Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Changing Perspective: From Ditch Flowers to Tiger Lillies

Something I adore about Halifax is the beautiful urban gardens right in the downtown. Halifax is a small enough city that in the summer trees and flowers and greenery are everywhere.

What I found surprising when I moved here were the amount of Tiger Lilies as ornamental, planted ON PURPOSE for the garden, flowers. I would have to say they are Halifax's "la fleur du jour" and a staple for front yard gardens.

Which struck me as extremely odd since at home (aka rural Nova Scotia) they're considered "ditch flowers", or "those orange flowers that grow in ditches". People generally don't plant them necessarily on purpose, and if they do it's because they don't really have better flowers to plant.

They would almost be the equivalent of lupines in the garden. (Lupines, pronounced "lou-pins", are a tourist-y flower of Nova Scotia that grow along the highways in purples, whites and pinks. Although pretty while they flower, they are generally considered as more of a weed and not something you would have in your garden).

(Lupines near Lunenburg, photo credit "Second Paradise Retreat" (website) a beautiful eco-vacation rental in Nova Scotia)

It's like Haligonians didn't get the memo that these flowers grow best in ditches....

In order to help change my conditioned response that Tiger Lillies= ugly ditch flowers, I decided to photograph them. On my short ten minute walk to Smiling Goat for the most delicious coffee in the city, I encountered 12 instances of ditch flowers (aka Tiger Lillies). Here are the highlights:

 (Sturdy, overgrown, haphazard lillies next to a garbage bin)

Focal point in a garden, colour in the green!

lonely pop of orange curling around a gate

The main show spilling onto the sidewalk

So pretty reaching up near the stone wall of the church

A second group of orange near the church

Up close and personal

Discovering local greens in your city is a great way to feel a bit more connected to nature (and ecologically responsible!).

Do you have any flowers that strike you as strange "garden" flowers?


  1. Since I read this I have been noticing these flowers everywhere, turns out I have a big patch of them in my backyard to boot. It has given me a solid two days about thinking of beauty differently. Thanks for this.

  2. Down here in California one of the big 'weed' flowers is calalillies (if I knew how to paste a photo I would!)


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