In the middle of the heat and drought this summer, ProfessorRoush had an epiphany! Surveying my dry and disappointing garden during the first week of August, a time when even daylilies were failing me, I realized that I was deeply in lust with the defiant Orientpet and Asiatic lilies. When everything else was turning to dust, those intrepid bulbs were putting out green foliage and colorful blooms; strikingly cheerful flowers, if somewhat smaller than usual. It was the perfect collision of opportunity and need. I needed more, wanted more, just had to have, more lilies.
So I quickly did what every color-hungry lily-deficient gardener would do. I sprinted to the computer, credit card in hand, and ordered lily after lily, bulb after bulb, until my bank account was screaming under the strain. Restraint didn't matter, my lily insanity had no bounds. I was mentally eyeing the bare spaces in my landscape and visualizing a few gorgeous and gigantic lilies in every spot, each aspiring to stand tall next year among the roses, grasses, and viburnums. I intended to shoehorn lilies into every spare inch between roses. I was planning a lily blitzkrieg of my garden.
Now, of course, in October, my lily craze has come home to roost. Long forgotten, the lily bulbs made a sudden appearance on my front porch this past Wednesday, just two days prior to a predicted bout of colder weather and rain. Work and the ever shorter Fall days, of course, immediately conspired to keep me from planting the bulbs before the rains set in. Today, Saturday, I stare out at a sodden landscape, a brief foray into the garden rebuffed by mud and wind. To be truthful, of course, I have absolutely no desire now, when the roses are again in bloom and the garden is green, to go about planting several hundred assorted bulbs, most of them lilies that require deeper holes than other bulbs. Oh yes, I couldn't buy a few bulbs here and there, I had to buy the Asiatic naturalizing mix with its hundred bulbs and the Orientpet mixture, and I threw in a few hundred Crocus chrysanthus for good measure and I thought that a few 'Mount Everest' allium's would be a nice surprise for myself next spring. Needless to say, the thought of excavating several hundred holes in my rocky landscape make my arms and insoles ache already.
From the somber experience of previous overzealous binges however, deep down I know that starting the task is hard part, and forcing myself into the garden tomorrow will get me underway and the digging day will pass quickly if not painlessly, after that. Once the deed is done, I can lay up for awhile with aspirin and hand lotion, ready for a winter's rest and knowing that drought or not, next year's garden will be scented and colorful in the face of searing summer. Because I'll have lilies while the prairie burns.