Phloral Arrangements – Lilies Extraordinaire

I think the ‘extraordinaire’ in my title fits this lovely vase of lilies. The bouquet is still going strong 10 days after the purchase of the flower stems. Most of the buds were closed when I brought them home, but a diagonal cut along the bottom, a bit of flower food in warmish water, and several lilies unfurled within 24 hours. Arranging each stem opposite another, giving the vase a turn before continuing on, creates an intricate design aspect through the glass vase rather than a bunched-up mass. Today, I cut away the first of the faded blossoms. There are still many flowers left in bloom, and a couple of promising buds still ready to burst. The fragrance is strong and distinctive of lilies.

You might be wondering why the open blossom is missing the dark anthers that are within the bud beside it. I learned this tip while taking classes on floral design: lily anthers are staining. If the pollen dust on them touches clothing, table coverings, or upholstery, the stain is usually impossible to remove. As the lilies open, I remove the anthers and dispose of them. I love the way they look, but I know from experience, remove them.

If you like the ‘freckled’ appearance the pollen gives the petals, gently tap the anthers over the petals before removing. Be aware though, even this small amount of pollen can cause a big stain.

My vase of lilies is part of Cees Flower of the Day Challenge.

Plant – Colossal Lily

Lilies, yes, they are colossal. A perfect fit for the Monday Ragtag Community Challenge. The flowers are eye level to me, and I am of average height. The petals are a blazing yellow-gold with beautiful rust speckles and pretty anthers. They seemed perfect for Cee’s Flower of the Day challenge. My lilies also fit right in with City Sonnet’s Colors and Letters challenge for June 20th, which is the letter L.

I love taking part in challenges, though at times, try as I might I come up dry. Today the creative juices were flowing and the challenges fit what is blooming in my garden. A big thank you to the Ragtag Community, Cee, and CitySonnet for their daily challenges.

Plants – Atomic Tangerines


Winter doldrums were certainly sent scurrying as we walked through the Longwood Gardens Conservatory on Saturday. Today’s Color Your World – 120 Days of Crayola/Atomic Tangerine perfectly matches what we found within the glass walls. These Red Hot Pokers (Kniphofia Uvaria) were stunning from a distance, and up close. I immediately knew I had to try to grow this brilliant variety of the plant in my 2017 gardens.


My goal this year is to grow most of my plants from seed. It will be a challenge to bring this plant into flower its first year. To get a jump-start on possible bloom this year I am going to try growing the seeds in two ways, Winter-sowing involves placing sown seeds outdoors in a milk carton. More info can be found on winter-sowing here: Winter-Sowing Seeds.

I will also try growing some of the seeds by following the directions on a website called Outside Pride. Their directions call for giving the seeds a period of cold before sowing.

Dampen a paper towel, wring out excess moisture and carefully place the flower seeds on the damp towel. Roll up the towel, place it in a Ziploc bag and place in refrigerator for 4 weeks. ~Outside Pride/Red Hot Poker

Red Hot Poker plants come in a variety of ‘hot’ colors. An added bonus: Red Hot Poker flowers draw hummingbirds to your yard.

Here are a few additional examples of ‘Atomic Tangerines’ growing in the Conservatory.

Flame Vine
Flame Vine

Lily with Atomic Orange Stamens
Lily with Atomic Orange Stamens

Bird of Paradise
Bird of Paradise

Photograph – The Bone Yard


Autumn has brought out the beauty in the “Bone Yard” of my garden as my blossoms turn into seeds.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Change.”“This week, show us a change in progress. This can be done in one or multiple photos — we’ll let you decide!”






Pic-Monkey is a terrific site for adding special effects to photographs.

Phlowers – Garden Lilies


Lilies are blooming in the garden this week. I’m pleased with several of the new varieties I planted this year. I had quite a laugh over the lily in the photograph above. This flower grows near one of my bird baths. Within the petals I spotted a mulberry, left there by a resourceful bird as he bathed. I guess he was also a bit forgetful and flew away after his bath without the prize.

Here are a few of the garden lilies in bloom.






Plant – White Lily

New Year's Eve 018

Today the song “Jesus Paid it All,” has been on my mind and on my lips. What amazing truth that beautiful old hymn holds. If I could tell all the world just one thing today it would be those words…Jesus Paid it All…for you, for me. And to that I must say, “Amen.”

“Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.”

Elvina M. Hall, 1865

Copyright: Public Domain

Plants – Lily

The first of my lily plants are beginning to bloom. The Stargazers will be along later in the season, but this beautiful pink variety is one of my all-time best performers.

I love the anticipation of bloom when the buds begin to show color through the green.

The white lily I bought at the end of last year’s Easter Season has done well. It is blooming long after Easter, but I don’t mind, the purity of its petals reminds me again of the glory of the resurrection.

Last, but certainly not least, are my orange lilies. They are amazing, bright and vibrant, they capture the heat of the sun and reflect it back for a few short weeks.

Place – Longwood Gardens Easter Weekend 2012

 Chimes Tower at Longwood Gardens

We spent a few amazing hours at Longwood on Saturday. I hadn’t walked to the Chime tower for a while and was happy to see it surrounded by the tender greens, pinks and apricots of trees leafing out and blooming.

I enjoyed the sky blue of the Agapanthus near one of the entrances.

 Legend of the Easter Lily

Easter Lilies were on glorious display throughout the conservatory.  Legend tells that Easter Lilies sprang up in the Garden of Gethsamane where Jesus’ tears of blood hit the ground.

“Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” Luke 12:27

Joe thought it appropriate when I posed on the “Queen Bee” throne in the Children’s Garden. As always Longwood Gardens did not disappoint.