We post a lot about lilies here on Garden Rant, as our puzzled partner Susan Harris has pointed out numerous times, mainly because Elizabeth and I appear to be interested in little else. They are one of the truly great plants for Northern urban gardens, with their lush look, sophisticated shapes, unbelievable scent in close quarters, long season, and cold-hardiness.
Today, Anne Raver is covering lilies in desultory fashion for the New York Times, but not by any means doing them justice, I say with the fastidiousness of the obsessive. She talks about Turk’s Cap lilies as if they are a species, when she really ought to explain to the uninitiated that Turk’s Cap is a shape–and a common name–shared by different lilies. Notice also the mislabeled photo in the Times piece. ‘Black Beauty,’ my foot. That looks like lilium superbum to me.
And what can you say about a garden writer who doesn’t like the perfume of Oriental lilies? Maybe not a lily person? Maybe not a scent person at all? Just for the sake of accuracy, ‘Casa Blanca’ does not smell like jasmine or cotton candy. It smells like really great sex on a tropical island.
People, people, we’re talking about the queens of the garden here! Let’s at least try to be precise.