Oriental Lilies or Golden Rayed Lilies of Japan are a flower I definitely think of as a January bloomer but out they come now, crisp white, delicious pale pink or deep pink (a cerise that is not my favourite); strongly scented, almost cloyingly. A huge flower that looks great in a vase. Another early bloomer – December this year - due to climate change maybe? – as I read that the hottest 14 out of 15 years since the industrial revolution (with its massive output of carbon dioxide) occurred this century.
Like so many lilies they enjoy `head in the sun, roots in the shade’ but I’m afraid mine actually thrive on neglect.
They reside in my cut-flower beds and it’s hard to cut them for a vase; I love them too much where they are.
Jill Weatherhead is horticulturist, writer, garden designer and principal at Jill Weatherhead Garden Design who lives in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne, and works throughout Victoria (www.jillweatherheadgardendesign.com.au)