical descriptions of each, and with hints and tips on cultivation and garden use make this the definitive guide to understanding and cultivating lilies. The grower's guide tells how to grow lilies, from buying bulbs to suit particular soil types to disease and pest control.

There is a size of lily for every spot in the garden. Small "pixie" lilies  2' - 3' tall were bred to grow in patio pots. Beautiful and fragrant Oriental lilies grow 3' - 4' tall and fit well in the middle of a flower border. Handsome, sturdy Asiatic and Trumpet lilies grow 3' - 6' tall for the back of the garden, and the giant Oriental-Trumpet hybrids can get up to 8' tall for a special spot in the garden. 

Members of the Lilium genus, these flowers are often confused with daylilies (hemerocallis). Lilium grow from bulbs that are planted in the spring or fall. Their foliage feeds the bulb that produces next year's flowers and that foliage dies back each winter. They like rich, well drained soil and at least 4 hours of sunlight.   

Home gardeners are showing increasing interest in lilies, and hybridizers have responded by producing new varieties that are versatile and reliable, plants that please novice gardeners as well as experienced plantsmen.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff