Tag Archives: lycoris radiata (spider lily)

A Heart Song

A glance at the otherwise ignored garden this morning made my heart sing—there are three stems of Spider Lily in bloom.

Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily)

The spider lilies are rising above Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan) and fresh green columbine foliage.

Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily)

Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily)

This is a new sedum in my garden this year, Sedum s. ‘Autumn Fire.’ It does not love the enormous quantity of rain we have experienced lately.

Sedum s. ‘Autumn Fire’ (stonecrop)

Still underwhelming, Dahlia ‘Fireworks’ is blooming a bit more profusely than earlier in summer.

Dahlia ‘Fireworks’

Dahlia ‘Fireworks’

Zinnias continue to steal my heart as well.

Zinnia Cut and Come Again (Zinnia elegant pumila)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) August 9, 2018

I am so far behind on reading blogs and answering comments but hope to catch up soon. Lately I have been teaching a lot of yoga classes, working on a garden club projects and entertaining my dear sister-in-law. Busy times but in a good way.  Hope your heart is happy today too.

Spider Lilies

Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily)

A surprise appearance in the southern border this week is Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily).

Planted in October 2014, these are from six bulbs ordered from White Flower Farms. I purchased them using a birthday gift certificate received that summer from dear friends Bill, Cecy and Susan.

I have loved spider lilies since childhood. My grandmother had a few bright red ones that erupted through a mossy patch where I often played.

In late summer to early fall, flowers of L. radiata appear first, later to be followed by the leaves. For the past 3 autumns since planting time in my garden, only foliage had emerged each October, signaling there would be no blooms that year. As consolation the foliage overwintered before disappearing in spring.

Foliage of Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily). November 2, 2016.

So it is a delight to welcome the flowers this year. More coral pinkish than the bright red I had expected, the blooms are quite beautiful.

Sometimes known as surprise lily I accept this apt moniker as indeed they were a surprise.

Having decided these probably were not going to ever bloom I took a chance on using their designated spot to tuck in an extra tomato plant in early summer. Recently I read one should not plant lycoris too deeply, bulbs necks should be above ground to encourage flowering. Perhaps in planting the tomato I disturbed the soil enough to expose the bulbs.  Or maybe it was just time.

Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily) Rising Through Better Boy Tomato Leaves

 

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – November 2016

Governors Park Foliage

Governors Park Foliage

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD) is hosted monthly on the 22nd by Christina at Creating my own garden of the Hesperides.

Inside my autumn garden the foliage I wish today to note is this Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily). Flowers should precede the leaves, but sadly did not. These were planted a couple of years ago.

Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily)

Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily)

I thought I would share a couple of scenes from a recent walk around the neighborhood. For the longest time it seemed we would have very little fall color and the leaves would simply drop without marking the occasion. Suddenly last week trees along the highway and inside my neighborhood lit up to make it really seem like autumn.

Specifically there are lots of colorful red maples that have been planted in rows along the sidewalks. They have turned bright red and look beautiful in the glow of the sun. But I really love the older trees.

This post oak is one of the grand remnants of an old farm, an anchor to the past on the land where my subdivision now sits.

Governors Park Foliage -Quercus stellata (Post oak) North American species of oak in the white oak section. Native to the eastern and central United States.

Governors Park Foliage -Quercus stellata (Post oak) North American species of oak in the white oak section. Native to the eastern and central United States.

Many of our houses face an elliptical-shaped common area (the rest are tucked into cul-de-sacs). Within this loop are several groves of old trees, hardwoods as well as pines. The trees in the image below approximately mark the midway point of the loop. Behind the trees sits a pond where occasionally a blue heron spends time.

On Friday when I stood at the south end of our “meadow park” looking north, the sky was blue, yet eerily darkened by smoke from wildfires in the western part of the state.

Governors Park Foliage

Governors Park Foliage

When I reached the grove of trees pictured above I took a few more minutes to gaze upward through the treetops. As peaceful and lovely as it was, the scent of smoke was overwhelming and I hurried along home.

Governors Park Foliage

Governors Park Foliage

By Saturday morning shifting winds had cleared the air. Meanwhile the fires are partially contained but have scorched thousands of acres.

Many thanks to Christina at Creating my own garden of the Hesperides for reminding us the important part foliage plays in our gardens (and surrounding environs). Check out her foliage and that of other gardeners across the globe.

Colonial Gardens

Lycoris radiata (spider lily)

Lycoris radiata (spider lily)

We spent a few days in colonial Williamsburg (restored 18th-century capital of colonial Virginia) this week and of course, I wanted to see the many gardens that sit nestled behind and beside the homes and shops in the historic district.

At one such spot a gardener was tidying and cutting back some of the spent flowers. She remarked a bit apologetically the gardens were not at their best, but rather were transitioning, caught at an in-between stage. Nonetheless, I felt the plantings offered plenty to enjoy. In that very garden was this red spectacle of a flower, which I think is Celosia cristata (Cockscomb), underplanted with white Gomphrena.

Colonial Garden In Late September

Colonial Garden In Late September

I was particularly delighted when we happened upon this next little garden at mid-morning.

Lycoris radiata (spider lily)

Lycoris radiata (spider lily)

Last year I planted 5 or 6 Lycoris radiata (spider lily) bulbs, but in early fall the foliage emerged without the plants having flowered. This year not even the foliage returned. My grandmother grew spider lilies and I always associate them fondly with her.

So to be able to lift the latch on the gate from the street and step into this sea of calm green and lively red was sheer indulgence.

Lycoris radiata (spider lily)

Lycoris radiata (spider lily)

My husband and I were alone in the small, quiet garden. Summer finally letting go, the air was cool and crisp, the sunlight soft and warm. Being here was a lovely, private morning meditation.

Lycoris radiata (spider lily)

Lycoris radiata (spider lily)

Lycoris radiata (spider lily)

Lycoris radiata (spider lily)

Further down the street at the Colonial Nursery’s eighteen century display garden and sales shop, these flowers were tucked into a back corner behind a small hedge. Colchicum, I believe.

Colchicum at the Colonial Nursery

Colchicum at the Colonial Nursery

Planted in an out-of-the-way place, they were an unexpected and charming discovery for wandering visitors.

Colchicum at the Colonial Nursery

Colchicum at the Colonial Nursery

Colchicum at the Colonial Nursery

Colchicum at the Colonial Nursery

Note: To learn more this Gardens Brochure is a good starting place. Colonial Williamsburg has information about the history and design of the gardens (use the menu on the left for viewing more garden topics).  In the Related Info section on the right-hand side there are more articles and slideshows.