Spiders in the Garden…Spider Lilies that is.

I walked out back today, and there she was….blooming her little heart out. I didn’t want to think about the deer that would soon be coming back. I just wanted to bask in her beauty,, atleast for one day. This year,, I have discovered that deer enjoy Spider Lilies like I enjoy chocolate. Deer actually seek out the Spiders in the garden, waiting until they are almost in bloom to eat….then they devour every single one. Apparatly, they are quite delicious. I guess if I were a deer, I’d go for the most beautiful of all flowers to eat as well. But I digress…

These particular lilies were lifted from the rubble of an old house tear down in east Texas. It took a long time to lift the right boards without getting smacked in the face by the opposing boards. I usually don’t wear gloves, which is flat-out stupid….but when you are on a spontaneous bulb dig,, who keeps a pair of gloves in their car? Yes, I keep my little bulb-digging shovel in my car, but that’s a whole other story.. Everyone should wear gloves when digging bulbs. (Did you hear that, Mom?)

Many areas of that little East Texas town had old Spiders. Most of the old Lilies were located in the the old, run-down, poorer parts of town. I like the idea that neighbors shared their flowers with neighbors. These old neighborhoods really loved their flower bulbs. Nowadays, there are just remnants of the old gardens, engulfed with overgrown weeds and trash. I’ve met countless people over the years salvaging these old bulbs. My Mother prefers for me to *not* go bulb-digging alone, but I usually do.. I knock on doors, greet strangers in the streets and ask about their original homesteads. I have found that people really enjoy talking about their neighborhoods and family heritage. People also love the idea that something they have is worthy of being saved and passed down.. Nowadays, people can’t even find relatives to pass on their beloved wedding china to, let alone their Grand-Mother’s cherished flower bulb that was given to her by an old neighbor.

Each year,, the Spiders in my garden are beautiful reminders of the places I’ve dug and the stories that were told. I hope that, in some small way, these old heirloom bulbs carry on their stories…..and create new stories with their new gardeners. Appreciating beauty is something we all have deep within us.. Beauty knows no socio-economic advantages or disadvantages. It is just neighbor sharing flowers with neighbor. Maybe that’s why I don’t charge money for these flowers. In some wierd way,, it just seems wrong tosell something that’s not really yours. I’m just the care-taker. The giver from one generation to another.

I was asked tonight about purchasing Red Spider Lilies from the director at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. I hate to admit this, but I have a really hard time letting go of Spiders. If you have received some red Spider Lilies from me, consider yourself extremely lucky…you must have caught me on a generous day. 🙂 I wouldn’t say that it is total and complete selfishness that keeps a tight grip on my Spiders. It’s more like flower-hoarding at the highest level. Spiders are slower to naturalize and seem more delicate than the other bulbs I have.This year, I’m going to pot up a limited amount to make available. Spiders don’t like to be shipped during the growing season, which we just started. If you are interested, you will have to make a special trip to the gardens.

It was lovely to see a few Spider Lilies in the gardens. I hope they are still around tomorrow so I can’t get some more pictures! Fall is a great time in Texas. I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the beautiful change in weather.

Happy Gardening, my friends!