Lilies for borders and edging

The comparatively small number of lilies which used to be planted in gardens has increased rapidly during recent times, owing to the introduction of the far less demanding and more easily grown hybrids. America is ready to supply millions of hybrid lily bulbs every year, but the correct selection of varieties to meet personal requirements and particular environment is important.

Formal beds with plants set out in regular rows or in some geometrical pattern are no longer popular, nor do they suit modern house design and garden planning. Garden paths of whatever length, leading to a seat or perhaps to the front door, can be bordered with lilies on cither or both sides most effectively. The ideal lilies for the purpose should have a compact habit and be of even height and spread. Until recently the choice would undoubtedly have fallen on the Madonna Lily, but today we can select one of the de Graaff Tigrinum or Mideentury hybrids. Their deep yellow and orange colours attractively show up the path and lead the eye along it. The effect can be heightened and prolonged if a suitable, earlier-flowering companion plant is grown alongside, preferably one with green or silver-grey foliage for increased contrast. Suitable subjects are: Iberis sempervirens, Campanula carpatica or var. turbinata, and Gypsophila repens; for later flowering, Phlox or asters.

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