No surprise

I realize now that I have mistakenly planted Surprise lilies (or red spider lilies, Lycoris radiata, below) where their late summer appearance is hardly surprising. Flowers have been up for days, but these have escaped my daily viewing until Saturday’s very leisurely stroll with a fortunate glance beneath the wide spreading ‘Sun King’ aralia. Another is well hidden beneath low, arching branches of a variegated leaf redbud.

The lily, given various names to describe its sudden late summer appearance, has been dormant above ground since spring. Properly placed, it must rise through lower growing foliage to make its best show, and regretfully several are now located beneath overhanging foliage that obscures the flower. Somewhere in the garden there are other colors that I haven’t seen, that are also obscured by dense planting, so I must learn this lesson and plant again. The surprise lily is a delightful bloom in late summer that must not be hidden in the garden’s clutter.

Colchicum planted beside a yellow leafed carex. Not the best color pairing I suspect, but it won’t be there for long.

Time has verified my lack of imagination projecting ideal placement of spring and autumn flowering bulbs (late summer flowering colchicum, above) that must be set months in advance. The garden would be more enjoyable with more blooms early in spring, and again in late summer, but I am often consumed with today and not forecasting months in advance. I should now be planning spring bulb purchases and planting, and perhaps I will now be reminded.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Judy says:

    Love your blog so much, It’s the real trials and errors of being in the trenches of gardening.

    1. Dave says:

      Lots of errors. No matter the research that goes into plant selection the experience in growing is more valuable. And, there are so many variables that my experience does not necessarily translate to your garden. But, every bit of information is helpful.

  2. Barbara Plunkett says:

    Love the surprises of any garden. I planted aralia this year (purchased in burtonsville) can’t wait to see how it does next year. I enjoy your blog.

    1. Dave says:

      Sun King is an exceptional choice for bright shade. In deeper shade its growth and flowering are stunted, and the yellow foliage color is more muted. Its shrub like size allows under planting, though lycoris has proved to be a poor choice.

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