I spent this past weekend visiting my Mother and daughter. The last morning the three of us enjoyed a walk through my Mother's garden. She has almost a half an acre of yard, part in a small orchard and the rest in lush gardens.
Last spring, my Mother decided she could no longer maintain her small garden pond. With the help of friends and some family members, they emptied the pond and pulled out the liner and other associated parts. They then filled the hole with a combination of compost and soil scraped off the orchard area in an effort to level it some.
Now understand, my Mother's method of composting is to put everything in a big pile back in the orchard area. The person who mows her lawn bags up the grass and dumps it beside the compost pile. Mom then uses this grass to cover food scraps to keep the pile neater looking and keep the pests at bay. Then, when the piles seems done, the compost goes onto her garden or in other areas of her yard. Last spring, part of it went into the pond hole.
As we walked around Mom's yard, we stopped in front of the old pond area. There stood the largest lily I've ever seen. I asked her what kind of lily it was and Mom said, "just a basic lily I bought at a store 3 for a dollar." It's size was strictly a result of the compost mixed in the soil. The area was absolutely lush with a year's worth of growth. I joked at the time that people often wonder what will happen if they give up their chemical fertilizers they've become so accustomed to. The lily and surrounding growth were a perfect example of what happens.
The person in the picture is my daughter. She is 5' 5" and the lily is up to just under her arm pit and not yet blooming. I figure that makes the lily easily 4' tall if not a bit more.