Daily Flower Candy: Lilium ‘Scheherezade’

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The number of occasions during the day when I feel I am starting to lose my marbles is increasing steadily, to a point where I genuinely wonder if senility might be imminent. I have always been a list-writer but have reached a stage where noting down ‘to dos’ has become a necessity rather than a safety net. Evernote, one of the only really useful apps I’ve ever dowloaded, has become my surrogate memory, holding everything from directions to Christmas card lists, online shopping receipts to restaurant bookings. Plant lists languish up there in Evernote’s ether, recording treasures I’ve bought or coveted in other people’s gardens. And it’s just as well.

Lilium 'Sheherezade', London, August 2015

I returned to London on Sunday night to discover two rectangular planters I thought I’d filled with pink lilies resplendent with gilt-edged, red blooms. I had convinced myself for 4 months that the bulbs I’d planted were Lilium speciosum var. rubrum and thoughtfully underplanted them with pink Gaura lindheimerii. I will never know if the two shades of pink would have been a marriage made in heaven, but I do now appreciate that gold, ruby-red and blush are not perfect bedfellows.

Lilium 'Sheherezade', London, August 2015

Evernote reveals the bulbs I’d bought were in fact Lilium ‘Scheherezade’. I suspect I’d selected them for our coastal garden where fiery colours reign supreme, but then wrongly located them in the flurry of spring bulb planting. Despite being incongruous where I’ve planted them, these lilies have been splendid from the moment they pushed through the ground: tall, strong and unsullied by snails and weevils. This is because Lilium ‘Scheherezade’ is a tetraploid ‘Orienpet’ hybrid, which basically means it’s a lily on steroids (‘Orienpet’ is a horrid blending of the two categories ‘Oriental’ and ‘Trumpet’). L. ‘Scheherezade’ was bred by LeVern Friemann in Washington, USA by crossing two equally beefed-up hybrids called L. ‘Thunderbolt’ and L. ‘Black Beauty’. Scheherezade’s Stallone-esque genes mean that she is capable of reaching 6ft with each stem carrying tens of flowers rather than the normal 6-8.

Lilium 'Sheherezade', London, August 2015

In their first year my lilies are already statuesque, if not quite the perfect shade. In comparison to the strength of the plants the fragrance emitted by the waxy flowers is surprisingly light and fresh – great for those who are not fans of more potent-smelling lilies. I can only compare the scent to a particularly delicate rose.

Come the end of the year I will need to decide whether to relocate the bulbs or work around their bold colouring. Whatever I decide, I had better note it down somewhere.

I’d love to hear if I’m the only one that forgets what I’ve planted where and what schoolboy / schoolgirl errors you’ve made in your garden this year.

Lilium 'Sheherezade', London, August 2015


Categories: Bulbs, Container gardening, Daily Flower Candy, Flowers, Plants, Uncategorized

Posted by The Frustrated Gardener

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14 comments On "Daily Flower Candy: Lilium ‘Scheherezade’"

  1. I don’t know about school boy errors, but I do also suffer from the getting older forgetting to do things, needing to write lists, which then makes one rely on lists, which if complete means that there is no chance in hell that things get done.

    Hence, the eryngium seedlings that I popped in to a spare bit of soil last autumn to grown on and be moved this spring when their new home would be ready, are now towering their steely, intense blueness over the “White and Purple” border, because I forgot/didn’t write down the need to move them. Nevermind, they clash delightfully along with Thalictrum Delavyii “Album” that isn’t “Album” at all. (thank you nursery) and the two separate solitary Crocosmia corms that came from somewhere that are flowering flamefully also within the sea of “White & Purple”. They will all have to wait till autumn, if I can resist being annoyed that long.

    These forgetful things are just but a few amongst many. I need a list to remind me to write on my lists.

    Lovely lilies by the way, but they do make an impact. Such a shame their scent isn’t gas mask ready :).

    1. No, it’s very mild! Crocosmias get everywhere don’t they? I love them when they are flowering (although can see the issue in a lovely white and purple themed border) but are annoying the rest of the time. We have them coming up through paving stones in our London garden. Nothing deters them. Thank you Nick for sharing your senior moments with me!

  2. Since I buy about 3-4 thousand bulbs in the fall, and have limited time to get them in the ground before the snow starts to fall, I regularly forget where I crammed in things. But the following year is so exciting! Especially when something comes up that I can’t even identify until it flowers, wow. It does make it difficult to add things in the spring.

    I have Black Beauty and love it, but no scent. I’m not sure I like the colour combination of Scheherezade. But if it went on sale, who knows where it might show up in my garden.

    1. Wow, that’s a lot of bulbs. My order runs into many hundreds, but isn’t on that scale. Where do you find the time to plant them all? Black Beauty is much more what I had in mind. I would not have chosen Scheherezade but sometimes I think it’s good to try something new, even if it is unintentional!

  3. I started using Evernote this year before we went to Amsterdam, Luxembourg, and Belgium. I love typing notes on my laptop but having access to them on my phone. I LOVE it. As for forgetting things, I have several years on you and have difficulty with names, colors, sizes, etc. on plants I’m not familiar with. So, when I see something fantastic on one of your posts for instance, I Pin it to a plant bucklet list. 🙂

  4. Schoolgirl errors this year include thinking that broad beans would do well under the raspberries and forgetting (again) how runner beans grow top heavy and need big, strong, deep stakes. Sowing too many seeds and not having enough room or time to transplant them and being very greedy and spoilt at nurseries.
    Confessions are cathartic, but sins may be repeated, especially the last ones.

  5. My last lilies bloomed over three months ago, in April, so these look flawless to me. I always forget to preorder later flowering types, so end up buying what’s locally on offer in autumn, which never includes a wide choice. I know it’s tacky, but if I have a name tag I stick it in the pot.

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