This time of year plants are retreating, not emerging. It has been a dry year, so untended gardens are failing. Any plant that is not drought tolerant is at risk this summer. Leaves are already starting to turn color and annuals are dying in the intense heat. But then, out of the dusty dirt, sprouts naked ladies or belladonna lilies.
Their tall thin stems do not seem sufficient to hold up their cluster of large trumpet shaped flowers .They jump up so quickly you have to wonder if fairy folk poked them into yards all over town like plastic flamingos. The flower, Ameryllis belladonna, has been cultivated since the 18th century and is native to South Africa. It sprouts from a large bulb with fleshy roots that thrive in rocky, dry soil. The sap of this plant is poisonous and can be an irritate to some people's skin, especially children's.
Among the withered leaves of lilacs and dying hydrangeas in my unattended flower garden, these beauties appeared. All over town I noticed them, even in the brownest of lawns. They remind me that even in the the hardest of times not all is lost; in fact, much remains and is even gained.