Summer Surprise

I’ve grown an unknown crinum lily for a number of years, but rarely has it bloomed.  No matter, as I’ve contented myself with appreciating its abundant foliage and the lush tropical feel that the plants  lend my decidedly non-tropical garden.

This summer, one of my crinum bunches bloomed.

It wasn’t a prolific bloom show, but it was enough that I swooned for several days over the beauty of the blooms.

Softly pink and gloriously fragrant, these July flowers were a real gift–and surprise–during the hottest time of the year.

These bulbs came from my parents’ garden in South Texas.  My mother grew them, though I don’t know where she got them nor when she planted them.  In her garden, with the full, blasting South Texas sun and the loose, sandy soil, the crinums always flowered with abandon during summer, their seemingly delicate, but tough-as-nails pink lily faces open to the sky.   In my clayey soil and dappled shade garden, the blooms are a rare and reticent offering.

Both of my beloved parents are gone now–my mother in 2002, my father last summer. But I grow their flowers, evoking their love of gardening and appreciation of the natural world.  When my crinums bloomed, I checked my daughter, Shoshana’s, grave where I planted crinums, to see if her crinums were blooming.  Alas, none were open. Those have bloomed in past summers, but the bulbs that my father gave to me after she died are quiet this year.

This year, the granted blooms were for me.

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14 thoughts on “Summer Surprise

  1. Tina is a beautiful flower, as beautiful is the beautiful memory of her parents and daughter when they bloom. It is more important than a flower. I know because I also lost my big brother. Much joy when they bloom. Greetings from Margarita.

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  2. I read about Shoshana’s iris on the linked page. I’m sorry you lost her, and especially sorry that she was so young. I didn’t know the meaning of her name, and it’s lovely. This is only the second time I’ve come across it, which seems surprising, given its beauty.

    The lily’s beautiful, too. I thought at first it was the same as a pink lily I found at the Armand Bayou Nature Center, but then I realized that one was Zephyranthes grandiflora. That’s where I found a different crinum: Crinum americanum, or swamp lily. There are so many pretty lilies. I’ll be happy when the heat recedes a bit, and it’s pleasurable to go out and about searching for photos again.

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    • Thank you, Linda. Shoshana is a beautiful name and she was a beautiful child–we miss her profoundly.

      I’m assuming this lily is probably not native, but an import from Asia. My mother loved flowers, but chose them for beauty, not necessarily for their role in the native ecosystem. Still, these lilies are hardy and tough–as witnessed by their survival over these many decades.

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