Wednesday, July 19, 2017

BASIL BECKY..... Gardening from the Heart: Here come the Surprise Lilies.. AKA Naked Lilies

BASIL BECKY..... Gardening from the Heart: Here come the Surprise Lilies.. AKA Naked Lilies: They are here....I love this plant. I  did not know about it when I lived in Indiana... but it is so cool and beautiful this time of ye...

Here come the Surprise Lilies.. AKA Naked Lilies


They are here....I love this plant. I  did not know about it when I lived in Indiana... but it is so cool and beautiful this time of year.... Here is an article from the Kentucky Gardener I wrote about 5 years ago.  I am really fascinated by them!

 Enjoy the Article!!


We bought the house we currently live in 20 plus years ago in the early spring. When we moved in I was so thrilled to see all the spring bulbs popping up everywhere. There were patches of daffodils, snowdrops, and hyacinths in many different spots. Plus in the out buildings I found many empty boxes from Brecks, Springhill and more. All this gave me hope of what the spring and summer would behold. I was not disappointed  when the first bulbs appeared. Although the plantings were randomly planted, the plants were just waiting for me to move them to the right spot.
 However one bulb had me stumped. Late spring I had strap-like, greenish, gray leaves up to 12 inches long and 1 inch wide in groups all over the yard. As early summer arrived and the leaves died off, I was very tempted to dig them up and throw them out. Luckily, I ran out of time doing more pressing garden projects, and let them grow.  Then in the late summer, I noticed arrow like spears shooting out of the ground. Each sheath would grow about 2 feet tall, and would open into 5 to 7 funnel shaped rose tinted pink blooms.  What a surprise!  
  After doing some research, which mainly consisted of asking garden friends, neighbors, and reading blogs, I discovered that they were Lycoris squamigera.  This is a plant with many aliases including Naked Ladies, Resurrection Lilies, Magic Lilies or Surprise Lilies. I love the variety of names. You may know them by a different name. If so please pass it on!!
Here are a couple words of advice I have learned about this very unusual plant. This may be the only bulb I know that needs a warning label.
#1) If you have an obsessed mower, like my husband, you must watch for the arrival of the stems emerging from the ground or they may be mowed down. I have slowly transplanted my” Naked Ladies” to flower beds. However, I bet if you let your husband know being careful and not mowing in certain area will result in a group of “Naked Ladies” appearing, he will greatly improve his mowing game!
#2) Be careful where you talk about your Surprise Lilies! I heard a story about a 
man who was going to his choir practice at church. He began to talk about the fact that he 
had several” Naked Ladies” in his front yard. The Music Director looked at him and said something to the effect: if this is true, then why in the heck are you here? 
#3) Practice self discipline when weeding in the spring. No one has ever needed  to warn me about this, as I have a long history of leaving “unknown” fast growing “plants” way too long only to discover I have nurtured a weed. If you get frustrated with the lack of flowers and discard the bulb, you will miss the big show.
#4) “Naked Ladies” do need to be transplanted and shared or replanted every so often. I read a blog email from a person who was complaining that he had too many  
“Naked Ladies” in his front yard.  Perhaps this is why this plant was included in Steve Bender and Felder Rushing’s great book. Passalong Plants.  However, do beware, as Felder Rushing mentions Lycoris, may skip a couple years before blooming when they are messed with.  I loved his comment about the transplanting problem, “You really can’t complain about all if this. It’s just the price you pay for disturbing Naked Ladies.” (Felder Rushing Passalong Plants.

So all jokes aside, I am thrilled that one of the previous owner’s of my house, felt the urge to plant this wonderful bulb. Previous owners include a missionary/ retired author, a psychiatrist, (who is probably responsible for the cage in my attic) and an owner of a fertilizer company who was looking to build a retreat far from the big city (Louisville)  This owner had connections to the bourbon industry in Kentucky. Or perhaps they might have been planted by the owners of the original house on the property that burned. I just don’t know who is responsible for planting them.  And even if I did, would they admit to wanting hundreds of “Naked Ladies” in the yard??   

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Party Time


Last night I hosted a baby shower for a dear friends daughter. It was a very hot night but we kept cool under the shade of the Big Siberian Elm. I love hosting garden parties. I always try to use any fresh veggies and herbs from the garden in all the recipes. To say I get a little obsessed with these parties is probably an understatement. 

So every dish had an herb in it...mostly Basil, plus we have tons of Blackberries in the garden so of course they had to be included. Here was the menu...

Dill Snack Crackers 
Cauliflower/Broccoli Marinated Salad
Blackberry Cucumber Caprese Skewers
Basil Lemon Chicken Salad on Croissants 
Limoncello Blackberry/Mint Fruit Salad 
Baby Girl Sugar Cookies
Blueberry/Mint  Infused Water
Moscato Lemonade

All the food was great tasting and beautiful for the eye as well...







Here is the recipe for one of everyone's favorite:  Opal Basil Broccoli/Cauliflower Salad
Ingredients:  1 head cauliflower; 1 bunch broccoli ; 2 stalks celery; 1 cup sugar ; 2 TBlSP Poppy seeds; 1tsp salt; 2 tsp dry mustard; 1 onion finely minced;  1/2 cup Opal basil Vinegar;  1 1/4 cup oil.
Break Veggies into bite sized pieces. Add Celery that has been cut into bite sized pieces. Mix sugar, poppy seeds, salt, mustard, onion,  vinegar and oil.  Add to Veggies and and refrigerate for at least three hours. I like to turn it over at least once...  So Yummy!!

This gets better the next day .......

I will put up more of recipes on later blogs or by request.  Now I am going to go finish off some of that Lemonade...

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