Get it while you can



You can count on weeks-even months-of pleasure from a lot of plants. I’m thinking of the roses, lilies, grasses, and other perennials that will be coming later this summer. But the superstars of spring often disappear within days.


At top are my Obdam double daffs: complete failures in the garden-how they flop in the rain!-but wonderful inside. And above are the charming erythronium Pagoda (the best cultivar of erythronium for my garden). These last just a bit longer, but not long enough.

Sorry for the iphone pics; that’s what I had today.

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regular radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world, and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. I was sent some Obdam daffodils last fall instead of what I ordered, and they were fabulous this spring! Until the weather got too hot and the last few buds blasted. Still, I’m happy enough with them I’ll definitely be ordering more next year…

  2. The Pagoda is so beautiful. I wonder how they would do in my (MD) area? This was my first year experimenting with bulbs, tulips, and I learned a lot. They certainly are challenging: so much effort for such a short-term payoff. But I enjoyed the hell out of watching them get tall and strong and then bloom when nothing much else was going on. I picked one tulip, out of the 2 dozen or so that bloomed, and brought it inside. It’s still looking pretty good while its outdoor siblings are now falling apart. (Beautifully falling apart I must add.) Next year I want to have enough blooms so that I can pick a huge bouquet and still have a lot in the yard.

  3. Pam, I am growing Pagoda with no problems in southern Wisconsin. Mine will open in the next day or so. I just planted the pink E. dens-canis which is in its first real year of flowering. Very delicate and tiny compared to Pagoda. Elizabeth — those double daffs are gorgeous. I am a sucker for daffs but tend to always go for the single, late Poeticus ones when it actually comes time to plunk down my money.

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