The first time I ever saw a Hurricane Lily or Red Spider Lily, Lycoris radiata, was a couple of years ago while on a weekend stay in Wakulla Springs, FL.
Their uniqueness caught my attention right away and I wondered why I had never seen any in Central Florida.
A slender stalk of 5-7 separate flowers bunching together making one stunning lily with long arching anthers so wispy and graceful as if painted on out into the thin air.
The next spring (2008) when Florida's very own Jack (John S.) Scheper, creator and publisher of the wonderful website, Floridata, offered bulbs dug out of his own garden for sale I jumped at the chance to order some.
They were immediately placed along the curving front border... tightly hugging behind the variegated liriope edging but not disturbing the caladium bulbs a little further back. The ideal plan was for them to start blooming just about the time the caladiums would begin to fade each year in early September.
Last year, being their first year at Hoe and Shovel I was thrilled to see the beginnings of the stalks and buds shoot up out of the ground right on time in September (08). Being they belong to the family Amaryllidaceae (amaryllis Family) the Eastern Lubber grasshoppers happen to make all foliage in that family their first choice for destruction. They were tenacious in chewing their tender stalks in two before one single flower had a chance to bloom.
This year two blooms made it to maturity. So many buds have started their journey upward with very good intentions of splashing out their wondrous colors in the late summer garden. Unfortunately the evil grasshoppers are finding them faster than their little buds can burst.
Such is life in the garden. So many victories. Fewer disappointments. But I have to say this is a dilemma I have no answers for.
So I shall rejoice in the two beauties that brought me great joy with their spectacular vibrance. There's always next year...