February 24, 2011

Garden Inspiration: Lilies and Bee Balm in Buffalo

Missing out on the July 2010 Garden Walk Buffalo, I had to tour vicariously through the reports of other garden bloggers. Gardeners, such as Gail at Clay and Limestone were all wowed by a combination of bee balm (monarda) with lilies!

I can do that—because I already grow the plants! All I need to do is a bit of garden tweaking to replicate the inspiration.

Monarda 'Raspberry Wine' is a big player in my cottage garden as well as in my outer gardens (aka "the deer resistant gardens"). Also growing inside my cottage garden fence is the perennial 'Starfighter' lily. However, the lily is NOT deer resistant, so I will replicate the Buffalo inspiration inside the cottage garden. All I need to do is transplant the lily from behind my azaleas to pair it up with the monarda.

Monarda 'Raspberry Wine'
with echinacea 'Prairie Splendor'
and annual castor bean in the cottage garden.
My favorite color combination is a mix of blooms and foliage colors that work with cool reds (magenta) and burgundy. The oriental lily 'Starfighter' is a natural to fit into this combination. The 'Starfighter' is a sister to the famous 'Stargazer' lily.

The 'Starfighter' is around three feet tall in bloom, so I will transplant it on the far side of the monarda which is the opposite side from the coneflowers. The lily will be between the monarda and salvia guaranitica 'Black & Blue'. The monarda and the salvia will keep the roots of the lily shaded—a necessity in this full sun location in my zone 7b.

My 'Starfighter' is now in the fourth year in my garden and is rated for zones 4-9. Oriental lilies are best transplanted in the fall, but I can safely shovel out this growing clump to transplant it in early spring. Since it flowers in July, the plant should have time to catch up and bloom again this year.

You can also plant new lily bulbs—and monarda plants—this spring, so there is plenty of time to recreate this garden inspiration at your home, too!

Oriental lily 'Starfighter' blooms in July in my garden.

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. Deer and rabbit resistance varies based upon the animal population and availability of food. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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