In the autumn of 2020 I planted three strange roots that reminded me of an octopus – Eremurus himalaicus, Himalayan Foxtail Lilies.
Here is a photo I found online which shows what I mean about the octopus…
They were carefully positioned in the new Moon Bed, between the giant white Alliums ‘Mount Everest’ – after all, I wanted them to feel at home! 😉
Well, in the spring of 2021 only one showed any signs of life, with no flower. So I had more or less written them off. But this spring three clumps of leaves appeared mid-April. Hooray!
One fell victim to slugs I think, but soon buds appeared on the other two plants. The excitement mounted, and suddenly the buds seemed to have doubled in size overnight! (Things like that happen here in May! 😉)
Or tripled?! This photo was taken on the 13th of May.
My attention was now well and truly focussed and I have been checking them daily since. By May 16th these imposing and majestic spikes had just started to open…
The next day a few more flowers opened from the bottom upwards, clambering towards the blue skies…
They love sunny, dry spots, and I have heard them called ‘Desert Candles’, as well as ‘Cleopatra’s Needles’. Maybe you know them by those names? Eremurus himalaicus was the first of the lilies to be taken to Europe in the early 19th century. It is also the earliest flowering one.
By May 18th both stems were open over halfway…
The bees like it too. 😃
On May 19th they were almost completely open. Who would have thought just two plants could make such an impression!
Well, here we are on May 21st, and I am completely bowled over by these flowers.
It is a plant with character, shining out above most of the other plants. It has presence. Whereas with other favourites my reaction might be to grow more of them in a clump, with the Himalaya Foxtail I feel these two flowers are enough to make a statement. Well, three would also be lovely of course, and perhaps the third one will flower next year. I have since read that they can take a year or two to get started. But there are several other species that have different coloured flowers, some of them even taller than these…. perhaps I will be tempted to try some orange or yellow ones in another part of the garden. 😉
This is one of the loveliest plants I have ever grown. 😃
Would you give this plant space in your garden? Or perhaps you already grow them?
Wow, they really are fantastic growers.
Yes, you can almost watch them grow!
I didn’t realize they are such giants… beautiful! And they look great alongside Mt. Everest. 🙂
Apparently these white ones are one of the smallest, and mine are about 140cm tall!
I’ve wanted to grow these for so long!! But they’re hard/impossible to find here 😟 Your’s are so gorgeous!!!!!
Oh, I do hope you find some one day Chris. Apparently they need a bit of mulch over them in winter, but I didn’t know that and they have survived two winters so far. 😃
I’m so happy they’ve made an appearance and a spectacular one at that. Wow! They’re stunning.
Thanks Alys. I am quite impressed with them myself too! 😃
Thank you Cathy. 😃
They are gorgeous!
😃 Aren’t they! I just hope they stick around for a few years…. 😉
Fabulous! I love spikes like that, remind me of Pineapple Lilies. you need more and in different colors!
You shouldn’t encourage me! 😉
LOL, gardening is a healthy habit!
Oh my gosh I love it! You’ve done an excellent job of finding just the right spot because from what I’ve heard they can be difficult if things aren’t perfectly to their liking. What a show!
Well, I didn’t know they could be tricky and I also didn’t do any special preparation of the soil (as I have since found out would be beneficial). Maybe that was the secret… just go for it! LOL! 😃
I wish I had not seen this post.
I guess I will be making space for one.
Giant and gorgeous.
😉 Or two or three, so they aren’t lonely. 😃
You are no help Cathy! Ha
I am not a great lily fan but these look beautiful and I love white flowers. Now, as the bees like them too, I would love them in my garden :). Amelia
I don’t think they are related to lilies at all, so I don’t know why they got that name. In the last couple of years I have been finding lots of white flowers I love too, although I used to think I didn’t like white in the garden!
Just gorgeous Cathy!
Thanks for sharing the plant adventure . . . lovely white flower!
I used to grow them in my old garden….stunning.
I had no idea what I had been missing out on… my Mum grew them last year but I don’t think I ever did see a photo of them. So they were a complete surprise. 😃
I don’t have room for them in my garden, but I remember being delighted at seeing orange ones at Hidcote Manor Garden.
The orange ones I have seen on photos look a rather delicate shade of orange, which I am sure I would like too. 😃
I must have taken photos, but I can’t find any on my post about the garden. I say orange, but they were very much on the yellow side, huge long flower spikes.
Oh, now that’s exciting! Such beautiful blooms, and they are great companions with the Alliums. 🙂
The nursery I bought them from suggested combining them with the alliums, so that was excellent advice!
What a wonderful sight, Cathy – and thanks for sharing your exciting journey with us. I only ever tried them once, but with no success, although it was many years ago and before I acquired the gardening knowledge I seem to have now 😉 My Everest tend to struggle, sadly, but I do have one bloom this year… 😊
Beginner’s luck, as I had no idea they can be tricky to grow. Hope they come back next year. I still haven’t given up on the third one as it did produce foliage at least. These alliums make up for the loss of all my purple ones (about 20) in the Butterfly Bed. Mice? Voles? There is no trace of them at all!
Gosh, I have not heard of problems like this with alliums, but I suppose whoever has eaten them was not particularly choosy – I wonder if they have an oniony taste?
It is strange, isn’t it, as I am sure they must taste oniony. But tastes are strange…. the slugs have eaten my ricinus, which I thought was deadly!
They must have strong survival genes! 😁
They would probably be one of the few creatures to survive a nuclear explosion, volcanic eruption and forest fires all rolled into one! LOL! 🐌🐌🐌
What a stunner! I like your restraint when you mention these two beauties may be enough in your garden, as they do make a bold statement. I tend to overdo it sometimes, thinking more is better, and the impact can indeed be lessened. I have never seen this lily before, and boy am I impressed! 🙂
It is impressive, isn’t it! They have put on such a lovely show, but recent rain has now spoilt the flower spikes somewhat and they are slowly going over. Big sigh! Hope they come back next year!
Oh my, those are gorgeous! Of course, it has me thinking, where could I put one here? Reading the requirements, though, I’m not sure I have a good spot. I’ll just vicariously enjoy yours!
If I had known they were so picky I probably wouldn’t have tried. Beginner’s luck? No harm in trying Kimberley! 😉
Wow! You must be over the moon with them Cathy. What an impact they make and must look great when it is getting darker too. Would like to try them but I don’t think I could find favourable growing conditions.
Yes, they are especially visible at dusk, along with the alliums. Moonlight on that bed is also lovely, but I am not skilled enough to photograph it.