Better Toad Lily Than Never

Toad Lily
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For some reason, society tends to frown on late comers. Late to work too much, you get fired. Late to the party, all the best food is gone and the keg is tapped out. Late to the wedding, and your husband-to-be gets all upset…

Well, anyway, the same thing seems to apply to gardeners as well. We gush on and on about tulips, have conniptions about daylilies and don’t get us started about roses, sunflowers and daffodils. But when it comes to Tricyrtis Japonica, we just shove it aside and sneer at it. Call it names like Toad Lily. Toad lily!?! Isn’t this what the bullies in the flower bed call the weakling flower? “Heh heh heh… look at the toad lily… let’s beat him up now.”

All because the humble toad lily has the unfortunate nature of always showing up late to the garden.

Toad lilies are the ugly duckling of the garden world. Few who grow it would deny that it a simply gorgeous flower. It spread lusciously, but without over running its boundaries. Politely non-invasive.

Its flowers are almost orchid like and the entire plant just bursts with them.

And yet, most garden centers won’t sell it. Why? Because toad lilies have the audacity to bloom in the fall and just doesn’t fit well into the whole “spring fever buying spree” marketing plan. Most gardeners don’t see them in the garden centers and, therefore, never know they exist.

I think we just don’t appreciate the beauty in being late. Sometimes it is those who show up late who prove to be the real life of the autumn party.

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