Flowering Beauty Along the Way

On my walk earlier this week, I found some interesting flowering plants that I wanted to share with you.

And since I didn’t know too much about them (other than a name), I figured that was as good as any excuse to do a bit of research.

First up, Naked Ladies.

Whoa, Debbie, I didn’t know your blog was rated Mature.

You’re right, it’s not.

“Naked Ladies” is one nickname for Amaryllis belladonna. You can see why when you view the picture:

Naked Ladies

Naked Ladies

Growing 2-3 feet tall, this beauty produces delicate pink blossoms on a green, leafless stalk. Naked Ladies are native to South Africa and are grown from a bulb. They bloom in mid- to late-summer (if they feel like it!) and are deer- and gopher-resistant.

They’re also poisonous, so do not ingest any part of them!

Next, we have Hostas:

"Garden" of Hostas beneath tall tree

“Garden” of Hostas beneath tall tree

One of the easiest-to-grow garden perennials, Hostas like shade or sun and range in height from 2 inches to three feet. Native to China, Japan, and Korea, Hostas come in a variety of sizes and colors, and they produce blooms ranging from white to purple. (You can see the lilac bloom emerging from the plant on the bottom left above).

Hostas are toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. Slugs and snails are their most common pests.

Third is some kind of lily:

Profusion of white lilies

Profusion of white lilies

I don’t know the fancy gardener’s name for this beauty, but when I saw it, I knew I had to reach for my camera.

How simply stunning — made even more so by just how many blooms there are!

Lilies typically reach 2 to 6 feet in height, need regular watering, and thrive in full sun or partial shade.

And last, but by no means least, my all-time favorite, the Crepe Myrtle:

Crepe Myrtle, 2014

Crepe Myrtle, 2014

Okay, I pruned this just as I was instructed in late March, but as you can see, it refuses to shape into a tree, and seems to want to remain in a bush-like state. My aunt says it’s healthy and good-looking, so I should leave it alone.

Maybe it’s just trying to tell me something deep: Be what (and who) you were created to be.

Any thoughts??

17 thoughts on “Flowering Beauty Along the Way

  1. “First up, Naked Ladies.

    Whoa, Debbie, I didn’t know your blog was rated Mature.”

    HILARIOUS, Debbie!!!!

    What a beautiful array of flowers and plants. And as you know, I am so unknowledgeable about horticulture, so I appreciate you sharing the names of these because I’ve seen several of them but didn’t know what they were called.

    The white lilies and Crepe Myrtle are beautiful!

    “Maybe it’s just trying to tell me something deep: Be what (and who) you were created to be.”

    Loved that! Isn’t is amazing how when we look at something from a different perspective we often see a deeper meaning?

    Have a beautiful weekend, dear lady!

    • I find it odd the lilies are blooming at this time of year. Shouldn’t they have blossomed over Easter?? As for the Crepe Myrtle, those things are PROLIFIC across the South, but not too popular in Central Illinois. I can only guess this particular Crepe Myrtle must be specially-grown for hardiness because it’s done quite well here (doesn’t hurt that it’s on the south side of the house, either!)
      Have a wonderful weekend, Ron!

    • Ha, got your attention, huh?! Apparently, Naked Ladies have leaves in winter and early spring, but they eventually die back. About two months later, this bare stalk emerges from the earth and shoots up to 20 inches in height. Clusters of mostly pink flowers appear at the top of the stalk. They’re quite alien-looking, don’t you think?

  2. Very purty flowers. Naked Ladies – All I can is I hope it produces classier spam on your blog than dancing midgets did on Odd. . :-D. We’ve had hostas for years. I didn’t know they were toxic, but so far so good. I think toxic often means stomach upset not deadly. But it always pays to do your research because as my sweet mother always said in case you do want to poison someone, accidently on purpose, you want to do it right. The Crepe Myrtle is beautiful.

