Behold, the Stargazer Lily (or at least a very similar cultivar – I’ve lost track over the years.) A staple of the higher-end bouquet you find in markets and florists, this powerhouse-flower comes with a rich fragrance, and some dangerous pollen if you don’t catch it in time (many cheeks and shirts have been stained in instances where unsuspecting sniffers have leaned in a bit too close.) This beauty was an unexpected surprise. It is the one remaining lily plant that the critters haven’t yet devoured. It’s at the base of a hydrangea that never blooms, so I always forget about it until it’s sometimes passed its peak. On this day, following a rainstorm, I was making the garden rounds when I caught it out of the corner of my eye. The bright pink colors were crying out for attention, while the perfume lassoed my nose.

These are relatively easy to grow (I honestly don’t do anything for this one, as I didn’t like where it was and didn’t care to invest any extra effort.) Because of their ubiquity, and their flashy and overpowering presence both in look and scent, they always seem a little out of place in our more subdued garden. Yet it makes a fine accent plant, and a great cut flower, so I may be putting a few more in. There’s always an extra jolt of gardening enthusiasm in the weeks before we put the garden to sleep for the season, and planting bulbs (particularly when I will most likely forget about them) always provides for pleasant surprises when the summer comes again.

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