The week of flowers continues and I think I’ve stumbled across one of those revelations which probably everyone else already knew, but when it’s about yourself you’re always the last to know. My revelation is that I’m a little bulb obsessed. Any bulb or corm or tuber seems just a bit more special than your average bunch of roots or twigs…. or quite possibly it’s just whatever I’m thinking about that week… and this week it’s bulbs. Whatever. Better to not think too long on things like this since the last time it happened I decided I needed to bring more ‘other’ bulbs into my life, as in adding more Lycoris to the garden. It’s been a painfully slow process waiting for them to get settled in, watching them sulk, wondering if I can blame anyone other than myself for torturing these poor little things, and then one flower comes up and I’m on the computer for hours looking for more info to distract myself with.
Lycoris x squamigera, the hardy magic lilies which thrive in most gardens but not so much here until recently…
Most of the magic lilies aka spider lilies aka hurricane lilies aka nakid ladies are not quite hardy enough for this garden, but several are, and they’re usually the type of flower which sets its roots down, blooms with abandon, and then outlives the gardener and homestead… unless they’re here of course. Here they’ve limped along for years until just recently when they decided to humor me with a few exquisite blooms.
Opening pale yellow, and then fading to a strawberry blush, Lycoris x houdyshelii is a borderline hardy cross which finally sent a single bloom up this summer. I hope I don’t have to wait another three years for the next bloom.
Maybe someday I can report back on the secrets to success with these, but today I think it’s better to just enjoy the flowers and reflect back on the cozy hot and humid summer days of their season.
The peppermint surprise lily (Lycoris x incarnata) is supposed one of the easiest and best growers, and last summer mine acted as such… it just took four years for it to figure that out!
In the South, I’ve been told red spider lilies(Lycoris radiata) grow like weeds. Here in the North their winter foliage can cause problems, but last winter’s mild stretches seemed to make at least one bulb happy. Sadly my other two bulbs decided to rot from all the melting snow runoff, so a 33% success rate is terrible yet it’s also good enough a success rate to fire up my delusions for another few years.
I have high hopes for Lycoris x caldwellii which has been growing in the garden somewhat vigorously for years but only flowered for the first time this summer. I think my plantings need more sun.
So that’s a lot of complaining for day 6, and I apologize, but hopefully the pictures have brought on a few thoughts of your own late-summer flowers, pool-time, and cricket-filled evenings and that’s always a good thing. Another good thing is a visit to Cathy’s Week of Flowers on Words and Herbs and all the additional flowers you’ll see there.
Have a great week!