What’s your favorite perennial?

I know it’s a tough call…..and probably not even a fair question, but do you have a garden fav? Maybe it has some sentimental history, or was a handed down heirloom plant, or has the most amazing foliage ever!!! There are so many great reasons to LOVE plants, and I really don’t need to add excuses….I love them all. Really. I do! Even the stinky ones….or the pokey ones….or the garrish ones….or…..oh, you get the picture! IMG_2265

Admittedly, I get frustrated with a specimen from time to time, usually arising from my own inability to diagnose a cause of plant distress….this can range from powdery mildew, to plant rust, to leaf miners, to…..anything that makes the life of a plant miserable, thereby impacting mine. It is not the fault of the plant….some species are more susceptible to certain diseases, or predators, and some are destined to be part of a life cycle that is short indeed. Sometimes, it is inadequate soil nutrients, tilth, water….there are so many factors that play into plant health….

IMG_2263Honestly, I believe that most people do their best with the knowledge that they have, to aid the gardening process toward a healthy life. And now I can hear you saying “have you met people??”  Seriously, I don’t believe many embark on this task without some hope for the pleasure gained from healthy happy plants. Yes, I know that often, the hope wanes in the face of other things, and gardens suffer neglect etc, but, the initial thought is usually laid with good intentions……and now I hear you say…….

Nevermind. Favorite plant. What is it?IMG_2260

Anyone who has graced my garden in the summer knows all too well what my fav is: Lilies. Why? I don’t really know! I just love them. And I have a lot of them. My good friend, and next door neighbor, also shares my passion for lilies, so we have quite a nice showing in July/August.

IMG_2294Lilies are easy. They are so hardy in low zones, and survive unattended for years in old farm sites, and fields. They are a throw back for me. Growing up on a northern Alberta farm, our mother had just a handful of lilies that thrived in her garden beds. Our vegetable garden was ENORMOUS, and bordering it was a long stretch of perennials. The beautiful faces of what Mom called ‘Tiger’ lilies gracefully adorned this bed in 2 spots, fronting a treed area that provided a perfect green background. As children, we would play with the lily stamens, writing on one another’s arms and faces….which didn’t always go so well with Mom! Particularly, though, I loved the speckled blooms, that looked happy in their place.

IMG_2268Today, I have found a different Tiger Lily, but that is nevertheless…..Mom’s were what they were, and they were beautiful!  Of course, I have moved beyond the traditional orange, to house a few other colors, and always am intrigued by anyone’s lily patch! My family is equally enamored, and, happily, I divide up my babies regularly to share with my girls, and with my friends. To me, sharing is one of the great joys of gardening!!!

IMG_2303But, if you see me stopping for a long, hard look at your lily patch, don’t fret…..I’m just admiring…..until you see me pop the trunk for my garden spade, we’re good!

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