Left: gargantuan lilies
The post title is meant to convey a projected title for a potential film on some lilies that achieved colossal proportions in one of my gardens. When I purchased these flowers last year from a vendor at Toledo's Erie Street Market, they were about two feet in height, the sort of lilies one might purchase for Mom on Easter or Mother's Day.
Then over the winter these lilies decided to go all Hulk on me.
To give you a sense of scale, the lilies in the first picture are approaching the size of the flower stalk of a yucca plant that is over eight feet in height. When the uppermost blossoms open, the tallest of these lilies will be about six-and-a-half feet tall. These lilies have stalks as thick as a broom handle, and the blossoms span almost a foot across.
These lilies are like the Manute Bol of horticulture.
Left: colossal pink lily
Yet these prodigious perennials possess much more than mere size in their catalog. I have been impatiently waiting for the blossoms on these plants to open, and this morning they finally began to offer up their colorful petals to the world. For a moment I was almost in awe of the bright magenta hues that literally appeared overnight, and I reminded myself that they were worth the wait.
I have no special gardening tips for producing such giant lilies out of otherwise ordinary plants. I water them briefly every day there is no rain, and I added some leaf mulch over the winter to this garden. In the spring I tossed a bit of Miracle Grow in this garden, but I actually avoided the area in which the lilies are growing, and I doubt that any fertilizer beyond a small amount of runoff ever reached their underground bulbs.
Sometimes dumb luck is just better than skill.