You almost have to stand by them with a camera, ready to take a picture the moment they open, because their spectacular blossoms don't last very long.
I don't understand why my full sun flower border behaves like a part-shade flower border. It may be that between the shrub roses and the tall goldenrod the plants are shading each other. The liatris here is shy and growing sideways, with rather delicate blooms.
What a treat, though, look at this picture! They are fragrant, but their scent is lighter, with notes of clove, lemon and jasmine and without the sultry intensity of white lilies.
They bloomed for about a week, right on time for the Fourth of July, and after that their blossoms faded they receded into the background, leaving room for the mid-summer flowers.
As happy as they make me, I'm sad that all of my Casablanca lilies have disappeared. Even the very tall one in the back yard that used to dangle over my head. Maybe they finally succumbed to the arctic winter weather, who knows. I can still see one or two, very late to the season and looking fragile, but they aren't blooming.
The Triumphator is an oriental hybrid with strong stems that can hold eight or nine giant flowers at a time. It will not buckle under that weight and doesn't need staking, nor does it have the sinuous, meandering growth habits of the classic garden lily.
It stands tall in the border, with deep green foliage that isn't prone to disease, definitely a worthy addition to any sunny garden.
I find peace in my garden, among the tall cone flowers and daisies that reach up to my waist, resting my eyes on the pure purple of the wild bergamot. The bees love it, they love all the plants that bloom in bunches of tiny flowers, the catmints, the salvias, the stonecrops.
Towards the middle of the flower bed there is a tall, very imposing plant that I've been watching since spring began. For some reason I keep hoping it is one of those perennials I sowed in the fall and then forgot, despite the fact that it reached six feet and doesn't seem to be in any hurry to produce anything resembling flowers. Even that plant breathes peace and contentment through every one of its abundant lance shaped leaves.
You can't feel deprived in the land of cone flowers, they won't have it! Worries and cares get trapped inside their pincushion centers that look a lot softer than they actually are. The cone flowers are excited to be in the sunshine, grateful for the plentiful rain, they don't need anything right now and therefore are happy.
I wind myself down to get closer to their leisurely rhythm only to realize that during the last week they grew another foot. Who's slow now?
They'll be there next year, and the year after that, and the year after that. Whatever seeds the cardinals and finches spare over the winter are going to fall on the ground and sprout more cone flowers. During life's tumultuous changes, or the ones so subtle and seamless we often fail to notice their magnitude, the cone flowers are as close as one can get to a sure thing. They'll always be there.