It has only been in recent years that lily bulbs have been readily available on the market. They are still considered a luxury but they have become more and more popular. As a result of this, breeders of plants have created more varieties to chose from: a selection of which are available here. They have created much larger flowers and also created species with flowers in unique and striking colours such as the black lily called 'Landini'.
Lilies are grown from a bulb and are very easy to grow. Lily bulbs need to be planted slightly deeper than other types of bulb, preferably around 15cm down in the soil. This is because as they grow the roots are produced above the bulb, unlike other types of bulb which have roots below the bulb. For the best growth the bulbs need to be planted anytime from December to May. If you have a taller growing variety you may need to put in stakes to tie them to so they don't get blown around by the wind. They usually like their roots to be in the shade and they blooms in the sun.
The reason lilies are so easy to grow is because they are a very hardy plant. After the flowering season they should be allowed to die back on their own. This results in more flowers the following year. If you continue this practice every year you will get beautiful displays with lots of flowers.
Lilies are sometimes considered to be funeral flowers, particularly the white ones. However, the name of the flower means purity, honor or majesty. They are often given as a floral gift on 30th wedding aniversaries.
If you like to grow your bulbs inside you can grow lilies with shorter stems so they are more suited to indoor growing however if you like to cut the blooms and put them into beautiful displays then you will be better off growing the longer stemmed varieties. But remember that the pollen from lilies can stain clothes, so make sure you keep them up out of the way or alternatively you can cut off the stamens when the blooms open. For this reason lilies aren't usually used for occasions such as weddings. If you do happen to get pollen on your clothes remove it gently with sticky tape until it has all gone. If you try to wash it or brush it off, it will just spread the stain.