an ode to highway lilies
When we first moved into our house almost 20 years ago, we had zero money for landscaping. We quickly realized the value of perennials, learned never to decline the offer of a division, and became guerrilla rescue gardeners when house teardowns began happening in our neighborhood.
These daylilies began as divisions from our dear across-the-street neighbor, Pat. We have a sloping sideyard garden that gets blazing sun in the afternoon–we needed something there to hold the soil in place, that could tolerate drought conditions and very full sun, and that wasn’t on our resident voles’ menu. We planted the lilies there, and over the years they have multiplied and spread.
Also known as tiger lilies or ditch lilies, these simple generic daylilies are ubiquitous along roads and near abandoned homesteads. Some gardeners speak of them in disparaging terms, calling them common, but we find them beautiful. I am fond of their mix of orange and yellow. Every time I look at them, I think of Pat, who died several years ago and whose house has since been torn down.
They now form a pretty border, and their show this time of year is glorious. Their only shortcoming is that their bloom time is limited–only two weeks in early summer–but that makes their display all the sweeter.
My husband is working to rebuild the brick edging along this bed–it will likely take all summer!