I realize now that I have mistakenly planted Surprise lilies (or red spider lilies, Lycoris radiata, below) where their late summer appearance is hardly surprising. Flowers have been up for days, but these have escaped my daily viewing until Saturday’s very leisurely stroll with a fortunate glance beneath the wide spreading ‘Sun King’ aralia. Another is well hidden beneath low, arching branches of a variegated leaf redbud.
The lily, given various names to describe its sudden late summer appearance, has been dormant above ground since spring. Properly placed, it must rise through lower growing foliage to make its best show, and regretfully several are now located beneath overhanging foliage that obscures the flower. Somewhere in the garden there are other colors that I haven’t seen, that are also obscured by dense planting, so I must learn this lesson and plant again. The surprise lily is a delightful bloom in late summer that must not be hidden in the garden’s clutter.
Time has verified my lack of imagination projecting ideal placement of spring and autumn flowering bulbs (late summer flowering colchicum, above) that must be set months in advance. The garden would be more enjoyable with more blooms early in spring, and again in late summer, but I am often consumed with today and not forecasting months in advance. I should now be planning spring bulb purchases and planting, and perhaps I will now be reminded.