Friday, August 28, 2009

Having Fun with Naked Ladies...

... or how I met a fellow blogger, her husband and their wonderful dog, Luckie.

Luckie, feeling a bit shy.
(all photos may be enlarged by clicking on them)

My Gardening Daughter (henceforth known in this post as MGD), my almost five-year-old granddaughter and I made a three-hour trip to northern Arkansas yesterday. The excursion was designed for two purposes: first, I'd get to personally meet another Arkansas-based blogger; secondly, I'd have some new flowers to add to my garden.

I have been corresponding for a few weeks with blogger Carol Coward, of Coward's Corner with Luckie, concerning her comments about her flower beds which were overcrowded with lilies which are known by many names: Surprise Lily; Magic Lily, Naked Lady, Amaryllis Belladonna, or proper name Lycoris squamigera . As she had a stated surplus and I had none, she agreed to share her bounty, and I agreed to come dig them up -- the "I" in this instance being myself with the critical assistance of MGD, who is both skilled in such things and has a strong back!

After a brief and very tasty lunch, brought back to their home from Carol's favorite mom & pop burger stand, during which we shared chit chat like old friends, we were ready to dig. Granddaughter played with Luckie; Carol supervised; MGD dug with a vengeance, and Carol's husband also put his back into the digging, pointing out lily clumps where the above-ground vegetation had already died back and were otherwise invisible. My contribution to the process was, I fear, picking up bulbs and placing them in the cart we brought for the purpose, and removing a few weeds and grass roots loosened by the digging. I still worked up a sweat!

Husband digs lilies at one end of the flower bed

Husband and MGD hold a lily clump

Carol was not kidding when she said she had a lot of lilies! The bulbs are as large as medium-sized onions, and some clumps would have five, or more, bulbs each. To ease the digging process, Husband had watered the bed recently, and MGD's sharp shovel made relatively quick work of it.

Partial results of the digging and thinning.

Husband insisted on giving us a bucket-full of bulbs he had already dug from their back yard; 56 of them, as I recall him saying. Those are at the bottom of the cart, covered by the freshly-dug plants.

I was feeling greedy about taking so many lilies, but MGD kept getting encouragement from Husband to "come over here; here's another clump." Carol kept telling us that there would be more lilies arising from the places we thought we had removed most of them, that they were almost impossible to eradicate. I hope she's right. I'm going to feel terrible if she doesn't have a nice display of blooms next year. If that's the case, I'll reverse the process: dig some of my plants and take them back to her.

After thanking them profusely for their largess in sharing so many of their bulbs, we returned home by a different route (got to see different scenery, that way) and arrived here about 6 p.m. -- still daylight, and prime planting time, according to MGD. After leaving my granddaughter in the care of her older siblings, MGD and I unloaded the lilies into paper bags, 50 bulbs/plants to a bag. How many did we have? Would you believe two hundred thirteen? Yes... 213 lily bulbs!

I reserved 25 bulbs for the church garden (and might end up putting more there; it depends upon how tired I get digging holes in my own yard), sent a bag of 50 home with MGD for her yard (and she may get more), set aside some to plant in a friend's yard, and will ask my next door neighbors and the nice folks across the street if they would like to have some. I try not to be a "greedy gut" (crudely put, but you know what I mean.) Some others I will plant in groups in my back yard where I can see them from my kitchen window. I don't have anything "pink" back there, so these will be a welcome addition.

MGD and I prepared and enriched the ground for and planted about 35-40 bulbs in three different places in my front garden before dark last night. Photos (taken this morning) are below.

All the remaining foliage will soon disappear. If I'm lucky, there will be new growth (leaves only) next spring which will die back completely during the summer. If I'm lucky (again), come next August, I'll be surprised by Surprise Lily blooms.

I had an extremely enjoyable day in all respects. It was a real pleasure to meet Carol and her husband, and to see Luckie. I enjoyed the scenery, treasured the time spent with MGD and my granddaughter, and came home with new additions to my flower collection. All in all, a day well spent.

I should be recovered in about a week! :)


Snap said...

How wonderful! Meeting a blogger friend, chatting, eating and digging bulbs. Sounds like a perfect day to me!

Snowbrush said...

Hey, you'd better watch those titillating titles; you'll get on a porn list. Just kidding. I'm glad it all went well for you.

Louise said...

How fun! I'm only slightly jealous that I would never have the space for all of that!

Wanda said...

I have some in 3 different areas that I need to divide...They do tend to mutiply!

Wanda said...

They multiply too!!! :)

Kappa no He said...

Oh my gosh, what a lot of work. But I can't wait to see the pictures in the spring!


Diana said...

Wow, you really hit pay dirt! Send some of those bulbs my way! It was nice that you were able to meet with your blogger friend Pat! Hope you won't be to sore!
Love Di

the Baitlady said...

What a wonderful gift! I can't wait to see next years photos of all those lilies in bloom.

Arkansas Patti said...

How neat that you all got to meet and enjoy the day. But goodness, such a work day. 213 bulbs??? my back aches just thinking.
You all dug them up but now they have to go back in the ground.
Smart and kind of you to share.
Happy digging.

rhymeswithplague said...

Well, I for one am shocked. At least, I was before I read the post and not just the title.

Peter said...

What a lovely day out, and so nice for you to get to meet other bloggers in person like that. How good it is that you have more bulbs for your garden, fellow gardeners can be so generous. We used to slightly "dread", in the nicest possible way, visiting one couple (now sadly passed away many years ago). They were so generous in giving us cuttings and whole plants of all kinds that our car would always return from their place bulging with things for our garden. It was always a huge amount of work finding room to cram more plants into, but it is such a joy now to have those roses, apple trees, and shrubs flourishing here. When we walk beneath them, their presence is always a living memorial to a couple that we loved, and who were kind to us.

darnold23 said...

I need to meet this friend of yours. She sounds terrific! Debbie in Arkansas

Betsy from Tennessee said...

How neat, Pat---to get so many bulbs to take home. What nice blogging friends you have. That is just so special.


Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

What a wonderful opportunity to add to your garden and so many other gardens too.