True lilies come from bulbs. The embryonic plant and flowers are tucked away in the center of the bulb waiting for the right conditions of warmth, water and soil to grow. Lilies bloom profusely and will return year after year, many times naturally multiplying. Lilies include oriental, Asiatic, trumpet and day lilies. Lily flowers have a number of different potential uses.
Dry lily flowers by tying their stems together and hanging upside down in warm dry place. After the flowers have dried, remove the stems and use the blossoms in potpourri. The best colors to dry are pinks and light purples. White dries beige. Oriental lilies are more fragrant than Asiatic lilies and will retain some of that fragrance dried.
Perfume and Scents
Oriental lilies are very fragrant. Extracting essential oils from delicate flowers like this lily is best left to the experts. But there are two methods to use at home that transfer the scent to another medium, according to Janice Cox, author of "Natural Beauty at Home." Fill a glass jar full of oriental lily petals. They are the most fragrant the second day. Cover with the highest proof vodka you can obtain. After two days, remove the spent flowers and refill with fresh. Continue until the alcohol has taken on the scent of the lilies. The same method may be used with a light oil, such as almond, but the process takes longer.
Casa Blanca and calla lilies make a sophisticated bridal bouquet. Calla lilies may be simply hand-tied--gathered at the same height and tied with ribbon. Casa Blanca lilies look best in an arranged bouquet. If the bride carries white calla lilies, each bridesmaid could carry a bouquet of calla lilies in a color such as yellow, pink or purple. Oriental and Asiatic lilies bloom three or more to a stem. A single stem in an elegant vase is an inexpensive centerpiece for tables at a wedding reception.
Lilies are large flowers. A topiary composed of fresh lilies is stunning but will take work and a lot of flowers. Press the 4-inch lily stems into a soaked ball of floral foam that has been covered with sphagnum moss. The ball should be attached to a straight branch that is firmly secured in a weighted pot. Stargazer lilies are 5 inches across when fully opened and are white with splotches of pink. Casa Blanca lilies are highly fragrant and nearly pure white. Both work in a topiary arrangement.
Day lily buds and blossoms are edible with a taste like cucumbers. Use them fresh in salads. Stuff them with fruit salad. Or stuff them with a savory mixture such as herbs, cheese and breadcrumbs and saute. Day lily flowers may be deep fried. Make sure you only use day lilies that haven't been exposed to pesticides, and wash by rinsing in cold water several times.