the naked ladies are bloomin’

the naked ladies are bloomin'
yes, you heard me right
right out in the open too
where anyone can see 'em

the naked ladies are bloomin'
blushing a pretty pink
pale translucent petals
with graceful curves

the naked ladies are bloomin'
atop long lean bodies
devoid of any covering
smooth to the touch

the naked ladies are bloomin'
yes, it's quite a surprise
look fast or you'll miss 'em
here one day, then gone

the naked ladies are bloomin'
like clockwork in the fall
a burst of pale pink beauty
in my backyard

This poem is inspired by the naked ladies still bloomin' in my yard and a recent conversation with my neighbor, who is a MUCH BETTER gardener than I am. She actually waters her flowers. Mine have to be tough enough to live, based on the random whims of Mother Nature who alternates between showering them in gentle summer rain and baking them with the unrelenting heat of the summer sun with humidity thrown in just for fun. There is some "in between", but not much, here in Central Illinois.

I grew up seeing these perky pink flowers bloom in My Grandma's Garden at Evergreen Heights. Within the first year of buying the house we live in now, my father brought buckets of perennials over and helped me plant 'em here and there around the perimeter of my home. I admit, I was skeptical when he threw some ugly lookin' bulbs in the ground. He planted 'em along the edge of the deck and on a bare side of the house that is devoid of windows between two beige houses. Well, we've lived here nearly ten years now. Hard to believe, even though my oldest son is now eleven, and I'll enter a new decade on my next birthday in December. Time flies. Gardens and children grow.

While we stood in her driveway visiting, my neighbor (and friend) asked, "Could I have some of whatever that is, that's blooming over there?"
She gestured toward the side of my house, built alongside hers over seventeen years ago.
I smiled and replied, "Well, they are either called Surprise Lilies or Naked Ladies. Take your pick."
She said, "Naked Ladies?"
I stood straighter then, and wrapped my arms in front of me, as if to cover my nakedness, and pointed out that the flowers had no foliage on their bare stems.
I explained they were bulbs and said I'd be glad to share, suggesting we mark where they are for digging up and moving when the time was right.

A few days later, as we chatted in her front yard once more, she shared a conversation she had the night before with her husband.
She told him, "I asked Janean if she'd share some of her naked ladies and she said, 'Yes'."
I'm sure he looked understandably confused, and unsure of how to reply, before she took pity on him and clarified, "The pink flowers blooming between our houses."

In the spring a vertical green stem shoots up with traditional lily foliage, but no bloom. You leave 'em standing and don't mow or chop 'em down, because this stem feeds the bulb and prepares it for the fall blooms. These spring shoots remind you for a time where the lilies are planted, but it's still a jumping out of a cake, "SURPRISE!", when they burst into bloom in the fall. Thus, Surprise Lilies, their other, more prim and proper soundin' name. However, my grandma called 'em Naked Ladies. My aunt, Janet, does too. It's my dad who initially called 'em Surprise Lilies, when I first inquired what was in the Bucket O'Bulbs he had brought to beautiful my yard. Then he added, "Or, you can call 'em Naked Ladies". Hello? I was an Art Major. For art we'd call 'em NUDES though.

© 2011, Janean Baird Turquoise Tangles


2 thoughts on “the naked ladies are bloomin’

  1. Lovely little flowers. I have never seen that variety and I am once again astounded at the diversity of life on this planet. Besides, pink is one of my favorite colors.

  2. Originally posted by KayFour:

    Lovely little flowers. I have never seen that variety and I am once again astounded at the diversity of life on this planet. Besides, pink is one of my favorite colors.

    Welcome, Kay! They are beauties, aren't they?! So glad we met at John's page. Like you I am often in awe at the majesty of living things from every corner of the earth. There is a P.S. that goes with this post, a third name for these lilies is Resurrection Lilies. Isn't that lovely? Though not as shockingly fun as callin' 'em Naked Ladies. Turquoise is my favorite color. Pink may be growing on me though. I say more about my pinkalicious feeling at this post, "Pink Carnations". Janean

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