It’s August. It’s 83 degrees here in St. Louis, a nice reprieve from the triple digits we had just a few weeks ago in July. The end of summer is approaching, and I’m okay with that.
It’s been an odd year for us in the garden. We lost our vegetable garden to rats this year. Mrs. Frisby and her entire family helped themselves to it. We became so frustrated after catching a rat in the traps every day for two weeks that we cleared the garden out to get rid of their food source.
We didn’t plant as many flowers this year because we have too many already. Despite the heat, we still have flowers blooming right now. I just haven’t shared as many pictures this year of them because I haven’t been taking any.
But I did take this picture yesterday that I’m quite proud of. These are surprise lilies, and this is the first time they’ve bloomed since I planted them in 2014.
It was the same time of year as it is now because I remember the lilies were almost done blooming at Dad’s house. My dad had been a resident at the senior center for a full year when we finally decided to give up his trailer knowing that he would not return to it.
He had planted dozens of surprise lilies around the trailer while he lived there. As we finished cleaning the trailer out, I decided to dig up all of the lilies and transplant them at my house. There were over 60 bulbs total, so many that I even gave some to our neighbor.
After returning home, I planted about ten bulbs a day that entire week until they were finally all in the ground. I was hoping to see a yard full of lilies the next year.
Not a single one bloomed last year.
If you are familiar with surprise lilies, you know they shoot up leaves in the spring. The leaves die off in summer and then all of a sudden this single stalk comes up out of the ground in late summer and the lilies bloom at the end of it.
This single stalk started growing up out of the ground last week. It’s the only one out of the 60 or so that I planted that has ever shown itself. I had given up on them after they didn’t grow last year. I thought maybe the bulbs had rotted or maybe I had planted them wrong. By now, I’d forgotten even where they were all planted.
And then this happened, and it made me smile and think of Dad. It’s been an odd summer, but the flowers are still blooming. The rats ate our garden. It’s hot out. But this one surprise lily has made it all worth it.