Sometime a few months ago, I noticed a very strange being had appeared in one of the back gardens on the patio. I went immediately to tell others. “Come Come! I this is the strangest plant I’ve ever seen. Looks uncanny, like some sort of ET.”
Well, it wasn’t hard to get Green Acres Permaculture Village podmates to follow me back to where it had sprung up. We oohed and aahed for awhile, and Gabby took a pic. Unfortuately, the pic doesn’t show the tip of what looks like a rounded spear.
Notice the strange contortion and the extra little spear going off to the side at the bottom, which Gabby zoomed in on.
But then, in a week or so, it fell over, crumpled, and died!
I talked with Charisse about this flower, asking if she knew what it was. (Rebecca lived here for nearly ten years and was the Farm Manager that whole time, leaving to live with her cousin on the Washington coast this April).
It’s a “Voodoo Lily,” she told me, and in a while it will send up another shoot, and flower. She also advised us to clear out some of the lemon balm and motherwort that surrounded it to give it more room. We did that.
And then, lo and behold, it did send up another spear, and this time, geez!
That was a few days ago. Then, as of yesterday evening and this morning . . .
It’s obviously not done unfurling. Exciting, to be faced with surprise after surprise after surprise with Charisse gone. She was the one who planted perennials in all these patio gardens.
Until Charisse departed, I had barely taken my head out of the clouds to notice what was going on around me here at home. Didn’t need to. Rebecca took care of it. So . . . lots of learning going on! For example, a single glorious valerian plant, near the voodoo lily.
And there’s still plenty of lemon balm, not to mention motherwort. We’re drying both in the basement. Motherwort is good for women going through menopausal years, so we’ll probably also tincture it; and lemon balm makes a great tea.
Another “weed” of note, which grows to enormous size: burdock. We remove most of it. BUT: it’s also a powerful medicinal, so we’ll tincture the roots of both this plant and the valerian.
Back in mid-May, thinking the ground of that same garden that holds the voodoo lily and other perennials was empty in one area, I planted a few more perennials. and guess what? Elephant ears came up in June! Lots of them! Lots more than last year. Some of them right in and among my three just planted perennials.
I’m reminded that Rebecca told me to wait until June to see if the elephant ears would come up . . .
Live and learn! Should have waited a month before deciding it was “empty.”
Back to the Voodoo Lily, Also called a corpse plant, because for three days it emits a smell like a rotting corpse. (Hasn’t happened yet.) Why? Because it attracts flies for pollination.
Meanwhile, out back, on the patio which needs to be cleaned up before tonight’s regular Thursday Community Dinner, a few days ago Tiger discovered catnip drying on a table, and has been stoned ever since.
Usually, our apex predator, he’s now got on a “clown collar” (that’s what we call it, with a reflective rim), to alert baby birds and bunnies that he’s in the area. Or I should say, he did have this collar on. This morning I noticed that he had ditched it. For the second time. The first time was last Saturday. I had put it on two days earlier. I gave him Sunday off and then, having found the collar on the patio, put it back on Monday. This time it lasted three days, a slight improvement. Haven’t found the collar outside yet. Here’s hoping.
Charisse just texted me back to my question about whether or not she had planted the voodoo lily as a bulb. Yes, she said, but many years ago! This is the first time it has appeared above ground. Hmmm . . . what kind of magic is that?
Only days before the Summer Solstice, I am in awe of Earth, her aliveness, how she loves and nourishes and instructs us humans through continuous, ever-regenerating abundance.
Truly, all things are possible to those who quicken to Earth’s aliveness.