    • Your sweet mother is one very wise woman — and her advice can be used in real life or when writing a novel! Yes, I’m bracing for the Naked Ladies spam — I’m still getting stuff after writing about the two nudist colonies on the way to South Bend a few years back. Amazing what people search for, huh?? Thanks for liking my Crepe Myrtle — I hope its companion a few yards away takes note and decides to pop out some blooms as well — right now, it’s mostly attractive leaves.

  3. Your lilies may be more akin to daylilies than Easter lilies. Our daylilies begin blooming in June and continue on for a couple of months — which would put yours right on schedule.

    Crepe myrtles do revert to bush form pretty quickly without pruning. Patience, patience. And when you prune, you might tie a little string around the branch you want to become the trunk and leave it alone. Prune lower branches about a third, and maybe even take off a very bottom branch or two. That will encourage upward growth, rather than outward.

    All very pretty, I must say!

    • Thanks for the tips on pruning — I’m going to print them out and tuck them in my calendar for March 2015 or so, when the pruning should take place. I thought I followed the instructions online and from the cooperative extension service, but I must’ve messed up somewhere (probably in the patience department, as I’m not known for that character trait, ha!)

      I’ve seen Crepe Myrtles down south in bush form and understand some people like them that way. Maybe a bush “fits” better in a certain location, or perhaps they’re just too lazy to prune. And I’ve seen some prunings to be what’s considered “crepe murder,” too — you know, where they chop off nearly every single branch, leaving a stick. It’s a delicate process, but the results can be spectacular!

  4. Hehe, never thought I’d see naked ladies on your blog! We’re trying to get some manzanitas to grow more tree-like, but so far, it looks like they, too will grow as they please 🙂

    • I guess the good thing is, they’re at least growing, ha! I’d never heard of a manzanita before, so I Googled it. How pretty! And how useful, seeing as how the berries can be used for poison oak rash. It’s nice to have something growing and blooming in the dead of winter, too. Good luck getting it to bend into tree form, Janna!

  5. Well done! I’m very impressed, Debbie, re your knowledge of flowers. There are very few I know by name. One of my favorites from when I lived in Seattle, were Sweet Peas and Bleeding Hearts. Sweet Peas are so fanciful, like a bouquet of wild beauty. And Bleeding Hearts are like a work of art. Nature’s work of art, that is. 🙂 Here in San Diego we have plenty of Birds of Paradise. Isn’t that a great name for a flower? And so befitting, too!

    • The first flower Domer’s dad gave me when we were dating, long before we got married, was a Bird of Paradise. I thought it looked very exotic and couldn’t help wondering why he chose something like that, rather than traditional carnations or roses, ha! It was indeed spectacular, though (and definitely memorable!).

      My late dad passed along much info on nature, Monica. For me, it stuck, but my sister claims she’s more like you and doesn’t know beans about flowers and trees. I guess it’s a “to each, his own” sort of thing. Bleeding hearts are gorgeous and so aptly named! We don’t get them here (probably too warm).

  6. I have kind of a funny story about naked ladies. my son and I happened onto a plant sale last summer in Eugene, Oregon where this very German woman whose name was Valentine, with a moustache that would rival many a male counterpart’s – had the most enchanting yard and many plants for sale for pennies. You never can tell about gardeners. Someone so rough and manly produced a magical, sensual garden with little secret garden areas and tunnels of greenery (of course in Oregon almost anything stuck in the ground flourishes). We bought lilies and hydrangeas, hostas and columbine, irises and yes – naked ladies. They’re so pretty and feminine – I can just picture them as ladies in soft pink flirty negligees – rather than naked, but then I guess “soft, pink, flirty, flouncy ladies” is too long a name for a flower.

    You have captured some pretty ladies in this post – I love a walk down anyone’s garden lane.

    • Barb, I love your story — Oregon is definitely on my Must See list! Any place where “almost anything stuck in the ground flourishes” is a place I need to visit.

      How did your Naked Ladies do, by the way? I understand they grow from bulbs, so perhaps I can entice someone with more-than-enough to share a few and see if they’ll grow for me.

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