Operation Tiger Lily

Operation Tiger Lily

Published On: 06-01-2013 08:16pm

Comments: 12 - Hits: 0

There have been some requests to keep people updated on the progress of my mother's tiger lilies, so I thought I'd write a separate blog post dedicated to them.

Some background:  My grandmother grew tiger lilies.  I remember when I was a little girl how her tiger lily patch with their bright orange blooms speckled with little black specks seemed magical.  After my grandmother died, my mother started growing them as a tribute to Grammy and they still had that same magic even though I was now viewing them as an adult.

On July 4, 2011, my mother passed away.  A year later, my Dad decided to move to my little town to be closer to us.  During the move, my sister and I started talking about whether or not it would be possible to re-locate the tiger lilies and called our project "Operation Tiger Lily".  The day we were loading the moving van, the tiger lily bulbs were dug up and placed in large plastic bags for the trip to their new home.

It was the wrong time of year to dig them up and we worried that they wouldn't survive.  By the time I got around to planting them a week later, they were looking rather sickly, but it was one of those "nothing ventured, nothing gained" moments.

Early this spring, I started looking for sprouts and finally one day found a few
starting to poke out of the ground.  Whew!  They'd made it through the winter.

In early April, they were about six inches tall:


They didn't seem to do much over the next few weeks, maybe because we had a cold snap here.

Then...out of nowhere...they went nuts!

Here they are a week ago:




And, here they are yesterday:





Aren't they beautiful?

Someday, when she's in a position to do so, my sister will take some of the bulbs to put in her own garden.  It's a hard thing to explain, but knowing that my mother tended these with her hands and my sister and I are now tending to the same bulbs seems like a living connection between the generations.  The tigers represent the circle of life in that they will die back this summer, but will return in the Spring and repeat that cycle year after year.  It's possible that long after I'm gone, the tigers will still be putting on their yearly appearance for others to enjoy.

Operation Tiger Lily has been declared by sis and I as Mission Accomplished!

Reader's Comments

By DreamCatcherMan2 on 10/29/2013 @ 03:00am

Wow, so beautiful! And what a touching story to go with it. My family grows Bird of Paradise, we have moved them many times, most of them have survived. With the weird weather we haven't had as many blooms as usual. But, one plant has taken it to new heights. Thanks for sharing your touching story with us. William-the dreamcatcherman

By ChristieCottage on 06/10/2013 @ 10:30pm

They are beautiful! I grow them in my yard and move some around each year. They are hardy! <>< http://ChristieCottage.blogspot.com

By Wyverndesigns on 06/05/2013 @ 01:45pm

Gorgeous! My tiger lilies haven't bloomed yet. I can't wait.

By JewelryArtByDawn on 06/05/2013 @ 05:12am

Thank you so much to each and every one of you for taking the time to stop by, read about the tigers and leave a heartfelt comment. They've been a lovely to see and it's been wonderful to have family members check in as well. Hi Margaret and Aunt Claire!

By Guest on 06/05/2013 @ 02:58am

Dawn, I just read your blog post, and was very moved by it. Such a wonderful memory for you and Dana, and through the generations. The photos are stunning and very alive and pretty. Aunt Claire

By Guest on 06/02/2013 @ 02:05pm

They are beautiful Dawn! Very special to me (as one of the family) who remembers well when the Tiger's bloomed in both the gardens. Thank you and your sis so much for making Operation Tiger Lily happen! Margaret.

By CardsbyLiBe on 06/02/2013 @ 02:03pm

I LOVE this post Dawn. What a wonderful story of continuing your grandmother and mother's love of the Tiger Lily! So happy they survived the transplant and look how beautiful they are now! Great job. Lisa

By DesertCreations on 06/02/2013 @ 07:10am

Such an amazing flower. I so love the tiger lily. Amazing pictures. Thank you for sharing!!

By craftingmemories on 06/02/2013 @ 02:30am

What a great blog. I love the tiger lilies and happy to hear you have accomplished your mission!

By EweniqueEssentials on 06/02/2013 @ 01:20am

What gorgeous tiger lilies! Over the years, I've transplanted flowers from my mom's garden, as well as from friends' gardens. Whenever the flowers bloom, I am reminded of good friends and good times. In turn, I have shared flowers from my yard with friends. It's a wonderful way to stay connected with special people. Your beautiful lilies are a wonderful tribute to your mom's memory.

By PutmanLakeDesigns on 06/01/2013 @ 10:56pm

What a wonderful post! To be part of the continuation with our parents is a wonderful thing. I hope your dad sees the flowers and realizes how much they mean to you and your sister. Ann

By ShadowDogDesigns on 06/01/2013 @ 08:56pm

Mission accomplished indeed! What a glorious post, Dawn! To see the tiger lilies bloom and knowing how they have been tended by other loved hands has to be very spiritual. Thank you for sharing! And long may they bloom!!!

Comment on this Blog Post