November 10, 2011

Favorite Combination: Fragrant Phlox and Lily

A little rearranging and tweaking of existing plants evolved into a favorite combination. Inspired by lilies combined with monarda, I tucked my oriental 'Starfighter' lily up against my monarda (bee balm) 'Raspberry Wine' to replicate the garden inspiration. The two create a color echo with the raspberry color of the bee balm echoed by the throat of the lily.

In April, I transplanted 'Starfighter' to the new location. It is related to 'Stargazer' and that variety will provide a similar look. Oriental lilies are best moved from mid-September through mid-October, but moving the lily in the spring didn't deter the bloom.

Knowing that there are no guarantees with bloom times, I hoped for at least a week of overlap of the bee balm and the lily bloom.  The bloom times weren't synchronized but, I was not disappointed with the results because there was another plant that worked just as well!

The lily is fronted by the pure white snowballs of 'David' phlox paniculata and purple coneflowers. This was the first bloom season for the phlox, so the blooms were a bit sparse. That said, 'David' kept blooming and blooming as long as I kept deadheading.

'Starfighter' Lily with 'David' Phlox and
'Prairie Splendor' Echinacea. July 2011.
One month prior to the lily blooms. June 2010.
Monarda 'Raspberry Wine', Phlox 'David, Echinacea 'Prairie Splendor'.
Loropetalum shrub foliage in lower left corner.
(The lily blooms where I've placed my name in the photo.)
My photos of the combination are few because we experienced many days around 100° F during the July blooms. Trust me, the phlox and lily are fabulous companions.

There is another bonus by pairing the 'David' phlox and 'Starfighter' lily. Both are very fragrant and can be cut for flower arrangements.

To replicate variations of my combination, here's the scoop:

Oriental 'Starfighter' Lily; zones 4-9; 36-48" high.
Phlox paniculata 'David'; zones 4-8; 36-48" high.
Monarda 'Raspberry Wine'; zones 4-9; 30-36" high.
Echinacea 'Prairie Splendor'; zones 3-8; 24" high.

I grow all four in full sun in the location shown in my photos. I also grow all four perennial in part shade with success. Rabbits will eat the phlox and echinacea. I have to protect the phlox and coneflowers with rabbit repellent. Deer will eat the phlox and lily, so protect accordingly. This combination is inside my fenced cottage garden.

Wide view shows 'Happy Returns' daylilies,
loropetalum shrub, liatris 'Kobold', perennial heliotrope.
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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