It’s a bit sad when the last bloom of the Wine Goddess’s garden of daylilies desiccates like a raisin, surrenders its summer grip from its stem, and returns to the earth from which it sprang.
Autumn is here.
The life of a lily’s glorious bloom is but one day, hence the name daylily. The plant harnesses 365 days of energy to produce dozens of blooms, each coming out one or two at a time in July and August so that every day brings new and wondrous sights to behold.
Over the past seven years, the Wine Goddess has nurtured 150 different varieties throughout the yard, all categorized and neatly arranged so that the brilliant blooms match the colors of neighboring flowers and plants. I particularly marvel at the noble cluster of purple and apricot lilies that seem to pop on the same day in late July in front of the lime-green hydrangea. Only God could paint such a vibrant palette.
The Wine Goddess keeps a daylily log, just like I keep a wine diary.
Daylilies, like wine, have official names and unique DNA characteristics which dictate color pigment, patterns and size of bloom. Often I sit in the pergola with a glass of Prosecco and absorb the symphony of styles and shapes.
In one corner of the yard, the Wine Goddess has planted a biblical section: Moses Fire, Spiritual Corridor, Serene Madonna, and Song of Solomon among others. It is a quiet, reflective spot drawing regal cardinals and red robins to congregate under a massive spruce tree.
The Wine Goddess now tells me she is creating her own daylilies. She’s purchased several new plants, divided existing ones, and cross-pollinated 40 or so hybrids. If they all take she’ll be able to name her own daylily creations — she says one of them is for me. It is destined to be named “Wine Novice.” (Bella the cat gets two, Belvidere Bellassimo and Bella Sera.) It will take two seasons to fully bloom, leaving me in suspense for 730 days until I come face to face with this new worldly companion.
It’s never too early to plan a celebration. Over the weekend I put aside a Castello Banfi 2004 Poggio Alle Mura Brunello di Montalcino, a 2001 Fratelli Speri Amarone della Valpolicella Classic Monte Sant’ Urbano, and a 2006 Luciano Sandrone Barolo LeVigne. These are all big, powerful Italian reds. The Brunello and Amarone will be hitting their prime in 2016, although the Barolo, while drinkable, might still be six years too young for a daylily debut. We’ll see.
As to the Wine Goddess, I am deeply appreciative. I’ve agreed to accompany her to her high school reunion next month in Essex, Conn., where she can show me off as potentially the only husband in the room with a daylily he can call his own.
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