Now For Something Entirely Different
If I lived an alternative life in journalism, garden writer could be it. This piece in Madison Magazine concerns one of my favorite flowers. It begins:
I have a penchant for advocating lost causes: Miles Davis’s electric period, Lyndon Johnson’s presidency, horseradish Havarti cheese. But none more disdained than ditch lilies.
These are the orange daylilies—formally called Hemerocallis fulva but also known as tiger, roadside or tawny lilies—that you see happily blooming in mid-July in just about every yard in Madison’s older neighborhoods. The experts snicker.
Oh, you might as well wear white shoes after Labor Day or extol the virtues of two-buck chuck wine as grow ditch lilies. They are the Rodney Dangerfield of landscaping: They get no respect. You can’t buy them at garden centers. Glorious Olbrich Gardens doesn’t even display them. Worse, they’re branded with the plague label.
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