or A Sporting Chance
Naivety is such an endearing trait in other people and so exasperating in yourself. That is, it's fine to begin with, before you realize that you're being naive, but afterward, when you're reaping the fruits of your ignorance, then it's exasperating. Take Easter lilies, for example. Last year I somehow ended up with three of them, and thought with pleasure that they would be just the things to fill a hole between the two youngest sand cherry bushes until they've grown in.
Unfortunately, I was naive in the ways of Easter lilies and didn't know that their fragrance—so enjoyable when the buds were just peeping open—would be overpowering once they opened all the way. (I sure know it now.) Nor was I aware that removing the anthers would tone down the scent. Easter of 2010 was two weeks before our last frost date, and I sat with those lilies in my modest-sized townhome for fourteen long days as the blasted flowers got more and more and more odoriferous. (Just to be clear, it's not the fragrance itself that I object to but the inescapably massive, overwhelming, larger-than-life, sledge-hammer brute force of it. The fragrance itself is fine.)
Eventually I got grumpy and locked them in the guest bathroom until it was safe to plant them outside. I was tempted to chuck them out altogether. But when you open the door on them after they've been shut away in the dark for days with no care and they're still joyfully radiating "Ta da!", chucking them doesn't seem quite right. (After all, once I had scrubbed down the walls with undiluted vinegar, washed the towels and hung them in direct sun for several days running, and replaced the old toilet paper roll with a new one fresh from the package, the bathroom was more or less bearable again. Faintly exotic, but bearable.)
I decided to give them a sporting chance, if you can call sticking them in bad dirt against a heat-radiating wall without hardening them off or giving them any particular nurture, growling at them all the while, a sporting chance. They did OK, but I was happy—yes, happy—to see them wither away in July.
But of course, in the way of bulbs, they came back again in the spring. I was a little harrumph-y about that, too—if I had known lilies would do so well here, I would have planted some gorgeous Asiatics, with deep, velvety colors, and not white, smelly Easter lilies.
Now that they're blooming, though, I'm not harrumphing. I'm not quite ready to celebrate them wholeheartedly, as Ginny at Ginny's Garden does so beautifully, but I'm not still cross. Not really.
No, not really cross at all. I rather like them with the yarrow and daisies, even though yarrow seems a little too rough-and-tumble to associate with lilies. The gold and white enhance each other; together they speak of joy and sunlight and fresh, dewy mornings. Since we seldom have dewy mornings here, it's extra-nice to be able to evoke them.
Even the fragrance is barely noticeable, unless you're up close taking macro shots, and eventually I ought to be able to avoid that. From the scattering of pollen on the trumpets, the pollinators have been enjoying themselves, and that is always a good thing. (The flowers also have a light coat of ash from the Wallow Fire, but if it wasn't ash, it would be dust, trust me.) I may even give them a little extra water and some fertilizer this year.
They might as well have a sporting chance.