Here’s a favorite flower that I just can’t seem to grow in Georgia. In the midwest we called them “surprise lilies” aka hardy amarylis. Here’s a close-up —
And what’s so narrow about surprise lilies? You judge —
Look Ma, no leaves. The foliage comes up in early spring and dies down shortly after, all about the time spring bulbs bloom. Then, surprise, in July or August the narrow flower stems pop up.
One reason I can’t grow them is that I can hardly ever find them for sale. But even when I think I have, I plant them and they never come up (and that’s no surprise any more, since I’ve tried several times). To me they’re an heirloom plant, a childhood memory and symbol of home.
I can’t complain too much, since right now I have a backyard full of phlox and four o’clocks and black-eyed susans, but a few surprise lilies in the mix would be comforting. Like the peonies and lilacs I got from my mother and grandmother, they don’t grow well here, and they’re now a potent memory of the yard I had in Kansas City. And, speaking of hoarding (which I hadn’t got around to mentioning yet), that yard was full of plants I hoarded, er, collected, all my life. I need to remember that even though I had to move on, the plants-of-my-life are still going/growing strong in yards all over the midwest, and I can still drop by and enjoy them.
Are you missing some favorite plants?
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