Regale - A Favourite Lily of Mine
120cm (4ft) Regale lilies must be one of the best of all the lilies. It's a tall, white trumpet lily, known for it's wonderful summer scent, and it's one I highly recommend. One of the most popular varieties of lily, and its not hard to see why. The huge trumpet-shaped white flowers are flushed with pink, smell divine and provide great wafts of scent throughout the garden when they are open. Alternatively bring them inside as cut flowers and they will fill your home with their heady perfume.
If you decide to cut them to place in a vase, make sure to leave enough stem and foliage for photosynthesis and food storage. Strip anthers from the stamens to prevent too much sticky pollen.
Growing lilies in pots
Many lilies are ideal in pots, and look fabulous in long tom style containers, which accentuate the form of the flower, and are heavy enough to avoid be blown over in a gust of wind. Add a layer of crocks (bits of broken terracotta pot) to prevent it from becoming clogged with compost, then half fill with gritty John Innes No.2 compost. Space three to five bulbs on top then cover with more compost, so bulbs sit about 4in below the surface. Leave a 1in gap between the top and the lip of the container.
What you need to know about growing successful lilies
Lilies like a cool root run; well drained soil is the most important thing. When planting, envelope the bulbs in sharp sand or your will lose them (particularly in heavy soils), place lots of sharp sand under the buld so roots are sitting in well drained ground. Under this well drained soil it helps to have rich soil with plenty of organic matter. Just leave them where they are from one year to the next, adding a bucket of grit at the beginning of winter each year, or plant them in a pot and sink them in the ground somewhere very prominent in the garden for lifting out of the wet and cold until the following spring.
The best food for lilies is a slow release food, preferably Nutri feed. Give it to your lilies twice a year and you will have terrific flowers. I also like to liquid feed with Maxicrop: a food that gives plants a strong healthy root system.