A Lovely Suprise

Every August as we drive to work, Gene Anne (stay tuned for future article on her stained glass work featured at the shoppe) and I have always admired this particular field of white lilies in full bloom. They are so elegant with there long white neck that opens up at the end to face the day. A friend to the butterflies. A light sweet fragrance hangs in the air.

One day while talking to a friend, we had commented on this majestic field and how we admired it. Her response was, “I know those folks,” and a couple days later she came back with two coffee pots with a lily in each! We were so grateful and ecstatic to be passed on the magic for our own gardens 🙂 Gene Anne (GA) took her’s home and  I planted mine in the community garden out in front of the shoppe.

Come the end of summer and the stalk died and I cut it back… but come springtime it did not come back, and neither did GA’s 😦 We were so sad! We failed somehow, and the magic had not returned….

This summer while messing in the garden, I started seeing a couple shoots that sort of looked like lilies… but the could be another strain of something I don’t care for in the garden (I tend to stay away from the word “weed,” find out in a future post why). So I left them and kept my eye on them. I could always pull them later when they start to bud, that way I could figure out what they were. They grew taller, and taller… they a few cluster of buds started to form in the tops… could they be..? The buds grew longer and longer until they separated and fell in different directions… they continued to grow larger and larger…. and BOOM! The first bloom burst August 1st, like they knew exactly what they were doing.

Lilium regale, the Regal Lily, also known as the August Lily. They were introduced from China and do very well here in Long Creek, South Carolina 🙂 They have a distinctive long white trumpet- several can grow on one stalk. The community garden has some with one flower on it, and one with up to six! They usually bloom by their second year, and bloom in August through September.

Apparently these flowers are easy to raise from seed, I am going to try to collect them this year and find out! I’ll let you know how they go, or stop by our Springtime Sale (usually the second Saturday in April) to find out, and maybe go home with some of your own!

Are they runners? That first year when I planted the gift, it was in a particular spot. Two stalks sprouted in that spot, but then two more popped up across an aisle (about two feet away) and I just found one more down the row in the opposite direction about 8 feet or so away! It couldn’t be the spread of seeds because this is the first year they are blooming! Anybody have any answers? We would love to hear from you! So curious…

Lilium regale - August Lily in our community garden at The Backwoods Visitors' Center & Community Shoppe

Lilium regale – August Lily in our community garden at The Backwoods Visitors’ Center & Community Shoppe

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