09/13/13 8:00am

CAROL GALLIGAN PHOTO | This is Lily La Reve, which if memory serves means ‘the dream,’ and it is one. White, with tiny pink spots and a pinkish tinge as it ages.

Our plan for this week was to finish with the lilies and move ahead to the fall-blooming perennials.

To begin with, let’s look at the Aurelian hybrids, often called Trumpet lilies. These are among the tallest of the lilies, ranging from 4 to 6 feet and they are wonderfully fragrant. My favorite is African Queen, not because of the movie, although that too is one of my favorites, but because of the color, a vibrant bright orange. Another wonderful one is Pink Flavor.

Another group of lilies that have survived the test of time are those old favorites, the Tiger lilies, recognizable by their drooping, downward facing blooms. The first description of the Tiger lily that we have comes from the famous Swedish botanist, Carl von Linne (Linnaeus), dated 1753.

This lily also has significant medicinal uses, and a tincture made from the fresh plant has proved useful in the nausea of early pregnancy.

One downside, however, is that it does have toxic effects on cats, causing digestive distress, kidney failure, and in some instances even death. So if you are a cat person, you might want to think twice about growing Tiger lilies.

Tiger lilies are incredibly easy to grow and, unlike the fussier species, will do well in moist and even wet soils. The Tiger lily is sterile, which means it does not produce seeds, but it can be propagated, should you wish to do so, through the use of the bulbils (the little bulbs) that grow in the leaves’ axils.

Asters, like lilies, are not hard to grow. It might be wise to spend a moment dealing with the wild ones, those white, small flowered types that show up in the fall, really like weeds. Indeed, they might be weeds; they certainly act like them in so far as they are virtually indestructible and will take over any small space if allowed to do so. If you allow them in your garden, and I do because I like them because they make excellent cut flowers, proceed with care. Usually, when a plant is described as “invasive,” my feeling is “terrific, invade away,” but you do need to be careful with wild asters.

The name aster comes from the Greek word for “star,” and refers to the shape of the flower itself. They are popular as fall-blooming garden plants, not only because they’re attractive, but because they are easy to grow in all hardiness zones and a favorite of butterflies. Their nickname in the horticultural trades is “Michaelmas daisies,” because of their blooming period. Next week, we’ll take up some specific varieties.

Tips of the week: The name of the white flowering vine that can be seen all over the Island is Clematis paniculata, Autumn Flowering. It loves sun. You can see two wonderful examples, one on Smith Street, near the junction with Baldwin Road and the other, courtesy of the Garden Club, opposite the entrance to Sylvester Manor.

Now is the time to collect seed. The best procedure is to check online to see if you have to wait for the plant to finish or if you can simply take the seed, bring it indoors and let it ripen in a paper bag. If the seed is for a  perennial, realize that you will have to provide a cooling period to mimic winter. I simply put mine in envelopes, stick them in the fridge where they don’t take up very much space and wait until spring.