All summer the rock garden was full of Lily stalks that didn't bloom. I knew they were some kind of Lily due to the leaf structure. There must be 30-40 stalks. I've looked at them carefully numerous times, and last time I examined them I thought maybe Cala lilies, that would bloom later in the summer. Didn't happen. I saw some budding on them a few weeks ago, and then forgot about them being so busy the last few weeks. It's been raining all day here, and I saw that the bird feeder we had wedged between some of the rocks in the rock garden fell. It's not a permanent solution, and it fell once before. We're going to have cement it or use a base pole to secure it for Spring. I went out to pick it up, and was greeted by lots and lots of blooming Toad Lilies! What a surprise. These inherited gardens keep constantly surprising me. I've been through a full year's cycle now, and thought I'd seen everything. I don't remember these last year at this time. I was either too busy with the move and working, or they didn't bloom. I had intended to plant these in the shade garden at some point. I thought just 5 or 10 would be nice. I now have 30 or 40 blooming amongst the rocks! Such a lovely, abundant, Autumn surprise. My grandmother turned 99 this month. I am calling them "Mary's Toad Lilies" for her. She has had a stroke and cannot fully communicate, but she always took a great joy in nature, and I know she would love these Toad Lilies, and the subtle way their beauty catches you, and holds you in a tiny spell.
For a wedding gift to me, my husband bought me the Spring Bride Duet - a combination of Cosmopolitan Darwin Hybrid tulips and Stainless Daffodils. We planted them in the fall of 2014, and they have faithfully come up each year. I thought the daffodils and tulips were a good combination for us in case the deer ate the tulips, the daffodils would still be standing. Also, tulips can fade over time but daffodils multiply. So far, both have come up faithfully, and beautifully, each year, and the deer have left them alone. I would buy Darwin Hybrids again - they have really strong stems and huge flowers! The Cospmopolitans color changes over the time they are up. They come up a pale peach/pink, and then slowly shift to a brighter pinkish/red.