From “The Introduction of Lilies into Cultivation” in Lilies for American Gardens by George Lewis Slate:
“The development of lily cultivation has taken more than a century. A hundred years or more ago the catalogues of English firms offered L. candidum in variety, L. bulbiferum and its variety croceum in several varieties, L. pomponium, L. chalce-donicum, L. pyrenaicum, L. tenuifolium (now pumilum), and numerous varieties of L. Martagon. In the catalogues of today we find most of the lilies of the world, indeed practically all of the worth-while species. Many new hybrids and varieties are also found in the lists of specialists. From whence came all these lilies?
“As man arises from savagery and develops a civilization he concerns himself with those plants that provide food and shelter. As these needs become satisfied, they require less time and he concerns himself with the esthetic side of life. The beautification of his surroundings with plants receives consideration. The native plants are used first, but soon a desire for greater variety and exotic plants develops, and the gardens and wilds of foreign countries are searched for new material. The stories of these searches and the bringing into cultivation of new plants are often fascinating accounts of adventure and hardship.”
And after belligerent sun, twilight brings
A muezzin of sea-wind,
And the soul of the garden bows,
A praise in the earth:
Among Turk-cap lilies, suddenly,
In the willow’s cool hair,
The breath of God….
This is the last of three posts featuring Martagon Lilies from Oakland Cemetery’s gardens, where I took some of the images from the previous two posts and used Lightroom witchcraftery to convert their backgrounds to black.
Thanks for taking a look!