Despite the rain outside, today is a day for celebrating, because my Martagon lilies are blooming! Martagons are a hardy lily that enjoys a shady location, the perfect complement to hostas and other shade-loving plants. I was introduced to these wonderful lilies by Frans Officer, a member of the North Star Lily Society and a full-blown martagon lily fanatic.
Frans wrote an article for Northern Gardener about his 25-year obsession with the martagon lily, a plant he believes more northern gardeners should plant. His garden is bursting with these beautiful, down-facing flowers, and he was kind enough to give me a couple of extras last summer. As he suggested, I planted them in a dappled shade location with moderately rich garden soil. They’ve gotten a little fertilizer and — thanks to our near perfect spring weather — adequate moisture. Martagons are not fussy plants, and while they may be slow to spread, they will bloom year after year, even in far northern climates.
I have two nice plants developing. This ‘Claude Shride’ martagon lily is one of the best varieties for home gardens. My other plant has lots of buds, but they have not opened yet. More pictures coming!
I have orange martagons which were here when we moved in 24 years ago. I divided them last year since the blooms were decreasing, and while all have produced foliage, only two bloomed this spring. I have high hopes for 2011.
I always wanted a Martagon or two for my garden but I never found any for sale!