Thursday, June 25, 2009

Consider the lilies ...

...of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Not bad advice there from the Sermon on the Mount as reported in Matthew 6:28-30, expressed most beautifully of course in King James English.

And to think that I got up this morning after reading some of the coverage Wednesday of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's interesting performance thinking that I might write a little something about adultery.

Like, "Isn't refreshing that we have bipartisan consensus on at least one family value --- infidelity: We're for it."

Then I stepped out the back door first thing into this patch of old-fashioned daylilies and thought again: Nah, why waste effort on another awful little zipper-challenged guy when there's all this glory round about.

These are my favorites among the lilies, good old Hemerocallis fulva L. This is what I think about when I hear "lilies of the field" and they just might be since they are Eurasian natives, one of the good things brought over by our Euro-American forbears.

They're everywhere. The patch here came in from the farm. But drive along many rural roads in southern Iowa and you'll see them --- chances are there was a farmstead nearby once and they were in a much-loved garden or they lined the embankment in front of a farm house and were scattered in the great post-World War II push to regrade, widen and gravel rural roads.

The fancier varieties are fine and there are a couple smaller clumps of these yellow ones in the flower beds, but they don't have the enthusiasm of their genetic parents and seem a little spindly to me.

There are other lilies out there, too, today --- and I don't know exactly what these white-tinged-with-pink ones are (not a daylily, however). I should have staked them since the trumpets are so heavy they droop, but didn't get around to it. These lilies smell wonderful, too, but they're a hybrid of some sort engineered for showy bloom but without a sturdy enough stalk for support.

And while I'm out in the garden, take a look at the coneflowers and black-eyed susans along the south side of the house. It's been great growing weather for these prairie natives.

One thing about coneflowers, however --- they reseed themselves with great enthusiasm and will very quickly take over unless monitored. I don't mind, but there are a few smaller plants now completely overshadowed by these purple giants that I'm going to have to evacuate to a new location if and when it dries out enough to let me do it.

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