Look for colour and size in bulbs

In a fairly large pot on the balcony I have two lilies.

In a fairly large pot on the balcony I have two lilies.

I know they would be happier if each had its own container, but there isn’t a hope. The pink one has finished flowering, but the enormous white one has three large blooms all open at once.

I measured one of them and it is eight inches across, and, wouldn’t you know it, I no longer have this lily’s name tag. This fall when lily bulbs are in garden shops, and you want one of these whoppers, please search through the pictures attached to the bulbs and hopefully you’ll find a duplicate.

There are still two lilies in bud so there is something to look forward to in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile the honeysuckle is flowering, the two unexpected sunflowers, the snapdragons, the hosta, the dwarf orange tree, the geraniums and the lone Marguerite daisy plant are all doing their best under somewhat adverse circumstances, (too crowded and too strong afternoon sun) but, “Carry on, Canada” I shout to them, and continue watering. I don’t think I told you that I’m using two, two-litre plastic milk jugs to do this job. They are lighter than the watering can, easier to lift, and to manage where the water is going.

Annie took me over to Melissa Street the other evening and got me to identify some brodiaea laxa planted years ago at the front of a bed of other blue flowers. It is a truly deep true blue, and worth considering this fall when bulbs are for sale. She gave me a stem to bring home along with some dainty pink open-faced roses, and they are a picture together.

She has done some interesting things to the garden, including encroaching on the edge of what I lovingly called my “woods” on the left side of the driveway as you enter. She now has a narrow bed along there filled with flowers. Lovely.

Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 25 years.