Salvaging Spider Lilies with a Toilet Brush

Small towns in Central Texas are notorious for amazing clumps of old bulbs, so my eyes areĀ  always searching for heirloom bulbs in need of a good rescue. I had driven by the old lot many times, and knew there would a day that the remnants of the old house would be torn down. The old lot was a corner lot, located on the highway which went through through the small town. The land would be a perfectly located gas station or convenience store. I never drove through the town without secretly praying that I hadn’t missed an opportunity to dig. I knew I just had to get those bulbs!!!!

The day of the dig was unexpected. I *should* always be prepared for a good dig, but I never am. I’ve even had small shovels given to me to keep in my car….do I carry them? No. That would be the smart thing to do, but I leave them everywhere in the garden. I guess I like to live life on the edge…..

I prefer digging up old bulbs with toilet brushes and spoons.

My violin student and I were on our way back from a fiddle contest. As I drove past the old lot, I saw the bulbs and the bulldozer across the street….It was time to dig.

We went to a few local stores to get a shovel. First of all, nothing is open in small town America on a Sunday afternoon. Second of all, asking for a shovel in a grocery store (in small town America) will get you comments such as “what do you need a shovel for? Burying a body or something? Hehe.”

Mister, do you have a shovel or not?!

The only object with a strong end to “pop” the bulbs out were toilet brushes. We bought two brushes, and went to work digging in our nice contest performance clothes. It was a good day and a good dig. The land would soon be covered by trucks and cement, ad we were able to rescue the old southern bulbs before it was too late.

It’s been two years since that dig. I amazed at the size of these bulbs, and the immense growth of heirloom bulbs. Nothing modern compares to a flower your Grandmother’s Grandmother planted. If you look closely at the picture, you will notice my foot in the bottom corner of the lilies, and you can compare the size of foot vs. Spider Lily…..these are really old lilies!!!!

I have more Spider Lilies available, and I am excited for the upcoming rains to wake up the rest of the lilies. Fall bulbs are definately some of my favorite flowers. The renewal of the garden and the promise of cooler weather is found with each flower bloom.

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Happy Gardening, my friends!