Scent, color, stature. This time of year, we can’t be referring to anything other than lilies. Oriental lilies. Hardy as nails (though not immune to visits by deer).
And a pure delight. Easy to tuck into the garden. Indeed, we’ve planted a broad selection of these beauties throughout the garden at home. Especially favored are spots near windows. If weather is favorable to fling open the windows, my, the entire first floor is awash in spicy fragrance. Choosing favorites is a fool’s errand as, really, they all rate a second look. Be that as it may, here’s a sampling of the nursery’s offerings, blooming right now or about to be.
Salmon Star is a perennial showstopper. Creamy white background suffused with the gentlest salmon. Dark spots, luscious.
Stargazer, of course, is well known for its soft, mouth-watering combo of pink, red, and white.
Touchstone is actually a cross between oriental and trumpet lilies, inheriting the best of both worlds. Deep plum purple, upward – facing flowers.
A dozen other varieties, round out our offerings this year. Words provide but a faint impression – why not come by and see and smell for yourself.
I see summer.
After a mixmaster of winter and spring, I see summer.
I see summer in the friendly, cotton candy clouds ambling by across a cozy blue sky, appearing for all the world to be lingering low enough to shake hands with.
I see summer in the wonderment of animal life – monarchs and hummingbirds performing their trademarked choreography before our eyes; raccoons trying (successfully more often than not, I regret to report) to outwit the fellow who fills the birdfeeders; fawns, two by two, getting fat off of phlox, daylilies and lilies in the gardens of you-know-who; and rambunctious squirrels who dig up our pepper plants as fast as we can secure them in the earth.
I see summer in the eyes of my spouse, eager to once again take up entertaining on the back terrace. We miss the connections. The hiatus has been long and sad.
I see summer at every turn, appearing right on cue.
So now we slowly, even tentatively, find ourselves back to the world we left behind so many months ago. It somehow seems strange to go mask less in stores, approach friends at a less than 6’ distance, and to offer a hand in greeting.
We can feel good about ourselves for making it through all this. Fifteen months ago, I wasn’t so sure we had it in us to stand up to a pandemic – who knew what to expect. But here we are – more resilient for the experience, not that we’d wish that on anyone, but I think we saw a confidence that ultimately strengthened our relationship, even as we saw those relationships adrift at times. It feels great to be back.
But what about that industrial – sized dispenser of hand sanitizer? A friend who I think knows about such things says we’re not out of the woods yet, so best to hold on to all those supplies.
Oh dear, June half gone and I’m feeling a hurry that has escaped me these last 15 months. No more the friends and events that have been missed. I’m slowly getting my feet back in the water – eating out (mostly at those splendid sidewalk venues) and seeing folks again, though shaking hands and hugging still seems awkward. Getting used to going maskless. Enjoying farmers markets, maybe even entertaining again. The house and garden have seemed so lonesome.
Time to open the windows to fresh air and light. See you around.