It’s Never Simple

“It’s Never Simple”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

 Yesterday, I thought it would be a good idea to dig up the Easter lilies in the white garden.  I planted them in the spring of 2007, and these lily bulbs exceeded expectation.  These were the first lilies I have ever planted, so I am not that familiar with what to do to take care of them.   (Experience is better than just reading about something.)  Anyway, I waited for them to go dormant in the fall of 2007, but that never happened, so I was advised to cut the foliage off, which I did.  Almost immediately new growth started even though it was December and cold weather was coming.  When we did have a freeze, I just covered up the newly emerging growth.  In the spring, growth really started and abundant flowers were produced again.  The only problem was so many of the stalks came out of the ground at an angle that most of them needed staking. 

To prevent the leaning stalks, I thought I would dig up the bulbs now (new growth is just starting) and reposition them so that the stalks this year would be straight up.  First, I had to remove and replant a hydrangea that needed to be in a bigger area.  After doing that, I carefully lifted the lily bulbs up and was surprised to see so many offsets.  That is why last year so many of the stalks came out at an angle, they were coming out of the offsets.  I planted 20 bulbs in 2007, and I dug out about 5 dozen.  I couldn’t believe it.  Now not all the bulbs were big, but at least 36 were the size of large oranges.  The rest were the size of lemons or eggs  with about 15 even smaller. 

I replanted about twenty of the biggest bulbs in the original bed after adding some new soil, and then had to find a place for the rest.  That’s where the simple part ended.  Here are the left over bulbs that had to have a new home.



  Gardening under huge pine trees limits the areas with sufficient sun for flowers, so finding an area where these lilies would do well prompted a search around the garden.  I finally decided to place them in an area around the back patio which is getting a lot of sun since several big trees came down in Hurricane Katrina.  I had already decided that several holly ferns had to come out because they were getting too much sun and the foliage was being burned.  I had thought to wait until spring to move them, but now they had to go.

Years ago, I had dug out a huge holly fern and vowed that I would never do it again.  So much for vows.  After struggling with these ferns, I finally wrestled them out of the ground.  I removed about five big ones which will go in a side garden area where there is more shade.  This photo shows them lined up and ready to go to a new home.  


The bed without the ferns had big holes that had to be filled with good soil and a lot of it was needed.



Finally, the soil was added, the bulbs planted, and the entire area mulched.  Looks finished, huh?





Well, this bed is finished, but there are still about 18 smaller lily bulbs that did not fit here, so tomorrow I have to find a place for them.   I also moved the ferns to the side garden but could only plant two before the daylight was becoming too dim to work.  So, tomorrow will find me still trying to finish what I thought would be a simple garden task – for the third day.


  1. joey said,

    November 9, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    Nothing concerning gardeners is ever simple … our heads never rest! So enjoyed my visit. Good Luck!

  2. linda said,

    November 9, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    This sounds so familiar, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!

  3. Jan said,

    November 10, 2008 at 5:30 am

    Joey, I guess life is never as simple as we think it is. One project leading to another keeps us going.

    Linda, laughter helps with the frustration. If I only didn’t have to work five days a week, I know I could get my garden exactly like I want it. That’s the problem with an avocation fighting a vocation.

  4. Randy said,

    November 10, 2008 at 8:15 am

    If that trash can is any indication of how large those ferns are, then you certainly had a job on your hands. Take us a picture when you get the ferns in their new home. 🙂

  5. Brenda Kula said,

    November 10, 2008 at 8:42 am

    I absolutely must plant some lilies! I keep saying that, don’t I? I never go out there to do what I end up doing. I start one project and something else catches my attention, that yes, must be done right now. And off I go on another. Hours pass. Good thing I don’t really have much of a schedule. Gardening is the priority around here!

  6. Jan said,

    November 10, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Randy, those ferns were really big, and it was a job getting them out so that they could be relocated. It is gardening tasks like this that allows me to save money on a gym.

    Brenda, the same thing happens to me. Carol of May Dream Gardens wrote a cute post about that. She calls it the GADS. Garden Attention Deficit Syndrome.

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