July 8, 2020
Spider Lilies and Mindful Meditation
You can see why this summertime bulb beauty is called “spider lily.” I’ve never met a spider that’s 8” wide, but a tiny white spider loves to hang out on it.
Horticulturally, it’s Hymenocallis caribaea ‘Tropical Giant’, a hybrid bulb that’s delighted gardeners across the South for generations.
When I got mine in April 2019, I popped it into a border that gets morning sunlight, intending to move it later. It bloomed just a few months later, and I decided that I liked those lush, strappy leaves (now up to 30” tall) in front.
Crinum lily also gets tagged as “spider lily,” especially native Crinum americanum. You’ll hear it called “swamp lily,” too, since it likes marshy areas, drainage ditches and lake edges. Angela Dobes Carver shared her picture.
Thanks to pass-alongs, ‘Ellen Bosanquet’ always heralds July with rosy trumpets, but I’m in no swamp. In summer, my crinums get brief weekly irrigation.
Mystery sweet pink chimes in. Perhaps April and May’s generous rain prompted such floral abundance this year. Even out of bloom, crinum’s wide, floppy leaves dramatically foliage up.
I’ve divided this one so many times, plunking into spots that get either morning or afternoon sun. Crinums are priceless heirlooms, often rescued from long-abandoned sites, and their tenacity holds true today in water-wise gardens.
And then, we’ve got a FALL bloomer aptly dubbed “spider lily.” This radiant red that pops up after September rains is Lycoris radiata. Mine came with the house, one of the best pass-alongs ever!
Anticipation and appreciation buoy us through challenging seasons or just days when nothing seems to go right.
Environmental designer Emily Manderson knows the power of nature’s healing through her work at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center. I was so fortunate to meet her last fall when she joined CTG for an insightful conversation about rethinking landscapes in climate change.
When we went into quarantine, she responded to our fears and concerns of all kinds through meditative moments on her new Instagram account @our.resilient.nature. At random moments throughout the day or night, I find peace and strength in her outdoor reflections that embrace our bodies and souls with soothing earth connections.
Now Emily’s pursuing an on-going path as a nature wellness guide, an adjunct to her conservation and environmental designs. From my front room and her rooftop, we met this time from afar via Zoom. Join us to breathe deep for just a moment to find your resilient nature to bolster and ground you.
And thank you for stopping by! Take care, Linda