Roses always get the credit for having fabulous fragrances. You can’t deny that perfumers have been laughing all the way to the bank on the popularity of their scent. Even when Coco wanted to reinvent women’s perfume, she still held on to a sumptuous rose note in Chanel No. 5.
But yesterday morning, the heat and humidity already rising, I walked out my backdoor, first mug of coffee in hand, and disappeared into a scented fog of rampant sensuality. The air seemed thick as toffee and just as sweet. Roses? Nope. They’re very good at smelling lovely in their pleasantly demure ways but when you want a great big backyard-filling smell that’s sexy as all get out, you can’t beat lilies.
You can plant them just about anywhere (check the plant tag for any particulars) but most love a spot where they’ll get plenty of morning sun with some shade in the sizzling afternoons. And think about planting them close to where you can drink in that heady aroma–near a patio, just outside your back door or under your bedroom window. Or go full-throttle romance ala John Singer Sargent’s ‘Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose’ and grow a mini-grove of white lilies that the kids can run through with white paper lanterns lit by candles. OK, maybe not run. And ix-nay the candles, too.
The best time to plant lily bulbs is from late September to November so you’ve got a little time to figure out which ones you want for your garden.