If you landed here expecting to find Humphrey Bogart or Katharine Hepburn, sorry! this African Queen will not cope with getting waterlogged.
Perhaps not as exciting, however the Trumpet Lily (Lilium African Queen) is still a show stopper.
performance in our garden
In March of last year I potted up three of the Trumpet Lilies (African Queen).
This was when we were still living in Aberdeen. I placed the tub in a sheltered sunny position. The blooms opened in mid August, becoming a little damaged due to an unseasonal cold spell.
When I planted these bulbs little did I realise that in nine months time we would be uprooting and heading down to Cheshire.
No way was I going to leave these beauties behind, we arrived in Cheshire in early December, the tub containing African Queen sat outdoors throughout the Winter and virtually was forgotten about, whilst having a nosey around the garden in late February I noticed that growth had already started.
In the second week of July the blooms of African Queen started to open, and continued flowering well into August.
Quality of the blooms were excellent, mind you constant destruction of the Lily beetle was essential, never seen these pests in Aberdeen. It was pointless leaving Myra to dispose of them as she is unable to destroy any insect, she simply flicked them off the plant. Solution was simple, given Myras good eyesight she would point to the offending bug, I would get them between my fingers and squeeze.
We are considering introducing more Lilies to the garden for next year. However I am not too keen on using a pesticide If you know of any safe procedure in dealing with Lily beetle I would be keen to hear from you.
The Trumpet Lily African Queen has large scented blooms with a unique colour, often described as burnt orange.
Growing to a height of 120cm/4ft, often a bit taller than this.
Your bulbs can be planted between October and April, three or five bulbs together approximately 45cm apart give the best results. African Queen like most other Lilies are best planted deep, at a depth of at least 15cm. To help with drainage and to keep the slugs away from the bulbs place a little sharp sand at the base and also above each bulb when planting.
Position your Lily bulbs in part shade or full sun. Soil should be free draining and on the alkaline side. It is recommended that in the growing season you should regularly give a liquid feed high in potash. Stand back and admire the blooms in July and August.
When we planted African Queen we also placed another three varieties of Trumpet Lilies in pots. Below are pictures of them growing successfully in our Cheshire garden this Summer.
Trumpet Lily Pink Perfection
Pink Perfection this year was the most floriferous of the four, all of them have a fantastic fragrance.
Trumpet Lily Regale.
Regale in the first week of July was the first to open its blooms. This one has been a firm favourite with gardeners for many years.
*** Lilium Regale ***
Golden Splendour started to bloom in the last week of July a little later than the other three. Well worth the wait though, the fragrance of this one was intoxicating.
In the last week of August we decided that we would indeed go ahead and make more changes to the back garden.
I did suggest in my last post that a large chunk of the lawn had to go.. We came up with a couple of ideas, the first one would have made the garden much more formal looking. However we decided to go with our second option and create a large central herbaceous bed.
I am very happy with the result and although it is a small garden, it gives that walk around feel, with a feast of plants wherever you cast your eyes.
I really like perennials and will look forward to seeing them coming into fresh growth in early Spring.
It was hard work digging and clearing all those sods of grass. The soil in our garden is clay and very heavy so I didn’t make much attempt to clear the soil from the sods. In previous months I had been dumping unwanted material from the garden in our woodland area, which would break down and probably be advantageous. There was no way that I could do this with my unwanted grass so I had to hire a skip. I use the term (OUR woodland area very loosely)
Well, after topping up with two tons of fresh top soil, it is now, more or less fully planted, using plants purchased in 2ltr pots, at my age I make no apology for going down the route of instant gardening. Pictures below show the build up to how it is now looking in the second week of September
If you happen to leave a comment I will be sure to visit your site and do the same