“The most important aspect to a project is to finish it. The most important aspect of an exploration is to engage in it. Both modes may result in a sense of accomplishment. The difference is that with projects accomplishment is conditional and dictated in advance, often by others, and these conditions may turn the work into a stressful and frustrating experience. Projects may succeed or fail. Explorations, on the other hand, are always enjoyable and successful, even if they result in no measurable and tangible outcome.”
“[Remembering] that our garden Lilies come from all countries in the northern half of the temperate world, from valleys, mountains, rocky heights, and swamps, we must be prepared for the fact that their young growths pierce the ground at very different dates, and that, though no doubt each Lily in its own place comes out of the ground at the fittest season for its new growth, when we put them into our gardens we cannot suit them with the exact weather and temperature and altitude that they would expect in their own homes.”
“I have been through swamps in which it grew seven feet high, with from ten to twenty flowers…. You will nearly always see the old dry stalk standing about four inches from the new shoot, and anyone knowing the habits of this Lily, can dig it any time after flowering, before frost, from the old dry flower-stems. They grow most abundantly among thickly matted roots in peaty swamps, where it is almost impossible to dig them, except with a sharp hatchet and very strong spade.”
This is the ninth of ten posts in my “Lilies on Black Backgrounds” series. The previous posts in this series are:
“Emily Dickinson knew her Bible from years of reading her King James, a present from her father. She quoted gardening passages from both testaments when it suited her. References to ‘Consider the lilies’ (Luke 12:27; Matthew 6:28), appear a half-dozen times in her letters, often with gifts of flowers….
“With a flair for exaggeration, she once confessed ‘the only Commandment I ever obeyed – ‘Consider the Lilies.”’’
“As summer progresses, the lilies open with fanfare. The blooms are preceded by dense tufts of green each spring that extend into green leafy stalks. Trumpet-shaped flowers return reliably year after year. Dickinson grew an array of lilies, a spectacle in the garden for weeks. There were many varieties including an alluring, unnamed ‘white one with rose-powdered petals and brown velvet stamens, far more elaborate than the simple varieties,’ plus Japanese lilies, yellow lilies, Madonna lilies, and tiger lilies.”
This is the eighth of ten posts in my “Lilies on Black Backgrounds” series. The previous posts in this series are: