Texas Spider Lily (Hymenocallis liriosme [Raf.] Shinners). I’ve always had really good luck with these beauties as a container plant. They have now also been planted in my newly designed front garden. We felt that their vertical spiky foliage would be a good replacement for the Louisiana iris that didn’t perform well outside of two spring months. Eventually these original six plants will multiply and should provide a spectacular show in about three years. If you’re interested in growing these, I recommend purchasing them from The Southern Bulb Company.
This poor red spider lily had been snapped at the base while still in its prime. It’s one of my group of fall lilies that have started to emerge in the front parkway. Unfortunately they aren’t providing me with any photographic moments, because the surrounding English ivy was scorched to death during our seventy plus days of triple digit heat. The ornament you see hanging above and to the right of the vase is a Christmas ornament by local artist Frances Bagley.
The Texas Spider Lily. At the end of June, this container plant sends up five bloom stalks just in time for our Fourth of July holiday. Next year I plan to repot it into a bigger container. Unfortunately, once in a bigger pot it will not bloom that summer. For some reason this true Texas native likes to be root bound before it blooms. You can purchase the bulbs from The Southern Bulb Company.
Update! As of the Fourth of July, there are seven sparklers! Not five.
Those pink things you see are my first rain lilies of the season. Here in Dallas we had two days of heavy rains early last week, and look what they left behind. The one in the top photo is called Grandiflora Rain Lily (Zephyranthes grandiflora). It’s the biggest and pinkest one of the three varieties that I have planted. The bottom photo shows a variety called Habranthus Pink Rain Lily (Habranthus robustus). Both of these varieties and the third version that has yet to bloom were purchased through The Southern Bulb Company. The man behind The Southern Bulb Company, Chris Wiesinger (also know as The Bulb Hunter), has a great story on how he combined dating and bulb hunting into one event. Check it out.
The Texas Tulip will survive all Dallas’ climate extremes and return year after year. It may not be as plush as its Dutch hybrid cousins, but once this bulb is planted, no other maintenance is required, and it will bloom each spring just after the Jonquils. So ditch the fancy bulbs from across the pond and invest in this hardy specimen.
Whether they are Narcissus or Daffodils or Jonquils, I have several varieties popping up in my parkway. The above shot was taken exactly a week ago, and more have emerged since then. If I can get a more recent shot without the now tired flower heads, I will be posting it. As I have mentioned before, all my perennial bulbs were purchased from The Southern Bulb Company. If you didn’t know already, spring bulbs are planted in the late fall, and the narcissus varieties will return year after year.
Blue French Roman Hyacinth. Let me introduce you to the subtle beauty of this hyacinth. It’s not as showy as its cousin, the Dutch hybrid, but it has many more advantages. It will send out more than one flower stalk from a single bulb. Plus the bulbs will naturalize, bloom annually, and multiply over the years. In other words, unlike their overdressed Dutch cousins, they are definitely NOT high maintenance.
I purchased my bulbs through The Southern Bulb Company. In fact, all my perennial bulbs have come from there. My spring bulbs are scattered throughout the parkway between the sidewalk and the street. If you’re wondering about the dead oak leaves, I purposely left them there after they fell to protect the English ivy from our winter’s hard freezes. In the next couple of weeks, I will be hand culling them out along with my other numerous annual spring pruning chores.
Well, at least it’s the first in my garden. It looks like I’m going to have a whopping total of four Red Spider Lilies. Last year I had five. So what gives? And on top of that, since purchasing and planting them, it took two years before they bloomed for the first time. One must be patient when it comes to gardening and dealing with perennials. Especially perennials that can survive Dallas’s weather and temperature extremes. Between last year’s nine to ten months of El Niño accompanied with too much rain and too little sun and this year’s months of extreme heat and intense sun exposure, no wonder my plants don’t feel like performing the way I’d like them to.
Oxblood Lilies. Every year towards the end of August, the Oxblood Lilies make their annual show. But dang it! Because their foliage had died back earlier in the summer and not knowing where the bulbs were exactly (they tend to continually migrate toward better sun exposure), I AGAIN find that I have unintentionally planted summer annuals around them, and they just aren’t able to compete with the crowd. Will I ever learn? The bulbs planted in the front parkway among the English Ivy show up well, but not the ones in the west bed.
And then there are the Rain Lilies…