The husband brought home some bulbs in a dirty plastic bag, from the leftover sales table at a store. Didn’t expect much, and in fact was way too late to plant them as they did already have several centimetres of shoots when I finally had some pots and spots in garden beds prepared. I planted them regardless, expectations even lower.
Yet, to all our surprise, they grew as if set free. We didn’t know what they were and are not gardeners enough to recognise the leaves but when the rather large buds appeared I knew they were lilies.
Apparently it’s really important to plant them early autumn (which we didn’t, it was two weeks out from official summer), they are to get full sun (which they don’t, but since it’s a scorcher in Australia most days of summer I reckon a good five hours of full sun is plenty). Interestingly, the bulbs planted in the pots grew best, even though the soil in the garden beds was the same. Single stems are long and thick and sturdy. They have – so far – withstood the dog and strong winds.
They grew and grew and thanks to a lot of rain I didn’t need to worry about watering too much. And when the huge bulbs burst it was truly rewarding. They are magnificent flowers, if quite showy, but elegant at the same time, and I absolutely love them.
I missed the point where I should have cut them to bring them inside in a vase, but since I’m quite a spoiled girl and get flowers from the husband rather frequently I’m quite glad I left the lilies in the garden. I see them from the kitchen and the dining table, and that makes me happy.
Reading up on the history of lilies I learned that they are dating as far back as 1580 B.C., when images of lilies were discovered in a villa in Crete. That is probably explained by their role in ancient Greek mythology, where it is said that Zeus’ wife Hera refused to feed Hercules, and when drops of her milk fell to the ground the first lilies sprouted. According to some sources, ‘lilium’ is the latinized form of Greek ‘leirion’ (λείριον).
The meaning of lilies is different depending on the colour of the flower, but pink is supposed to stand for love, admiration, compassion, emotions, femininity and understanding. They are the perfect flower to bring in a bouquet on a date, are known to be the May birth flower, and the 30th wedding anniversary flower.
As for me, I just love the lush pink, the subtle lime green and white and the texturing. I spent some happy moments taking photos and creating another work for my Kaleidoscope series.