Lilies are one of the most popular flower varieties in modern floristry and rank just outside of the current top 5 flowers, a list which currently comprises roses, carnations, chrysanthemums, tulips and gerberas. While tulips are highly seasonal, lilies are available year-round and combine perfectly with roses, carnations, chrysanthemums and gerberas alike. Lilies are traditionally available in a smaller choice of colours than many flowers, most commonly white or pink, with orange, yellow and purple lilies available in the smaller Asiatic lily variety. The 3 most popular lily varieties in floristry are the oriental and stargazer, white and pink respectively, and longiflorum - a large, long-stemmed variety available in white, and less commonly pink, more traditionally seen in sympathy arrangements and funeral flowers.
Asiatic lilies, which people will often identify as the tiger lily, are smaller than oriental, stargazer and longiflorum lilies, but available in a much greater array of colours. Each stem will typically contain a larger number of flower heads making them a popular choice with both florists and recipients alike. They are also a popular choice with gardeners and can be seen in gardens up and down the country during the summer months. Owing to their delicate nature, lily bouquets are often arranged and received "in bud". This means that they are cut just prior to blooming, and while kept cool, or with limited access to water, they can remain in bud for some time. Once they are arranged in - for example - a bouquet or floral arrangement, they quickly burst into full bloom, often giving off a sweet perfume unlike any other cut flower. If a display is required instantly, lilies can be persuaded to open more quickly by keeping them in a warm room with good access to clean, room temperature water. Well kept, with the stems trimmed and flower food added to the vase, lilies of all varieties have a good vase life and will provide a beautiful display either on their own, or as part of a mixed bouquet.
All lilies originally grow from bulbs, or corms - which are similar to bulbs - and, despite their names, water lilies and calla - or arum - lilies are not, in actual fact, lilies. Care must be taken with lilies, both in gardening and floristry, as many varieties have dark-coloured pollen which will stain clothing or furniture, and - more importantly - which is toxic to many pets. Fresh cut lilies should be kept out of reach of cats, dogs or other pets, and while the neighbourhood cat will likely give planted lilies in your garden a wide berth, a bouquet of lilies on the kitchen windowsill will likely entice a curious kitty in for a closer look, so care must be taken. If you choose to display your lily bouquet on a windowsill you may wish to remove the pollen using a tissue or gloved hand as you risk staining your curtains upon opening and closing them. Should you get lily pollen on your clothes, it can be carefully removed - rather curiously - with sticky tape. Do not attempt to rub or sponge it off as this will cause staining. Instead use the sticky tape, sticky side down, to remove the pollen by sticking it to the offending area and carefully pulling it off, using a clean piece each time until all of the pollen is removed. While there may be many hundreds of varieties and colours, all lilies are beautiful and we're proud to offer an extensive collection for delivery across the UK and internationally, available to order online year round, 24 hours a day, whoever the lucky recipient and whatever the occasion or celebration - maybe even "just because!"