Sad Lily, Happy Lily, and a Fountain Restored

So today we have a bit of garden miscellany.

A happy Asiatic Lily

First off, the Asiatic Lilies have begun to bloom. These are the descendants of a naturalizing lily mix – red, orange, and yellow lilies – that I planted about ten years ago. Their bright colors always look cheerful.

At first they did naturalize, until the nearby Crabapple started shading them out. They went into decline, then started multipying again when I limbed up the Crabapple. The last couple of years, though, their numbers have been shrinking. I’m thinking I may provide them with some Lily reinforcements this fall.

A sad Lily.

Lately I’ve been concerned about a sad-looking ‘Conca D’Or’ Lily in the Driveway Border. It’s been losing its leaves from the bottom up. Does anyone know what the problem could be?

The other Orienpets seem fine.

Oddly, the two ‘Conca D’Or’ Lilies close by seem perfectly fine.

DSC_0996 Orienpet Lily
A ‘Conca D’Or’ Lily from last year.

This variety is an Oriental-Trumpet hybrid that blooms in July. The flowers are luscious and wonderfully fragrant. I hate the thought of losing them to some pest.

On another front, our fountain-birdbath has been repaired. I managed to break the base in two while trying to wrestle the damn thing onto a concrete paver. The paver was supposed to make it easier for us to keep the fountain level.

do it myself


How exactly I broke the base is not clear in my memory. I can only say that there are risks associated with having just one person try to do what is clearly a two person job.

This was about two months ago. I repaired the base in fairly short order, but left the top lying on the ground. The top is the part that’s really heavy.

Every Saturday morning for the next seven or eight weeks Judy and I would look at each other and one of us would say, “We should really put the fountain back together this weekend.” Then we would go back to our laptops until the following Saturday.


Anyhow, this past Sunday the fountain was finally restored. Here it is. If you look closely you can see the crack in the base. Having a working fountain again reminds me of how nice it is to have even just a bit of running water in the garden.

Are your Lilies suffering from mysterious illnesses lately? And have you been putting off any heavy lifting?

41 Comments on “Sad Lily, Happy Lily, and a Fountain Restored

  1. My old fashioned tiger lilies are doing this this year! I thought it was something I did when I used glyphosate to get rid of lady bells, but I applied it with a glove, not by spraying. So I’m not sure what is going on. Love your blog by the way. Look forward to it each day. I am a “stuffer” too (no nice bland dirt around each plant) so I feel affirmed by your beautiful garden.

    • Thank you so much about the blog. I just found two more lilies that are pretty much dead. One seems to have bulb rot, and the other … I have no idea. No sign of beetles.

  2. Nothing mysterious about our lily problems. Bright red lily beetles and their revolting grubs covered in excreta. Lilies in shreds.
    I love your Conca d’ or lily.

  3. I was going to say the same as Chloris above! My lilies have really suffered this year; strangely not so much the Madonna lilies which usually have the worst infestation but the regal and what the catalogue calls American lilies – those have hardly any flowers this year. Long may the red lily beetle stay far from your shores!

  4. A few years ago, lily beetles and skunks decimated my Asiatic lilies, and I decided to go with daylilies after that. However, one brave Asiatic lily has survived, and it will soon be in bloom over Buddha’s head. I hope. If it does bloom, I’ll be sure to snap a picture.

  5. My trumpet lilies are complete shrimps this year and I have no idea why. They’ve been over 6 ft tall for the past 2 summers and this year are barely 3 ft tall. I’d love to have a fountain in the garden but don’t have a way to hook it up to an outlet. I’m glad you and your fountain have survived the repair!

  6. I think the base looks fine. With all the flowers around it your eye goes to the beautiful blooms and greenery. Nothing wrong with my tall lilies if I can keep Annie from chasing the %@*& rabbits. They are now suffering from drought somewhat. Amazing how they usually aren’t bothered by drought. Maybe next year they will be smaller because of lack of water. We will see.

    • My Asiatic Lilies are fine, but I’ve lost another two Orienpets. Oddly, the Orientals in the back also seem fine – so far.

  7. I’ve had to give up weeding by the hour because my back has screamed ‘enough already.’ Ice packs and Aleve have gotten me back to a stage I can live with. I hate weeds, but I’m learning to live and let live. I might have needed three people to move that top. 🙂

  8. Congrats on the fountain, I have a weed filled pit which three years ago was a pond…. for all of three weeks before the patch job on the hole failed. Someday I hope to have water once again 🙂
    Your lily does look sad. Try giving it a little pull it looks like a rotten roots kind of problem, as opposed to the MIL with a roundup sprayer -which mine seems to have suffered from.

    • I did give it a pull – came right out. And the same thing happened to another one close by that had seemed perfectly healthy until just now. Is this going to spread to the remainder of the lilies? Is there any way to treat it?

      • Does it look chewed? Voles would be the most likely culprit and also a valid reason to put up a for sale sign. Maybe thy were just too wet this spring? I really can’t say, I kind of ignore lilies and usually they just do their thing.

      • Not really chewed, looks like it just rotted away at the base. Top looked healthy. Guess we can keep the realtor on hold.

  9. My Asiatics are just coming into flower, I don’t have many, preferring Orientals, with lilies I tend to think without scent what is the point? As far as your unhappy specimen I tend to have things like this happen every year often connected with weather fluctuation, the tips sometimes get damaged by aphids and I regularly crush lily beetle in the early season which means it is time for a systemic! Whatever happens the flowers and scent of the orientals is always worth it.

  10. Your lilies are lovely! I can’t grow them here as either the slugs or the lily beetles get them. Yes, I am constantly putting off jobs involving lifting. Even large watering cans are too much at times. If only I had a back made of steel with a hinge in it! 😉

  11. Lily beetles I was going to suggest. Seems like others got there first. Those heavy jobs we all have to build up to them. end result looks lovely

  12. I think these are lily beetles , Jason. I sprayed mine last week. Your fountain is perfect now and I agree – it’s wonderful to listen to running water in the garden.

  13. Please don’t tell my garden about lily beetles, so far our lilies have avoided this fate. Heavy bird baths are definitely a two/three person job, and we have one that will just have to wait until spring!

  14. I think everyone is right, I think it is a borer. Look at the stem and see if you see any little round holes and what looks like sawdust. Also look at the underside of the leaves for eggs. I bought spray to use if I ever saw them at our home in Maine but was lucky enough to never have a problem with my beautiful Asiatic lilies.

  15. Chloris has your problem identified, we have the lily beetle too, it is cute looking but wreaks havoc! I love your orange lily, and am hugely impressed with that fountain repair! Respect!xxx

  16. Hope you can solve the lily problem. I planted six asiatics this spring, only one is primed to open but am looking forward to it after seeing yours.

  17. Because I live alone, those two-person jobs are the bane of my existence. I’m also inclined to try to just do it alone — which can be a mistake. Now that I’m in the age group that gets asked at my annual Medicare ‘wellness’ exam whether I’ve had a fall in the past year, I’ve had to learn to be more cautious about doing two-person jobs alone (since answering ‘yes’ to the fall question seems to trigger all kinds of old-person red flags and alerts!).

    • I have another two years before I’m 60, though I’ve already become a member of AARP. I’ve found that sometimes younger neighbors are happy to be asked to help with a quick chore.

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