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Year of the Tiger

L. henryi

The Chinese Year of the Tiger has been rung in with drums and dancing, and jiaozi, the delicious stuffed dumplings  that are said to be shaped like silver money and symbolize a year stuffed with good things – and riches.

We have celebrated many Chinese New Years since our first trip to live and work in Beijing in 1989. While there we learned that while there are 12 animals in the 12 year Chinese zodiac, the full cycle takes 60 years to complete. Every 12th year is considered a ‘dangerous’ year, and when you think about it there are often great physical and social changes every 12 years or so. Puberty at 12,  marriage at 24, full family life at 36, and edging into old age at 48. When you arrive at 60, the full cycle is complete and you begin again; 60 is a time of new energy and new possibilities.

My husband Henry was born in the Year of the Tiger and it just occurred to me that I made a lucky choice when I  planted Henry lilies from Old House Gardens last fall.  Henry’s Lily (Lilium henryi) is an old Chinese wildflower that is described as having ‘tawny-orange petals’ which sound very tigerish to me.

I have been planning a Henry garden, or at least a Henry collections for some time. In addition to Henry’s Lily, I also planted White Henryi, lily (white with a’starry heart of apricot and cinnamon”) a newer lily hybridized by the same man who created my sturdy and hardy Black Beauty lilies.

So far, the only other Henry plants I have are the white flowered clematis henryi that climbs through my Celestial rose, and  Henry’s Garnet sweetspire, a small shrub that has white summer blooms and crimson fall color.

I am looking for suggestions for other Henry plants and will welcome all the help you can give me.

Images courtesy of Old House Gardens.

7 comments to Year of the Tiger

  • You should check out the company BD Lilies… you can order online – they are fantastic! Huge lily bulbs…

  • Pat

    DGG – B&D Lilies do have a great website – with lots of specials and really good info. Thanks for the tip.

  • Love the idea of a name garden…don’t forget “Little Henry” which is the smaller cultivar of Henry’s Garnet Itea. I know there are more Henry plants out there….thinking….

  • Pat

    Ellen – I do know about Little Henry. Thanks for the reminder. And keep thinking.

  • I’m sorry, Pat; I have no ideas for Henry plants. But I look forward to reading about yours as the months roll by. Happy new year to you both!

  • Oh Pat, you must have this one: Oh, Henry!
    I love these lilies. So pretty and pure in color. I’ll be looking to add these to the gardens at Our Little Acre! I think it’s a great idea you have, to plant a garden in honor of your husband. I bought a daffodil last fall called “Romey.” My husband’s name is Roman and he goes by Romie, so I just had to buy it, don’t you know! 🙂

  • Pat

    Tinky – I wonder if there are any Barbara plants?
    Kylee – I’m so glad there is another Henry lily. Thank you. Maybe someday I’ll have as many lilies as roses.

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