I must start today by denying the obvious. I insist that I am able to control a seeming compulsion to purchase one of too many plants, and collections of far too many. There is meager evidence to support my claim, I understand, but I must point to a recent decision to halt further collecting of toad lilies (Tricyrtis).
I haven’t a clue how many varying toad lilies are here (all are marvelous), with part of the reason that several are practically indistinguishable from one another. And also, there are dozens of seedlings……or perhaps some were purchases that are too similar in appearance, I’m not certain. No matter what my wife says, and she says it frequently, I am not completely oblivious. Yes, there are other things in life besides over filling the garden with anything that captures my attention, and yes, I know that the furnace filters must be changed.
An important ingredient in proper collecting, I think, is to be able to identify items in the collection. Admittedly, I am negligent in record keeping, and plants in the garden are never labelled. So, beyond several toad lilies, common and not, that are somehow indelibly imprinted upon my poor, feeble brain, I’ve no clue of the identity of others.
In recent years I’ve purchased a new toad lily, that grows nicely and flowers, but then it looks identical to one over there, and maybe one over there also. It could be the same cultivar, or maybe it’s just similar, but if it’s too similar to tell apart, what’s the purpose in my spending twenty bucks for it? So finally, I’ve realized this.
And, I’ve moved on, not in my high regard for toad lilies that bring delight to every late summer day, but it is probable that I will purchase no more. Unless, and this distinction must be stated, I become aware of one that is noticeably different and excellent. Then, an exception must be made, and perhaps it is best if we don’t tell my wife.
Note – there are many more toad lilies in the garden than are shown here. ‘Gilt Edge’, above, begins flowering in early August, and is almost finished now. Others are just starting to flower. Judge for yourself if the flowers shown here vary significantly. I see variations in flowers and the growth habit of all of this group, but with some others the differences are minimal.