A few months ago staff at Thompson & Morgan were invited to take part in the company’s tree lily® competition. Each entrant was given 3 tree lily® bulbs to grow, nurture and photograph throughout the year. The winner was announced earlier today…
Rita with her winning tree lilies®!
Rita Cosson, sales office manager in the wholesale department, was declared the outright winner with her stunning display of tree lilies®.
According to the judges, there were some fantastic pictures and were very impressed with the efforts made to nurture the tree lilies®, despite difficult growing conditions earlier in the year.
We asked Rita how she managed to get such a stunning display: “I planted them in multipurpose compost in the largest pot I had as soon as I got them, not sure when that was! They do need a large pot to get them as big as that.
I fed them every week once they started to grow with Miracle Grow fertilizer. I checked them nearly every day for lily beetles and removed them and any grubs that I subsequently found on the leaves, this proved to be a very regular task as the beastly little beetles tried to out run me every week!
I removed some of the small lower shoots that did not have flower heads to encourage top growth, not sure if this helped really but it seemed like a good idea at the time!”
In her own garden, Rita mainly grows flowers, shrubs and few vegetables. Her favourites are lilies, fuchsias, begonias and pansies. Her top tips are to use the correct sized pot or basket for the plant you’re growing, always use fresh compost and water and feed regularly.
Staff at Thompson & Morgan have been set the challenge to grow the best tree lily®!
The race is on to grow the best tree lily!
Those of us who have signed up have been given 3 tree lily® bulbs to plant, nurture and photograph over the coming months.
Tree lilies® are amazing plants to grow. A single bulb can produce up to 30 huge trumpet blooms and the plants can grow to 8ft in as little as 2 years!
They’re very easy to grow and pretty much take care of themselves. They’ll thrive in a sunny or partly shaded spot and are stunning against walls and fences, where they’ll take on a ‘shrubby’ appearance in time.
The foliage remains lush all season and the stalks are so sturdy that they don’t need staking.
With all this in mind, the 86 members of Thompson & Morgan staff have been sent home with their bulbs and a set of instructions. Now it’s up to us to get the best results. I’ve planted mine in a large pot on the patio – the weather’s a bit unpredictable at the moment and I don’t want to risk them getting frozen in the ground if we get this cold snap that’s been forecast.
We’ve asked participants to write blog posts for us, charting the progress of their tree lily® bulbs over the next few months, so watch this space!
Photo competitions for you
Each year we run photo competitions for our customers and 2013 is no exception. You can enter as many categories as you like, which include growing the tallest petunia tower, tree lilies®, plant portraits, baskets and containers and more.
Click here to see all photo competition categories