Saturday, June 5, 2010


 My mother grew up in San Marcos, on the cusp of the Texas Hill Country.  The house she grew up in, a block from the clear, spring-fed San Marcos River, has been a bank parking lot for decades now, a few old oaks the only remnants there of my grandmother's landscape.

But when my grandmother left that house, she took some of her daylillies with her.  And later, when my grandmother moved to my mother's home, my mother transplanted some of those daylillies to her flowerbed.

Last spring (2009), Mom gave some to me.  I'd admired them in her garden, the variegated leaves a living green fountain.  I built a raised bed for my generation of daylillies in sight of my bedroom window.

The daylillies didn't bloom, and I put that down to  shock. Last summer was torrid, an epic of drought and heat.  The daylillies looked puny. Then the foliage failed in November. My raised bed was a patch of bare ground.  I didn't tell Mother.

This spring, soft green leaves emerged from the soil. I finally told Mom about the death, and the resurrection.  She laughed.  If I'd told her last fall, I wouldn't have spent the winter thinking I was a daylilly failure.  

All of that time and effort and worry and I'd never even seen the flowers.  Until today.  

I knew that planting living history was good.  I didn't know it would be so beautiful.

Copyright 2009-2010 Kathleen Scott ,for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. And this is why that everywhere I go I try to find something to bring home to grow. History blooming. What could be more honest?

  2. Daylillies are so beautiful, I love the colour of yours, I did have some with yellow flowers but unlike your heirloom mine completely disappeared.
    What a lovely tradition, a contiunation of something your Grandmother loved and passed on to your Mom and now to you, I think that is so sweet and something to treasure. xoxo ♥

  3. How special these daylilies are. Your mother must be so happy and I'm sure your grandmother would have been too :-)

    PS. Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

  4. Great story! I tried to divide my special daylilies before I left CT to bring along to the Hill Country. The cars were so full of house plants, pets, and other special things that I only had room for one pot--now divided into two plants. They are in bloom right now! Hallelujah!

  5. What a wonderful way to tell the story of blooming. And that orange is intense --

  6. Now those are day lilies worth preserving! So glad they survived to bloom this year. x0 N2

  7. Heartwarming story.
    I can just imagine how satisfied this makes you.

    that oil gushing forth on the side bar makes me cry.

  8. What a perfect Sunday morning read.

    That bloom is breathtaking. Worth the wait and even more meaningful given the source and apparent resurrection.

    My daylily plants have been over grown by ground covers. I am, by golly, going to get those babies transplanted back out into the sun T O D A Y. Thank you!

  9. Your daylily is beautiful Kathleen, as is its story.

  10. This is so wonderful! And what a treasure, to have your grandmother's plant that would certainly be gone now under that bank. This is what gardening is all about-that connection to dear ones. And, a reminder, don't be afraid to tell mom everything. I bet she went through the same thing. But I understand how you felt. I hate to tell someone that I think I killed a plant they gave me! Really, this is so great.


My readers are all geniuses. Can't wait to see what you have to say.