Tuesday, June 5, 2018
For us the strongest allure of a flower may be the manner in which it came to be ours. Lemon Lily is just such a plant. A friend of Becky's family was an experienced gardener. Her home was nestled at the base of a narrow valley between two steep ridges. Most cars would take the curve at the base of the hill at a high rate of speed to ease the climb up out of the other side of the valley just a short distance away. Her beautiful garden near the road would be seen as only a blur of color if it was noticed at all from passing cars. Fortunately for us Thelma shared her love of flowers through her gifts of plants. A Lemon Lily possesses powerful traits in its own right but we always first recall Thelma and her generosity to us when her plants bloom.
The clear bright yellow color shouts out from a considerable distance. No one can miss seeing this blossom. Drawn near by the color, one is quickly enveloped in a cloud of sweet fragrance. A visitor need not place his nose near the open flower to sample its scent. It carries on the wind for a great distance.
At the present time breeding day lilies to produce wild variations in color and scent is a popular activity. Hundreds of named varieties are offered for sale. Scented varieties often have a Lemon Lily in their family tree as the original source of their aroma. On thing about this puzzles me. Our Lemon Lilies are open ahead of the others even beginning to show buds. How is this pollen used to fertilize flowers that will not be open for a considerable period of time? Can pollen be harvested and stored?
Our initial gift of this plant has both survived and spread. We are now finding new plants appearing as weeds in distant parts of the garden. They are welcome weeds for sure but we had no part in their finding a new location.
Most years late frost takes these buds long before they have a chance to open. The flowerless plants continue to grow and spread by sending out root runners. In years when flowers do appear, seeds form as shown by the new distant plants. Lemon Lily will always hold a place in our gardens and we offer plants to any visitor that would like to have them.