Sunday, September 18, 2011

Colchium - Fall blooming lilies

We call them air blooming lilies.

These flowers have been at every home I’ve lived in.  My dad had interesting flowers in his gardens.  Black tulips.  Oriental poppies.  But air blooming lilies were his especial joy.  In the fall he dug some up and gifted his fellow workers, any neighbor who didn’t have a bed of them, the mail man, the Fuller Brush man, the Seventh Day Adventists…    Plant them, but not deep.  In the spring you’ll find broad green leaves.  After the leaves die back, cut them off and just wait for:

Dad left these planted at my home on Strawberry Lane, and at our home on Andover Drive.  Both those have been so extensively remodeled; I wonder if the owners recognized their little treasures and saved them.  We all brought a shovel full to this house.  Twenty three years later the bed is packed full when they are all blooming.  It needs dug up and spread around.  We say that every year, but none of us seem up to it.

These caused a disturbance in the family, I learned (from my grandmother), when the first bulb came home in 1946 or 47.  They apparently were newly introduced, at least to northeastern Ohio, and dad needed one.  He located it at a nursery called Wayside Gardens, which remains in business, I see.  He paid $3.00 for one bulb, the grandsire of all we have today.  His weekly salary was $32.50.  Mother was not pleased.  But they're over five dollars a bulb, these days.

 Enjoy the weather, and the lilies.