Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

No, really, I mean I FORGOT

Lately I've read on a couple of local blogs that some of my favorite gardeners had planted red spider lilies and then forgotten all about them until they saw them in bloom recently.

When they wrote that they'd "forgotten" I believed they meant temporarily.  As in "oh, that's right! I planted those and then forgot about them" which is not to say they really forgot, forgot, they just weren't thinking about the Lycoris radiata they'd planted because they can take up to two years to bloom after planting, and they don't always bloom every year.  One site I consulted playfully hinted aliens from another planet controlled their bloom cycles just to torment earthbound gardeners.  

I looked at their photos of Lycoris in bloom in their posts and remembered I'd seen bulbs for sale when I made my last major nursery buyout.  I think I commented on both sites about how I wished I had picked some up.  Shortly after that my daughter pointed out more bulbs for sale at the big box hardware store where I (almost) always resist buying plants because who knows where they came from?   I agreed they were striking as we passed them by.
As I watched the rain from Tropical Storm Odile wake up heat-idled beds, I was regretting that I hadn't bought any Lycoris bulbs for my own garden spaces.  Sure, I had picked up a couple of new oxblood lily bulbs, and at least one of them began blooming already. But oxblood lilies, as lovely as they are,  just aren't quite as flamboyant as Lycoris.

I had "passed-that-plant-up-regret".  Big time.

Then as I went out to pick up Saturday's mail, you'll probably guess what I spotted out in a front bed close to our mailbox.  Yup.  Lycoris radiata.  I planted them and then forgot about them.  And I do mean FORGOT.  ALL ABOUT THEM.  As in completely, totally, if you'd insisted to me I'd already planted some, I'd call you a liar to your face.  (not really, I wasn't raised that way)
The deer have already bitten one or two flower stalks off neatly at the top.  I'm not sure why I believed all the sites claiming these were deer resistant.  Obviously I was reassured enough to plant the bulbs in jeopardy.  I'd make a joke that the deer don't read the lists of resistant plants but it is too soon.  I'm still way too peeved.

I can only hope Bambi took a bite or two and didn't like them enough to eat any more.  Ever. I hustled to get a couple of shots of the rest of the blooms just in case.  Now I'm trying to decide whether to leave them where they are or to try and move them inside the fence after their blooms fade*.  (*But before I forget.  Again.)
Anybody have any experience transplanting these beauties?  I'm all ears.


Unknown said...

Such beautiful flowers! I can't be any help on transplanting of the spider lilies, as I don't have any in my garden. However, I think it is time to change that, since by the looks of your pictures, they are must-haves for my new garden beds. A couple years ago I planted daffodils and hyacinths in my deer-prone areas, thinking they would be "deer resistant" as marketed. Nope. I only got one bloom that the deer forgot to nibble on. This fall, I'll definitely be planting my spring bulbs where they won't become the meal of the local deer.

TexasDeb said...

Rebecca, I feel your pain. Once a season blooms are too special to function as deer chow. I really rely mostly on native bulbs now, the spider lilies are remnants of an era when I was simply led by my eyes around the nursery. But they are gorgeous...

Toni W said...

What a great surprise! The deer are just reminding you to be Zen.. "All material things are transitory" (until you move them to another spot!).

Bob said...

They may well be deer resistant. It could be rabbits. I'm having a horrible time this year with them eating plants. If you move them, you will forget them again as most of these lillies hate to be disturbed. It may take several year to see blooms again. Yours do look stunning right now though.

Pam/Digging said...

They really are easy to forget about since they take so long to bloom after planting -- or transplanting, which is my advice for you. Bob's deer may not have a taste for bulbs, but mine sure do. A couple years ago, after hearing Bob say the deer leave his oxblood lilies alone, I planted a few bunches out front. I soon learned that my deer like 'em just fine. Even with deer repellant on the flowers, the deer will sometimes nip their blossoms off, and then nibble their stems for good measure, making it hard for the plant to store up energy for next fall.

So it doesn't surprise me at all that your deer find your spider lilies to be snackable. Just save yourself the heartbreak and move them this fall, once they stop blooming. They're very easy to transplant, but of course they will make you wait a while before blooming again. I'm sure you'll have forgotten you even planted them by then. :-)

Anonymous said...

Forgetting you planted something - that's great. I guess I had too few plants to have done that!

TexasDeb said...

THGM: Ha! I am just about the opposite of Zen when it comes to deer and flowers. I stood in my driveway for nearly a half hour glaring at a grazing group of deer munching its its way through some lawn and weeds across the street yesterday.

TexasDeb said...

Bob: I hadn't thought of rabbits. I'm sorry to hear they're giving you troubles. I understand they are really tough to combat. I catch the deer out grazing on our front beds pretty consistently but haven't seen rabbits here in the burbs. Yet.

So far....only the first two blooms were bitten off. Maybe it was a younger deer who doesn't recognize what is good until after they've tried it (would that my OWN kids had been such adventurous eaters!).

TexasDeb said...

Pam: I am going to leave them where they are while they finish blooming and if the deer leave the rest of the blooms alone, then I might give them another season in that spot.

If I notice return snacking deer damage I have a bed out back where I've got other bulbs already going. If I keep bulbs mostly in one bed I'm less likely to accidentally dig them up. I'm also hoping they'll multiply to good effect in this smaller area.

TexasDeb said...

DryHeat: Just recently I've focused on a limited number and type of plants, but for years I went nuts at the nursery, buying one or more of anything that caught my eye.

Honestly there were times I'd get home with flats of 4 inch pots and not recognize or remember the name of some exotic plant I'd bought that didn't have a plastic ID stick because I'd gotten 15 different things after reading 48 different labels.