Our Conca d’Or Lilies are blooming now. These are Oriental-Trumpet hybrids, also known as OT or Orienpet Lilies. I don’t like either of those names. Orienpet sounds too much like chiapet (“ch-ch-ch-chia!”). And when I hear OT I always think of “overtime”. Overtime Lilies would require time-and-a-half pay, double for holidays. So for me it’s Oriental-Trumpet.
‘Conca d’Or’ has big luscious flowers that make me hungry. They are highly suggestive of lemon meringue pie, or possibly banana pudding with cream. The petals look delicate, but they are in fact thick, waxy, and rigid to the touch.
There is a single ‘Conca d’Or’ that stands like a sentinel at the foot of the Driveway Border. It is the only survivor of the first 4 that I planted. Why I lost the other three I couldn’t say. But this one looks very sturdy, with a thick, upright stem. It blooms in concert with the ‘Eye-yi-yi’ Daylilies (Hemerocallis).
Here’s the same Lily a couple of days later, with more flowers open. ‘Conca d’Or’ is sweetly fragrant, though the strength of the scent varies with the weather and time of day. It seems to be at peak strength in late afternoon and early evening, when it reaches as far as the front door
A newer clump of 5 Lilies is located at the far end of the Sidewalk Border, among the Bee Balm (Monarda didyma). As Oriental-Trumpet Lilies grow about 6 feet tall, ‘Conca d’Or’ is able to hold its own with the rampant Bee Balm as its neighbor.
The sight of these cream and gold Lilies emerging from a mass of dark red Bee Balm is very appealing, to my eyes at least.
‘Conca d’Or’ blooms about 2 weeks before our other Lily, the Oriental ‘Casa Blanca’. Both of these Lilies need protection from the varmint scourge of rabbits, and so I shield them with chicken wire while they are small. That other Lily scourge, the Red Lily Beetle, has not yet shown itself in our garden.
We used to have a bunch of Asiatic Lilies growing on the other side of the driveway, but they have been mostly shaded out by the Crabapple tree at this point. I miss them a bit, but not terribly – they have great color, but no scent.
My feeling for ‘Conca d’Or’ and ‘Casa Blanca’, though, is that I want to keep them around. They are beautiful, but also their fragrance is irresistible, an necessary part of high summer. So if the bulbs don’t last, I intend to keep replacing them.