Ask Ella: Bask In Glory Lilies
Ask Ella is a recurring Garden Collage feature where we ask our in-house florist, Ella Stavonsky, about floral design– including the history of, origin, and maintenance that goes into some of the most intriguing flowers on the market today. This column is dedicated exclusively to common and rare varieties of flowers you’re likely to find at your local market. This week, we spotlight glory lilies, a sprightly flower perfect for Spring.
Whether or not the thermometer agrees, Spring is here. In the spirit of thinking with the hope of seeing it realized, this week’s Ask Ella is the glory lily, a variety of lily with petals that look like they were crimped or curled. Known by many names (flame lily, fire lily, climbing lily), glory lilies are technically their own genus of species (Gloriosa), and tend to come in brighter colors than standard lilies, with a more architectural shape (their stamens are on the outside of the petals).
When prepping glory lilies for arrangement, be sure to pluck off any older blooms, or blooms that have started to look a little wilted. You’ll want to do this every few days, to ensure dying blooms don’t draw water and nutrients away from healthy ones. You’ll also want to do the same for any leaves you leave on the stem (be sure to clear off those along the bottom of the stem). Keep water cool and fresh, replenishing when you recut every other day.
Tucked in with other brightly colored flowers, glory lilies add an airy quality to bouquets. Try mixing them with ranunculus— though the best strategy is to simply place them in a bunch together, as their shape and color can make them a bit unwieldily. (We also like the look of a few tucked in to our Gardener Hat!)