Watch Your Step

My day starts a little early this time of year.  My camera says I was out shooting photos before 7 AM.  Not all of the lilies open early, so some are in the process of blooming, so I usually go for a short run and come back to finish.  Today, in my clumsiness, I managed to step on my only Orchid Moonrise scape.  It broke off the scape and two leaves.  That poor plant nearly died last summer and has done better in the buried pot.  I was surprised it put out a scape.  I felt sick that I broke it . . . I am trying it in a vase with water, but the buds and young so I don’t think I will get a bloom.

I felt sad about that off and on all morning.  Then, I began to think of my successes this year.  Last year I had 16 or 72 (ish) cultivators bloom out there.  That is 22%.  This year, I have had 21 so far – and probably at least 30 more in scape (well, 29 now that big-foot visited).  That is 30% so far.  If I get 50 to bloom, it will be 70%.  I still have some water issues in one area of the back row.  And, I have a few that really died back in the year or so with no buried pot, so they need to grow this year.  I will take that, and fall will bring a few more improvements (but nothing like burying 60 pots in clay mud and tree roots).

So, speaking of the Southwest Garden, today Black Ice bloomed.  She has not bloomed since her very first year.  She died back, but not as bad as some of the others.  She has a fair number of bulbs.  I love her dark bloom.  So cool.


The other newbie in the Southwest Garden was Papa LongLegs.  I added him last spring and got a bloom.  I find the first blooms on the spiders are sometimes kind of deformed, and such is the case with this first bloom.  I will share a better shot (hopefully) with the weekend listing.


And, another yellow spider, Lady Fingers, bloomed for the first time in 2018.  She is one I got when I xeriscaped my front yard during the last drought – maybe 6 years ago.  I divided her and so this one is growing in the Border Garden with the new drip system.


Last, but not least, is Alabama Jubilee.  I ordered her my first year of roots specifically because my daughter lived in Alabama at the time.  She had my granddaughter while living there – and I called myself the Bama Grandma.  Those years were both special and troubling.  Sometimes things happen that we would never dream would happen a few years earlier.  Such is life.  This bright orange bloom reminds me of hope and the beauty of the relationship I had with my granddaughter when she was little.  This one is for you, Maia!


Ok, man, it is 11 PM and I am beat.  I need to put a wrap on this.  Quickly, other blooms today were Treasure of the Southwest, Zuni Eye, Apache Bandana, Comanche Princess, Hopi Jewell, Laughing Feather, Soco Gap, Holy Sombrero, Funny Valentine, Return a Smile, Nurse’s Stethoscope, Route 66, Ruby Spider, Jungle Queen, Stella, Happy Returns, Bluegrass Music, Canyon Colors, Prairie Blue Eyes, Purple Mystique, Red Riddle, Yellow Punch, and Wineberry Candy.  Phew – and it isn’t peak yet.  Tomorrow starts early.

PS – I have had 50 different blooms so far this year, so we are at about 29% total bloom rate – and it isn’t peak yet . . . then come the later bloomers.  Last year, we had 83 total bloomers all season.  That is a total bloom rate of 47% bloom rate.  Any guesses when we will surpass that?  My guess is that we will pull ahead by July 4th.

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