Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ditch Lillies

When John first came to Iowa -- waaaay back in 1970 -- he was amazed by the abundant orange ditch lillies. Growing up, I never gave them much thought...but there were so many of them, John thought they should be the official State Flower...

Iowa has DITCHES. Every road in this state is built with DITCHES -- gravel, blacktop, highway, interstate -- ALL ROADS have DITCHES. And almost every ditch has orange lillies. Maybe there's a fancy "official" name for these flowers -- but I've never heard them called anything but "ditch lillies". Growing up, I just figured they were everywhere in the country...

Of course, now I realize many roads in America don't even have ditches -- much less ditch lillies..

For the last 20 years or so -- the county and state crews were tasked with mowing the ditches. Which, of course, meant we lost those colorful ribbons of orange running parallel to the road...

However -- in this "new economy" -- nobody wants to waste gas money on mowing ditches -- so NO MORE MOWING...which means...that's right...this year we have massive stands of orange ditch lillies...THEY'RE EVERYWHERE, THEY'RE EVERYWHERE...

My pictures do NOT do justice to the beauty of the lillies. They are beautiful and I had no idea how much I missed them!!
Maybe life is like, friends, all comes and goes...and sometimes you don't realize how much you miss something until it comes back to you...


  1. I love your ditch lillies. I believe they are day lillies in other places. Here in NW Washington state they have planted wild flowers along some new roads. They too are beautiful but I like the consistency of your ditch lillies!

  2. Your ditch lilies are as abundant as our wild daisies.

  3. Your ditch lilies look like what my Mother called Tiger Lilies. They were in the back yard of the house my parent bought when I was 1941. Thanks for the almost forgotten memories.

  4. We have these in Wisconsin too... the ones that are called day lilies because they close up when it's cool and dark and open when the sun warms things up. I have a bunch in my yard. They're gorgeous