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Welcome to the CountryLife Gardening Blog, written by our horticulturist to provide you with the best tips & advice for all things gardening!  We have been shortlisted for Best Lifestyle Blog in the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards 2016 Company Category. 

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Colourful Lily

by CountryLife Gardening | Jul 02, 2015

Tiger Lily - Photo Credit Audrey Flickr
Summer is often a time in the garden when so many flowers will fight for attention. Whether it is bright colours or beautiful scent each flower has something to steal a gardener’s attention away from everything else that is in the garden. One flower which combines great colour and aroma to sway gardeners towards them is the lily.

Many will be familiar with the standard white or pink lilies which you can buy in any supermarket around the country but there are so many different colours and varieties available to grow in Ireland. With nearly every colour imaginable available in lilies they make for a very versatile flower in a garden which can not only add colour but also some much needed structure and medium height to a flower bed.

While there are a number of great lilies on the market at the moment one that has really caught my eye and one which we have in CountryLife at the moment is lilium magny cours. Magny cours is a rich burgundy red colour with a fantastic scent. The scent is a great asset to the flower and is one that lingers in the air which is a bonus for me as I walk around the garden centre. 

In recent years oriental and tiger lilies have become very popular with gardeners around the country. I have invested in some and just recently bought some double flowering varieties from Mr Middleton that I am eagerly waiting for them to flower. With a large range of even different flower types on the market lilies make a great flower to have in a garden.

As with all bulbs the best time to plant lilies is in the autumn or early spring once the ground is workable again. Lilies like a good free draining soil and a good amount of sunlight. When planting lilies it is important to get the preparation right so that you do not run in to problems later on.

It is a good idea to mix some well-rotted leaf mould or compost into the bottom of your planting hole to give the bulbs a good start. While lilies do not require as much water as other plants in the garden it is important that when you are watering you give it enough water to ensure it reaches the bulb.  
: Lily beetles can pose a problem for lilies in the garden – Photo credit Adrian Paine FlickrOne pest to look out for with lilies is the lily beetle. These brightly coloured pests can pose a serious threat to your flowers in a very short period of time. These are a pest that I have not encountered until very recently in my own garden. On my tree lilies I noticed some nibbling on the leaves but passed little remark to it as it did not seem to be a big problem. Two weeks later and I have barely any of my plant left. But I do have a large number of red coloured lily beetles milling around.

When it comes to lily beetles the eggs over winter in the soil and as the weather warms they emerge and travel to the underside of the leaf and start munching away. They then mature and as they do cause more damage. When they fully mature they will lay more eggs in the soil and the cycle of damage will continue. It is important to break the cycle by dealing with the adults and then being vigilant the following year and treat accordingly if you see any damage. 

Written by Malachy

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Like what your reading - then why not nominate us for the Irish Blog Awards 2015.#bloggies2015

Like what your reading - then why not nominate us for the Irish Blog Awards 2015. #bloggies2015

Malachy's Bio 

I have been gardening since I was 5 years old when my mother gave me a part of our garden as my own. I have studied horticulture in the National Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin and was a winner in the young horticulturist of the year competition. I have worked in Several plant nurseries and garden centers such as Mount Congreve in Co. Waterford. My special interests are plant propagation and Cacti!