Tiger Mother

I over-protect and over-expect when it comes to plants and people.

The results are not ideal.

My latest lesson involves my Tiger lilies ‘Splendens’.

Tiger Lilies ‘Splendens’

They were the only plants that bloomed last summer because the deer did not eat them..

I consider them a treasure because of this and their extreme beauty.

I over-protected the bulbs over the winter. I over-babied them all spring.

I finally let the poor little plants out into the garden in July.

They are way behind in growing and blooming.

The bulbils that were collected and planted have also been over-sheltered.

They have barely grown, yet two babies have produced bulbils of their own

which are actually growing roots while still attached.

Sort of reminds me of fast girls with strict mamas.

Will I ever get over the “overs”?

Tiger Mo Flow

 

My Friends’ Farm

I usually visit this farm in June at the peak of daylily season.

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I did not get there until July this year. I am glad.

There was a whole different crop of flowers.

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They seemed unbothered by the heat of the southern summer.

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This place used to be a working dairy farm then a daylily farm.

Now it’s just home to folks and flowers, goats and horses.

Here are some daylilies that bloom mid-July.

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Classic Edge daylily
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Highland Lord daylily

 

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Willie Lyles daylily
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Raspberry Sunshine daylily
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Bold Tiger daylily
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El Desperado daylily

I always enjoy my time with these friends and their flowers.

Flower

Stargazer Crazy

It is hard to miss this show-off in my garden right now.

If you are not looking in its direction, its fragrance will turn your head.

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This Stargazer Oriental lily/ Lilium orientalis has doubled in size since last summer.

The only drawbacks are the staining orange pollen and that it is toxic to cats.

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(I do not have a cat, but needed to share that for my cat-loving readers.)

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Stargazer Oriental Lily

 

Some flowers are beautiful. This one is crazy beautiful!

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Flower

Good Hope

I have been watching in amazement as my Clivia ‘Good Hope’ flowers for the first time ever.

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Its butter-yellow finger-like buds finally opened into big happy blooms this week.

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I did not realize that it would get this large.

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Clivia miniata ‘Good Hope’ Fire Lily

Even its roots, which slither along the surface, are big.

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Another giant houseplant. Hooray!

Flower

 

Saving the Tigers

Some of my plants are too precious to leave their survival to chance.

I put my new Tiger lilies at the top of my precious list.

I know they are supposed to survive in zones 4 through 9.

I am in zone 7, so I should relax and leave them out, but…

Some winters are extremely cold, others are soggy wet.

Our soil is red clay so things rot. I have to put pebbles under plants to ensure drainage.

Why would I risk the only lily the mama deer did not eat?

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These Tigers are the only lilies that came through the “deer delicatessen ” month uneaten.

So both the bulbs and the bulbils are coming in.

I removed the purple bulbils from the stems.

I immediately popped these into some cactus soil in shallow pots and watered them.

Label these babies in the pots.

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Then I removed the yellowed plants from their giant pot.

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I shook the damp soil off the roots.

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I let these dry a few days and then knock off the remaining soil.

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I store them in a cardboard box full of damp vermiculite separated be used packing paper.  Separation prevents the spread of diseases.

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The big, heavy, empty pot will have to stay outside.

Always keep the label with the bulbs.

If you think you will recognized them in the spring,

you are either young or very optimistic.

I always have WTF (What’s This Flower) moments in spring.

Now these Tigers , big and small, will be safe through the winter in my workshop with my hundreds of other precious plants.

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The FLOWER knows she is forgetful and plans accordingly.

FLOWER in the Fall

 

 

I Know They Know

I know they know the difference between real rain water

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and sprinkler water from the lake and well water from the hose.

I know they know this because it happened again.

The sprinkler waters them, they grow with a few blooms.

I water them with the hose, they grow with a few blooms.

Then, it rains two inches last week.

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Everything is clean and refreshed.

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All the plants in the garden perk up.

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A few days later, the Rain lilies explode with blooms.

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I usually call them Fairy lilies, their proper name is Zephyranthus robustus.

I know that they know when the water is rain water.

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I don’t know how they know, but

I know they know.

FLOW

The Last Lilies

Most of the Asiatics have long finished their show.

The daylilies are slowing down.

Crimson Shadows daylily

The Stargazers are turning brown.

But it is not over yet!

The blackberry lilies are going strong.

I started out with a spotted orange type.

Then added a spotted magenta

and a yellow non-spotted candy lily.

These are all Belamcandas.

Other names are blackberry lilies, or leopard flowers.

The name leopard refers to the spots on the petals.

The name blackberry refers to the seed pods which open to expose clusters of black seeds that resemble blackberries.

One of the fascinating things about these is they cross pollinate to produce hybrids.

My two favorites this years are this water-marked form

and this red-orange mix.

I love surprises!  I never know what will show up until the flowers open.

I appreciate any flower that keeps going in this heat.

While the FLOWER wilts, the blackberry lilies bloom.

FLOW

The Not Eaten Treasure

I will start this post with a beautiful new flower

that opened for the first time this morning.

It is a ‘Splendens’ Tiger lily, Lilium tigrinums.

It has my two favorite colors peachy/melon orange with plum-colored spots.

I am extra grateful to get to see this bloom this morning.

Hundreds of my other blooms did not have the opportunity to open this morning,

because they were eaten by deer last night.

Have I put my heart in transient treasure?

Twenty-eight years of carefully planning and tending my gardens

to become a high-dollar delicatessen for deer?

My living jewels eaten by marauding mammals.

Is this really how one should invest one’s time, money and energy:

to supply the locals with exotic cuisine, free-of-charge?

I must say the FLOWER is feeling rather foolish.

So today, I will enjoy my treasures that have not been eaten.

I need to love things that are not edible…

like my bunnies.

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FOOL