Thursday, August 6, 2015

FIRST RESPONDERS

I got the surprise of my life today. I was out watering with the hose when I saw a patch of bright pink in the sea of brown. I dropped the hose and went over to see what it was. It was a clump of rain lilies. Where had they come from? Did I plant them last fall? I truly cannot remember doing it although I remember buying bulbs in the fall.


And why are they blooming now? This bed had not had any water for over a month. That is until I came home at the weekend and discovered a failure in the sprinkler system. I immediately watered the bed. Is that what triggered the flowering or was it coupled with a drop in humidity this week. Watering doesn't usually trigger flowering or maybe it does after a prolonged dry spell. My garden friend Pam Penick at Digging also had rain lilies blooming this week so this is not an isolated incidence. I wonder if they are the same species.
What an amazing response in less than 3 days.
But I have more first responders; the water lilies. Within a day of filling up the tank I had blooms and not just one but six.


Of course the Ruby crystal grass turned from dull to blue green in no time at all. It may be invasive but I am more than happy for its strength and determination to beat the Texas heat and lack of rain or irrigation. I think that this grass is tougher than Mexican feather grass and just about as invasive. Tough wins the day.


As I currently spend most of my mornings pulling out dead plants and cutting back others in attempt to save them, I am uplifted by these sights.

11 comments:

  1. How nice to have them during this rainless time and when you need some good garden news too. Since I read about Pam's rain lilies I've been checking and nothing so far.

    I had planned to remove all the Ruby Crystals grass from my garden (as if that were possible) due to non-native invasive concerns but after reading your praises of it in several posts and observing how it survives so well in our climate, I'm doing the same and encouraging it again in place of Mexican Feathergrass which has been disappointing.

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    1. Right now my garden would be empty without it. I know it seeds heavily but I haven't noticed it spreading in the wild. And the bonus are the seed heads although we may not get any this year.

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  2. Another vote for tough plants from me! Glad to see things bouncing back. Those dead plants have now opened up lots of planting opportunities -- any ideas yet?

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    1. Opportunities indeed. I can see I will be spending quite a bit of money at the nurseries this fall. I need to start planning.

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  3. Supposedly rain lilies bloom in response to the nitrogen levels in the air that occur during heavy rains. I can't find a reference to that now, though. But they do produce lots of seeds. My friend in Galveston has them going everywhere and we sometimes have to pull them up to have room for other plants.

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    1. Are they the white ones Marilyn. Those do seed heavily here but I am not sure about these ones. We shall see. They may just multiply as bulbs.

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  4. The rain and water lilies are lovely! Your post sent me searching for information on how to get rain lilies to bloom. I added 3 plants to my front garden late last year but haven't seen a bloom yet. Most references say that a sharp uptick in water late in the season will spark blooms. Since there's no rain in the offing here, maybe I'll test the hypothesis by dumping some of my stored rainwater in them.

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    1. I wonder if there is more than one trigger. For instance my Texas sage didn't really bloom even with all the rain we had. And rain lilies don't usually respond to hand watering. Maybe there was pressure change with the lower humidity we had. Either way they made my day. Why not give it a try.

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  5. I waited an extra day to comment because I hoped - HOPED- my own rain lilies were just a little behind schedule and I could check this AM to see them gearing up for a show of our own, but nope. Apparently they have either gone dormant with a capital D or they are like other bulbs here and on their own severals days to weeks delayed timetable. Regardless.

    Those blossoms are so winsome, especially in August's heat. It almost feels like your garden is trying to encourage you in its own way, revealing hidden or forgotten treasures to keep you going while the annus horribilis (garden wise) winds down.

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    1. You are so right Deb. It doesn't take much to kickstart my love of gardening. there isn't much out there but just to see one or two flowers makes my day. Do you have the pink ones? There is really something strange about only pink flowering and at least 3 are talking about it. We shall have to wait for the native show.

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    2. I do have the pink ones, or at least I did... I have the native whites all around, I can't take credit for those (one is blooming at the moment for whatever reason) but in back I planted pinks and yellows, both of which bloomed at least once last year but now seem to have sort of melted away. I know it isn't from lack of water... : )... I'll have to wait and keep an eye out. All my bulbs; day lilies, school yard lilies, spider lilies, seem to be on a delayed bloom schedule from yours (or others in our area).

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