Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Farmer lilies

Even if I would still be blogging 30 years from now, I can’t imagine that I will let a year pass without posting a photo of farmer lilies. When they are in full bloom, as they are here now, lilies are simply gorgeous.

One of the many things I like about them is the surprise of them. I may drive along a road for a few miles and the road edges are green with grass and assorted other things. Then all of a sudden I’ll round a small curve and there they are—an entire bank of farmer lilies. It’s rare to find just one or two of them. Twenty to 50 blooms are more common, tightly grouped together like members of an audience. Sometimes there are hundreds of blooms. I never know where they will show up but when they do it’s spectacular.

They all turn to face the sun, basking in it, burning bright with the light. These are no hothouse flowers that must be coaxed and coddled. Farmer lilies are strong and hardy and in their own way every bit as showy as a rose.

They ask only for sun and a bit of moistness. Once they find a spot they like, they gladly spread and grow more numerous by the year. I can’t imagine that I will ever grow tired of them. To me, growing tired of farmer lilies would be akin to growing tired of life and beauty. I can't see that happening, not now and not in 30 years, or in 100.


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

We call them ditch lilies and I love then too. I look for them to be blooming just after the 4th of July.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

I love them too—always have, always will. I have to keep myself from not blogging about them once a week nowadays. Just ten minutes ago, I stood on the river's edge in front of the cottage, looked 75 yards upstream, and could see an entire swath of bank glowing bright orange in the afternoon sunlight.

I've always called them day lilies. Never heard them called "farmer's lilies" but it makes sense—although around here, they're now a part of the suburban as well as the rural landscape—and in fact, you see them everywhere from little pockets of damp wildness at the edge of the city, to actual wild areas (Ohio's make-do version of wilderness) in the hill country and elsewhere.

I never get tired of these lovely, hardy beauties.

Carolyn H said...

Lynne and Griz: these flowers have a lot of names. I've also heard tiger lily. But around here they are always called farmer lilies. I'd never heard of a ditch lily until Lynne used that name. Day lilies is a name I've heard, but here they refer to an entire family of lilies and not just these lovely orange ones.

Carolyn H.