Soil: well-drained soil enriched with leaf mould or a loam-based potting compost, such as John Innes no2
Rate of growth: average
Flowering period: July to August
Hardiness: fully hardy
Stately sprays of fragrant, deep pink flowers edged in a delicate white line are produced in July and August. Lilies are one of the all time favourite summer-flowering bulbs as they look superb in any garden scheme. Though they are best planted in autumn when the bulbs are still plump, lilies can still be planted in spring for an eye-catching summer display.
Garden care: Lilies can be planted at any time from early autumn, to mid-spring. Planting in autumn often helps them settle in and become better established before they start to put on their new spring growth, but spring planting is a better option if your soil is heavy and wet during winter. Choose a sunny spot, preferably where the plant receives a little light shade at its base, and plant each bulb 15-20cm (6-8in) deep in a well-drained soil, enriched with well-rotted organic matter or leaf mould. Space them at approximately 30cm (12") intervals and provide support before the flowers appear. Deadhead the faded blooms promptly and cut the dead stems back to ground level at the end of autumn.