Beryl Harris

Lily - Purity

And the stately lilies stand,

Fair in the silvery light

Like saintly vestals, pale in prayer;

Their pure breath sanctifies the air,

As its fragrance fills the night - Anonymous

Daylilies, my favourite flower, I am lucky enough to have had one bred just for me called, of course Beryl Harris. My love affair with them began when I met Doug Lycett. He was so enthusiastic that it was contagious. He spoke with such love, caring and knowledge that those of us privileged to hear him caught 'the bug" Sadly Doug has gone to garden in heaven and I am very sure that it is an even more beautiful place now - no weeds either.

The lily has always been regarded as the symbol of purity, and is one of the oldest flowers in the world. Legend has it that the first lily sprang up from the tears, shed by Eve when she was forced to leave the Garden of Eden. Perhaps this is why so many brides like to carry them in their bouquets!

Daylilies may be found growing in ditches along the roadsides, if you decide to take a few home with you be very careful as to their placing in the garden. The older varieties are very invasive. Extensive hybridizing has resulted in the development of more than 30,000 hybrids are in cultivation, so there has to be one 'just for you".

The newer daylilies are clump forming, needing to be lifted and divided every few years. They will thrive in sun or light shade, not demanding as to soil types, as long as it is not too dry. The foliage is grassy, arching and bright green; they may be used to disguise the fading leaves of spring-flowering bulbs

Careful placement should be considered because the flowers turn their heads towards the sun. Most daylilies are hardy to our zone. Whilst they do prefer the sun, they will grow well and give brighter colours in part-shade - if they are not doing well, just move them. Sometimes they will not bloom, if the weather is very cold, wet etc. Daylilies can sometimes look the worse for wear after a heavy rain. Many red cultivars do not bloom in bad weather but there are enough others to bring us joy with beautiful blooms so do not worry. Propagate by division in either spring or fall. I am sorry to say that any cultivars raised from seed do not come true to type - so if you snitch seeds from that neighbour who will not share their special plant with you, you will not get "your heart's desire'

Enjoy your lilies, they ask for very little to keep them happy, They grow in most soils, but for their best production of wonderful flowers, plant them in fertile soil and feed them - they are after all our "children."