Rejoice with Easter Lilies
Photo Credit: ForestWander.com
Easter is this weekend and the lilies are in bloom! These beautiful white flowers represent for many the joy, hope and inspiration of the season.
Easter lilies are also known as Bermuda lilies since they have been grown in Bermuda since the 19th century. They are a part of the genus “Lilium” and grow from plump bulbs. With gorgeous flowers they grab your attention wherever they are planted. Often very showy and with fragrant flowers they can be grown in regular planting beds but they also take well to container planting and make wonderful cut flowers. The 6 plain or marked petals are often in the trumpet shape and sit atop the tall, stiff stems requiring minimal care.
Throughout the ages they have remained the mark of purity and grace, adorning many churches and homes during this season of celebration.
The Madonna lily was used as the traditional flower of Easter but it always failed to bloom during the Easter season. This resulted in the Bermuda lilies being used in place of the Madonna lily as the Bermuda usually bloomed earlier in the season.
Photo Credit: Commons.Wikimedia.com
While the Lily has many biblical references the concept of the Easter lily was introduced by a soldier of World War 1, Louis Houghton. He had taken several hybrid lily bulbs back home to Oregon in 1919 and distributed them widely. With the attack of Pearl Harbor in 1941 the importing of Easter lily bulbs was stopped from Japan which led to the US cultivation of the Easter lily.
History, mythology and art have many references to stories and images about the beautiful and majestic white flowers. From stories referencing the “Garden of Eden” to Roman mythology associating the White Lily with Juno, the Queen of the Gods, the symbolism of purity and holiness of Lilies are centuries old.
Photo Credit: Lambdin, George Cochran, 1830-1896 (artist)
With proper care, Easter lilies can be planted to bloom again next spring. You must make sure to prepare your lily for outdoor planting. Pinch off blooms when they fade, allow the foliage to die back to help re-energize the bulb and continue to water the dying plant to prevent the bulb from drying out. Plant in the spring or fall and make sure that bulbs are planted 6 inches deep in well-drained soil in a sunny location, lilies love direct sunlight. Lilies are not drought tolerant and need to be watered frequently during dry periods from spring to fall. Use mulch on top of your lily bed to help conserve moisture and help to keep the root cool.
Tip: Recycle your eggshells after enjoying your Easter eggs. Place the ground up eggshells around plants to deter snails and slugs. Finely ground up eggshells can also be added to birdseed for your fine feathered friends to enjoy. Placed crushed egg shells on an aluminum foiled pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes to sterilize the shells before adding them to birdseed.
While egg decorating, gift baskets and chocolate bunnies are all a part of the tradition of Easter so are the beautiful Easter lilies. Enjoy the beauty and smell the flowers this weekend.
Visit us on Pinterest to view more photos of these beautiful lilies for your garden.