Allotment Articles 2.
Choosing A Lily
If Lilies for your pond come in a range of prices from a few pounds up to 20, or 30 pounds. They are usually young plants when you buy them and may take a year or two before they mature and flower. Lilies are best bought in the green, ready potted and shooting, but sometimes you can see them sold loose. All lilies need regular feeding to flower well and plenty of sunshine. They don’t like the moving water of a waterfall, or fountain except for Nuphar Luteum. With this plant, the leaves develop under water until the plant is growing well and than it throws a different kind of leaf up to the surface in the same way a normal lily does. The flowers are not as spectacular as on an ordinary lily, but are yellow and like an overgrown buttercup. They are scented of brandy hence its common name of Brandy Bottle.
If a lily is fairly cheap then the chances are it is a vigorous grower, so it will need regularly dividing in an average sized pool.
In a small pool, miniature lilies such as the red Pygmaea Rubra, or the yellow Pygmaea Helvola are best. They can be quite expensive though and a cheaper alternative to a miniature lily is a Water Hawthorn, or Aponegeton. This has long oval leaves and an attractive, highly scented, white flower. Another cheap alternative for a lily in a small pond, or in hallow water is Villarsia, or Nymphoides Peltata. These plants have tiny lily pads and a very attractive yellow flower held above the surface. The only problem with them is that they spread by sending out off shoots like a strawberry and can become quite invasive.
Popular lilies for a decent sized pool are Alba, or Albida as a white with yellow centre and Carnea as a pale pink. This could be mistaken for a white when young, but the flowers get a deeper pink as the plant gets older. Reds and yellows are generally more expensive such as the red; Attraction, Escarboucle, or James Brydon and Yellows such as; Chromatella, or Colonel Welch are popular. Amongst the more exotic lilies is Paul Hariot in which the flowers change colour from apricot to orange to red, although it is another Lily that is quite expensive.
It is possible to buy blue lilies, but they are tropical so they wouldn’t stand outside in Winter as the frost would kill them. If you have a heated conservatory with a pool, or large water tub in, you could grow them in there.
Sometimes people buy lilies and when they flower the flower stands proud of the water. They think they have done something wrong with it, or the plant is not in the right depth. This need not be true as some lilies such as Yellow Sunrise have their flowers on long stalks held above the water and no matter what depth you put them in they will always grow like this.
Some lilies to be avoided at all costs are those such as the white Gladstoniana, or Colosea which grow very large and are best suited to lakes, or very large pools, All aquatic retailers will have a selection and if you go in mid summer it may be possible to pick one out with a flower already on it.