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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Monday, July 28, 2008


For the part-time gardener, daylilies are the perfect plant. They grow anywhere, need almost no care, last for years, and winter over nicely. The flowers are gorgeous; the foliage stays green all summer and covers large areas where otherwise we'd have to plan for something else, probably risking the agony of defeat. Lilies trump both hostas and ferns, our other standbys for square-foot maximization.
Your serious gardener probably doesn't bother - too easy, too common, they grow in ditches by the side of the road, for heaven's sake! Gardening, like life, should be a constant struggle against the elements, insects, too-much or too-little hydration, and in-laws bearing petunias in pots, and bringing one's rare roses or orchids to flower year after year, with military precision and planning, apparently guarantees the thrill of victory.
I'd rather observe than battle. You see your life in the arc of one flower: the vigorous morning, opening to dew and hummingbirds and energetic growth; the afternoon sun and full flowering of your ambition and maturity; the gentle evening and its contented wilting and spent stamens; night-time, when you humbly fall to the grass and sleep. Your younger brother does the same the next day, and your nephew, your daughter, your third cousin twice removed. This daily miracle pleases me more than any prideful campaign of cultivars.

1 comment:

Lynne Herndon said...

Daylilies are everywhere and remind us of how often Maine gardeners appreciated them. I'm in Stockton Springs at a funky little cottage on the beach. I'm loving the contrast of the lilies with the granite, the gray skies, and the white buildings everywhere. Your blog is great, don't stop!