Stargazer Pollen

The most beautiful lily on the planet has a flaw.

It’s its pollen.

The anthers (male parts) start out harmless.

They surround a single long, green pistil (female part).

As the flower matures, the anther ends turn inside out.

This exposes the pollen which looks like rust dust.

It stains anything it gets on.

Flower shops usually remove the male parts of lilies.

This avoids issues caused by pollen, but changes the look of the flower.

I love Stargazer lilies, but I am not a pollen fan.

Their scent is heavenly, but keep your nose away from those anthers.

Flow

 

P.S. Stargazers, like other lilies, are poisonous to cats. 

Tiger Grandbulbies

I saved the bulbils from my Tiger Lily ‘Splendens’ two years ago.

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I potted them and they grew into tiny little lilies last summer.

This spring I put them in the ground.

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They have grown up tall and are now blooming.

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I find it very satisfying to raise a second generation of special plants.

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Tiger lily ‘Splendens’

I think these are exceptionally beautiful.

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It’s the spots that get me.

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Granny Flow

Brighten Your Corner

I needed something tall and light

to brighten a dark corner in the garden.

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The corner is shady during the day.

It is also where I sit in the evenings as the sun goes down.

I thought white would be nice, so I planted a Navona lily.

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Tall, white and fragrant. Perfect.

But not all the ‘Navona’ bulbs were white.

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When the ‘Navonas’ came up about half of them were white.

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Others were a very tall yellow.

Sunny yellow with freckles. Perfect.

That corner is brighter and more beautiful than I planned.

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Sometimes you get what you need, instead of what you think you want.

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Brighten your corner.

Flow

 

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