Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Broken Dreams

This isn't the blog I had intended for today, but blogging gardeners often grasp clear moments of illustration when they occur.  I've written previously about the ephemeral, fickle nature of good weather in Kansas, and this morning I have proof for the skeptical.  So, through the blur of my tears, I present to you the tallest (5 foot tall) of the 'Yellow Dream' Oriental Lilies that I blogged about yesterday, now staked and tied to an old broom handle.

You see, last night at approximately 8:30 p.m., a north wind suddenly rose frantically outside the house; dead calm one minute, and then 50 or 60 mph gusts the next, stirring the dust off the top gravel road and rattling the windows.  I took a step out our west door to look around and about got clobbered by a flying shingle off the roof.  We were on the west edge of a storm that was heading south; just close enough to catch the wind, but very little of the rain.  This morning I woke up to inspect the damage and found the sole victim was this lily, the one inch thick stalk bent over at a 90 degree angle 3 inches above the ground.  On the picture below, the entire plant is circled in white and the bent portion of the stem circled in red (the dry leaves at the right of the picture are a blueberry that got crisped in last week's three digit heat). This kind of catastrophe certainly wasn't worth trading for 0.2 inches of rain, even in this dry summer season.

I don't know if it this 'Yellow Dream' will live to open another flower or not. Or if not, if the bulb will survive with all its energy already expended into all these beautiful flowers.  I know only that it serves as a perfect example of what often happens to the largest, fastest growing plants of my landscape.  The sisters of this flower nearby were shorter and better protected by the surrounding plants so perhaps the lesson here is that in moderate growth lies survival.  Or perhaps the lesson is that this lily should have picked a better gardener, one who anticipated the storm and staked it ahead of time.  I should have known better.  I don't think that I lost any new basal rose canes from this storm, but I've learned, as stated before, to keep them pinched back to thicken them as they grow.

So, for this year at least, seeing this 'Yellow Dream' in full glorious display will remain just a dream.

1 comment:

  1. I have a broken dream lily story, too. I purchased what I thought were Triumphator lilies mail order in late winter, planted them right away, then they grew, then they budded, and I waited with such anticipation. And then they opened, and I went, "That's not what I ordered!" Bummer. They were still beautiful, but just not what I expected. I'm sorry to hear about your fallen lily. Hopefully the broomstick fix will do the trick. Kind of like we say with our losing football teams, "There's always next year."


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