Majestic, alluring, elegant and sophisticated are terms used frequently to describe liliums.
I fully agree, but I think they may sometimes be seen as a little intimidating for those new to gardening.
Terms like this perhaps give the impression that liliums are difficult to grow, are temperamental and best left to more experienced gardeners.
I wish to dispel this myth as liliums may look fragile but are in fact extraordinarily tough, especially when it comes to the modern hybrids.
These include a vast variety of largely disease-resistant strains, and are now very garden growable, especially in Tasmania's favourable climatic conditions.
I have found with liliums that a good start is especially important for success; this means sound, healthy bulbs and proper soil conditions and methods of planting.
Liliums do not like being out of the ground and when they are they should be stored in damp coir peat in bags in the vegetable crisper in the refrigerator, so make sure when you purchase lilium bulbs they have not dried out and do not have shrivelled scales or roots.
Bulbs should be plump and firm to the touch.
There are two main types of liliums - stem rooting which produces roots above the bulb as well as from the base and basal rooting liliums that have roots from the bottom of the bulb.
This is an important distinction because the stem rooting types need to be planted much deeper than the others.
The soil must be deep, fertile and above all well draining and in a sunny position.
Dig soil to a depth of about 30cms so that there is plenty of friable soil below the bulbs and 15cms on top of the bulbs.
Neutral or slightly acid soil is best for most liliums though some will tolerate lime.
Liliums grow well planted among azaleas and low growing shrubs as they like a cool root run while keeping their heads in the sun.
Spring is the best time for planting stem rooting types but many gardeners believe the basal rooting liliums prefer the autumn.
I find that spring is a good time to plant all lilium types.
With this initial care liliums should become well established and need little attention except to keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged.
You can be assured of a succession of flowers from late spring till late autumn depending on the varieties planted.
The flower colours available include white, ivory, pink, red, orange, yellow, lilac, gold and purple, some spotted and banded with other colours.
Size and shape vary as well from the large trumpets of Lilium candidum and the well-shaped Lilium 'Bellingham' hybrids to the small flowered turkscaps of the vivid orange Lilium davidii or the pink Lilium cernum.
Lilium henryi with attractive spotted flowers can grow to two metres tall and requires staking.
The trumpet-shaped flowers of Lilium regale are regarded as one of the most stately of all garden plants.
Another quite spectacular lilium is Lilium auratum the golden-rayed lily of Japan with yellow bands on white cup-shaped flowers.
The Bellingham hybrids are similar in shape to the old much-loved tiger lily and are especially popular.
These have the virtue of being long lasting and may have 12 or more flowers on each stem.
There is an immense variety of lilium hybrids available today.
The range of these stretches from the Asiatic varieties through the Trumpets and on to the most beautiful of them all in the strongly-scented Orientals.
These stately, easy-to-grow, plants are unsurpassed in beauty, adding a timeless elegance to the garden and, with careful choice of different varieties, you can have a display of blooms for months.