Standing against a backdrop of Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage), lovely Lycoris radiata is in full bloom this week. I marveled at these flowers as a child when year after year they popped up at my grandmother’s house.
Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of cuttings from our gardens.
Today’s arrangement is an overflow of dahlias accented with a few zinnias. Staging the flowers atop a crystal pedestal vase suggests tradition and formality.
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily)
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)
Crystal pedestal dish
Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place in a vase this week.
My grandmother’s mossy front yard held a magical surprise and each summer I was delighted by the appearance of her spider lilies. Finally in 2015 I added some to my own garden and today was the magical day they burst forth into bloom.
Usually there are plentiful zinnias to use indoors butI have left them outside for now, the few zinnias from a second sowing. Finally they are in bloom, six or seven weeks later than normal due to the rabbit “crisis”.
Nearby, asclepias has rebloomed.
There are other small pleasures.
Lantana will continue well into October. On any given day it is a popular gathering place for butterflies and skippers. Today there were six Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, yesterday swallowtails and a couple of monarchs.
The oakleaf hydrangea leaves point toward autumn, as do changes in light and pulsating sounds of cicadas, but mostly there is just a knowing deep inside, an inner sense that fall is near. Every time I stepped outside this past week I felt it.
Yesterday (August 15, 2019) I spotted a new garden visitor. This Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor) appears tattered and torn as do many of the butterflies I saw this week. (Life ain’t been no bowl of cherries for some of them.) Like so many others it is attracted to the Lantana camara (Common lantana).
The iridescent blue on the top surface of the hindwing makes this butterfly especially lovely.
Here is the Pipevine in action (21 seconds).
The spider mentioned in the title is one of my favorite spiders, Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily). My grandmother grew these near the front foundation of her house and as a young child I was fascinated by the color and form.
The tall stems erupted and shot up overnight Wednesday with red tips showing by yesterday the flowers had opened. I took these images early this morning while rambling through the garden. I wonder if they will last as cut flowers?
A glance at the otherwise ignored garden this morning made my heart sing—there are three stems of Spider Lily in bloom.
The spider lilies are rising above Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan) and fresh green columbine foliage.
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.
Still underwhelming, Dahlia ‘Fireworks’ is blooming a bit more profusely than earlier in summer.
Zinnias continue to steal my heart as well.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I was particularly delighted when we happened upon this next little garden at mid-morning.
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.
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.
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.
Planted in an out-of-the-way place, they were an unexpected and charming discovery for wandering visitors.
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.