A few years ago, we had a section of our back yard graded. That created a bare and muddy slope crying out for stabilization. Having strained the household budget for the grading, we elected to seed the slope with a foolproof mixture of long fescues and perennial rye grasses. It probably would have worked but for a torrential rainfall that prompted our neighbor, Noah Anderson, to start in on an arc.
So, looking at a washed-out slope and a swath of seeds and mud that resembled caraway seeds on a bagel, we searched for alternatives. Exotic Asian ground covers were offered. When that was too pricey, we considered similarly expensive shrubs and small trees. I recall “styrax” because it was such an odd name for a snowball tree. Though I loved the name, the cost was not so loveable. The search continued.
At the shaded edge of the woods behind out house I discovered a neglected batch of wild day Lillies, overcrowded and almost yellow from neglect. Maybe they would recover if I transplanted them to the raw but sunny earth. What the heck. I might even fertilize them. I dug them all up and moved them to the ugly slope.
Early next spring, I tossed a few handfuls of a neighbor’s chicken manure on them. Green spikes appeared in March, reaching quickly skyward. Lush spires followed and, in early July, buds on tall stems opened. Not too many, but enough to get my attention. They were beautiful, large double orange day Lillies.
That was a few years ago. Now the Lillies thickly cover the former muddy slope, providing their annual lush green foliage and abundant flowers. However, they were never wild. They originated in China and Korea, where their buds have been roasted and eaten as part of the Asian diet for centuries. Nancy is skeptical about roasting their buds, so we just enjoy their blooms. Maybe next year will be the year for roasting.
There is a saying on the Texas Panhandle (where I used to go often on business) that “even a blind hog comes acrost a acorn ever onct in a while” I guess I’m a blind hog and the Lillies are my acorns.