Monday, March 10, 2008

Tigridia & the Tenant Garden

Tigridia (Tigridia pavonia,) also called Mexican Shellflower puts forth a breathtaking bloom that lasts for one spectacular day.

No esté triste. ¡La primavera viene! (Don't be sad. Spring is coming!)

Poor Ivonne. She's been shackled to me much longer than she probably ever intended. In order to afford my sweet, lazy life I turned half of my house into an apartment. She's so in love with the gardens, she refuses to leave.

When she first moved in, she inspired me to learn Spanish: ¿Piensa usted pagar el alquiler en cualquier momento pronto?

I inspired her to read books in the Tenant Garden I planted on her side of the house.

I never thought I'd utter such words, but I'm beginning to dread the coming of spring. Temperatures are warming, the 12-foot drifts that border my driveway are smaller by half, turning portions of the old ranch road into a river.

As the snow shrinks in size, I see the chaos created by this record-breaking winter. Plum, Pear & Cherry Trees all have broken branches. Flattened rose vines stripped from an ancient rusting arbor, listing heavily to one side.

Perhaps it was her reading garden's devastation (or maybe my tears,) that inspired Ivonne to knock on my door and gift me with an unheard of summer-blooming bulb ~ Tigridia.

She calls them the poor woman's orchids.* Explaining that this flower, like so many that blossom in our gardens, got it's start growing wild somewhere. In this case, Central America, where she grew up.

It boosted my spirits as did this blog and that blog, when I discovered that while Tigridia might be new to me, she's a familiar friend to other gardeners.

Speckles on the breathtaking Tigridia blossoms might inspire the orchid reference. She blooms for one day. Orchids can bloom for months. USDA zones 8-11, requires dry soil.

It takes a village. Awe-inspiring one day bloomers are best paired with long-flowering perennials.

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Frances, said...

Kate, what a sweet story and what a beautiful flower. Even blooming for one day, beauty is still precious. A very nice gift, indeed.

Frances at Faire Garden

Wunx~ said...

I guess you just answered why Tigrida never grew well for me when I planted them in my garden in humid North Carolina. If yours do well, I'll have to make another try with them.