These freckled flowers add height, color and fragrance to your gardens
Lily varieties like Tiger, Martagon and Trumpet can add height and color to your gardens and borders. Some types grow to six feet tall and bring heady fragrance, too.
One flower still blooming now that survived all the recent heavy rains is the daylily. It can thrive in adverse soil conditions and in either sun or shade.
If you're looking to add another easy-care lily type to your landscape, here are three varieties you can consider.
Trumpet, Martagon and Tiger lilies can bring new height and movement, along with color and fragrance to your gardens.
Trumpet lilies are large, fragrant flowers that grow best in the warmer parts of Vermont. Try the five-foot-tall Regal Petticoat, as this type boasts up to 10 blossoms per stem.
The tried-and-true Tiger lily grows about four feet tall and is hardy to Zone Three, which makes it a good choice for cooler areas in Vermont.
This type has freckles on its orange or red petals and readily self-sows. Note that if you don't want to grow more Tiger lilies in the same area, dead-head the flowers before they can self-sow.
The Martagon or Turks' Cap lily has lots of blooms per stem and grows to nearly six feet tall, with smaller flowers that are downward-facing.
A fragrant variety of Martagon lily is called Arabian Nights and is a bit unusual because it can grow well in partial shade. The other types of lilies prefer full sun and well-drained soil.
Plant these lily bulbs in the spring or the fall and protect them from mice and voles. Try growing them in groups so they don't blow over as easily in windy conditions.
The red lily leaf beetle can pester these plants, so try varieties, like Lilium Henry I Madame Butterfly. It's a species-type lily that the leaf beetle doesn't infest.
If the leaf beetles do bug your lilies, do some critter mitigation in the spring or early summer when the bulbs start leafing out. Either toss the bugs into some soapy water or squish them. Another method to rid your lilies of the beetles is to don a rubber glove and run your hand up the lily stem to get the larvae before they hatch.
A question about floods and vegetable gardens
After recent heavy rains statewide flooded over 10,000 acres of many Vermont farm fields, some home gardeners also lost their newly ripening plants, herbs and veggies.
In these instances, the safest protocol is to throw out any fruits, berries, herbs or vegetables that were under flood waters, even if only submerged for a short period of time.
Some caveats exist, though, and All Things Gardening listener Paul wrote in for more clarity on what vegetables are safe to harvest and eat from a home garden after recent flooding.
Q: Your article about flooded gardens was helpful, but one thing remained unclear to me: I have broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts that hadn't begun to form heads before the flood arrived. Would those vegetables be safe to eat even though the plants themselves were covered by flood water? And the same question goes for green beans: I had planted a later-producing variety of bean that just now is beginning to form beans. Would these beans be edible? - Paul, via email
A: If any of the fruit formed — whether it be green beans, broccoli or cauliflower heads — after the floodwaters receded, then you can eat them.
However, if any of the vegetables formed before that or while the flooding was happening, then you do not want to eat those. That's due to the rivers and streams that overflowed their banks containing contaminants like fuel oil and sewage, among other things.
A question about aggressive roses
All Things Gardening listener Melinda called in to ask how to deal with some roses that are outcompeting other plants and flowers in her garden.
A: Old-fashioned or species roses like rosa rugosa or prairie rose generally grow without issues in gardens.
The large, bushy multiflora rose has white clusters of flowers and can be very aggressive.
To remove this one, if the plants are still small, dig them out or cut them down repeatedly. This will eventually weaken the plant and it won't keep growing and crowding out your other plants.
If the plants are really large and taking over, you may need to resort to an herbicide. Try a brush killer herbicide and paint it on any open areas of stems that you have cut down. That should help control any unwanted growth of this type of aggressive old-fashioned rose.
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