Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Closing The Lily Show
These Simplon lilies are the last lily to bloom here. They have been with us for several years, increasing in both height and in the number of flowers. Last Fall, I summoned up all of the courage available to me and dug up the precious bulbs. Three giants were moved to the center of the stone square while the remaining group were replanted where they were. Four separate stems emerged in the center location and they have done well there. Their former grandeur of nearly six feet tall remains in the future but we are pleased with the present display. Overnight rain left the flowers speckled with water droplets. Simplon's sweet smell fills the calm moist air.
The wire cage separating us from the flowers was a last minute precaution to guard against the marauding woodchuck. It has abandoned, for the moment, plans to burrow inside of the stone square but I have been repeatedly unsuccessful in closing another den in a nearby sod pile. This battle is not yet finished.
A combination of pure white and an incredibly sweet scent makes this lily a high point of the entire growing season. Couple that with the challenges of growing Oriental lilies in our cold climate and success like this is especially sweet.
We have a stack of extra large plastic garbage cans on hand ready to protect when late Spring frosts threaten our lilies. These were planted with no nearby neighbors so the covering pails will do no damage to adjacent plants. By leaving these lilies undisturbed, we hope that each year will see taller stems and more numerous flowers in the center of our garden.
This sole survivor is all that remains of our original three Pandora lilies. A small furry rodent nearly ended them all. It appeared that she planned to use the cut lily stems and leaves to line her nest. Nothing cut was eaten but a cozy den was under construction. I caught her in the act of felling a lily like a logger cuts a tree. Bird shot in my 22 improved my aim. She will not be back! In some ways I miss the coyotes.
The sight and scent of these lilies has us in high gear getting ready for next season's garden. Now each day in the garden starts with filling a five gallon pail with weeds. Newly cleaned planting beds need wire cage covers to keep the turkeys that truly own this place from taking dust baths in the smooth loose soil. The chrysanthemums and asters are just beginning to show bits of color. There is still much of this year's garden left to enjoy. Fallen leaves are just beginning to line the lane and our thoughts slip into plans for the next garden. The wheel just keeps turning.