Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Monday, September 10, 2012

My Toad Lily Miracle

OK, "miracle" is probably too strong a word, a bit of unjustified hyperbole. What should I call it instead?

A fortuitous result of an unintended mishap?

Last year I had only one toad lily in my dry shade bed. Now I have three. And I didn't buy any new ones.




Back in March, when they built and installed my new fence and gate, they had to dig up an area of my dry shade bed in order to put in concrete piers for the stone towers that now stand on each side of the gate. Most of the perennials that were in the way were showing signs of growth then, so the installer dug them carefully and replanted them in bare spots to get them out of the way. But my toad lily was still asleep in the ground, and when they dug, not realizing it, they split the roots into many pieces.

When they were done, and it was time to put the uprooted perennials back, I had a feeling they had probably dug up the toad lily. So I sifted carefully through a pile of soil and took a look at the clumps of roots. I had three that were a good size and still seemed to have some life in them. So, just to see what would happen, I planted each of them in a different spot in that bed.

I didn't even actually know for sure that those roots were my toad lily. I could have been propagating a weed.

Most of the time when you divide a perennial, you do it carefully, hoping both divisions will thrive. It's not usually done via brute force and ignorance, although sometimes brute force is required with particularly difficult plants. Sometimes even carefully divided plants don't live, for no reason that you can fathom.

I honestly did not think all three of them would live. But now I have three toad lilies. And two of them are flowering!