When the Toad Lily Blooms

When the toad lily blooms, I assume it’s all over for the season. This is the last “new” bloom in the garden for the year. I started these toad lilies (Tricyrtis hirta) from seed, but occasionally I have found them for sale in a garden center/nursery. These grow on the north side of the house, behind some hostas. They aren’t “shout out” showy but are a pleasant surprise each fall when they bloom, since nothing else around them is blooming at the same time. And I love the spots on them.

With impending winter-like weather coming rapidly towards us, (should be here by Friday) I rounded up the last of the tomatoes and took a few pictures this evening and then brought in a few plants that won’t stand a frost/freeze. I am questioning my sanity in starting 6 new “Queen of the Night” plants, (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) as I’ve got one great big one and another one that my aunt gave me this spring, so I certainly don’t have room for more. I will be looking for family and friends to take those off my hands.

A few days ago, I picked all the peppers I cared to pick and put those in the refrigerator until I can find time to cut them up to freeze or give them away.

This weekend, I will begin fall clean up “in earnest”, starting first with some general straightening out of the garage to make room for what needs to be brought inside. Several years ago, what I have outside in the summer “out grew” the space I have for storage in the garage, so later on I’ll shove a bunch of stuff (table, chairs, benches, pots, etc.) to one corner of the patio, cover it all for with a tarp, tie it down, and hope for the best. I’ll also throw a few moth balls under the tarp to keep critters from nesting there. But, I won't do that for a few more weeks. I don't want to get too ahead of myself!

And I still want to find time to dig up a new flower and shrub border. But alas, with more rain in the forecast for this week, I’m not sure if I’ll get a chance to do that this fall.

It is a busy time in the garden!


  1. I'm not sure what's happening with the Garden Blogger Book Club, but here are some of my favorite books. Favorite because they are the only books I have right now.

    #1 Extra Virgin, Annie Hawes, Harper/Collins, 2001 This the story of a woman exploring a new culture, including gardening in a somewhat primitive rural lifestyle in Italy. It sounds hokey, etc, but it's a wonderful book about trying to understand a different culture, to estalbish relationships, and build a very basic home in the countryside. It's not a "How I Built a House in Italy for Only 500,000USD" kind of book.

    #2 is Tropical Gardening, David Bar-Zvi, Fairchild Tropical Center, Pantheon Books/Knof Publishing, 1996 Another excellent reference book for identifying and growing tropicals.

    #3 Cacti and Succulents Hans Hecht, Sterling Publishing NY 1994 Excellent photographs and information for identifying and growing succulents, including cacti
    #4 Ornamental Plants and Flowers of Tropical Mexico, 2006, Puerto Vallarta.
    Not a botantist, the author, Linda Abbott Trapp offers photos and descriptions of almost all the popular plants, shrubs, trees, and vines grown in the Puerto Vallara area. (Conact me for information about purchasing a copy)

    #5 Paraiso Mexicano, Gardens, Landscapes, and Mexican Soul,
    by Marie-Pierre Colle
    Clarkson/Potter, NY 2002
    A book of photographs and descriptions of gardens in all climates of Mexico. Every inspiring for me.

  2. Those are some absolutely stunning peppers!!!

  3. Good luck with the chilly weather, Carol - maybe it will just skirt the 32 mark, leaving the toad lilies unharmed. I've only seen them in photos, not in person.

    Your peppers are spectacular - what a wonderful array of vegetables you've shown us this summer.


  4. I remember selling the toad lily at where else, The Happy Frog. It seems like we sold them as bog plants. They were rare and I don’t see them often.

    It’s rather strange but this is the first year I really watched as garden bloggers across the country started shutting down for the winter, and reporting it day by day. I almost feel like winter is spreading across the country headed for me.

    The link you sent to Avon Gardens is fantastic. What a place! Do you get there often? Is it a garden center that grew around a garden or the other way around? Perhaps both were planned together? That was the only thing missing from the web page, a history.

    It looks like they are closed two days out of the week. Has this ever been a problem? We close on Monday, but if we thought we could get away with it we would close two days a week.

    Thanks for the help. I will include Avon Gardens in my “Art of the Garden Center” page.


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