Nature fascinates Wanaka gardener Loris King, who is enjoying the second flowering of a Himalayan Lily that has decided to sprout in a narrow, shady spot of her garden.
Mrs King (85) is a former real estate agent and businesswoman and has lived in her Brownston St house since 1964, the same year she married her husband, the late Bill King.
The lily surprised her when it first flowered in December 12, 2014.
She didn’t know where it had come from, so popped along to the nearby Otago Daily Times office and convinced a reporter to come down and take a look.
A photograph of her and the lily was duly published in the newspaper and she resolved to share the moment again in seven years’ time.
“I can’t even remember [how I got it]. They said it will grow high like this from a seed. You can obviously take the bulbs off from the bottom, but it doesn’t get as high. So this obviously came from a seed but I have no idea where I got it from.”
The Himalayan Lily flowers every seven years.
“How they know, I will never know. But isn’t it amazing?”
On October 19, she began marking the plant’s growth with labels on her fence.
In one month it doubled its height, the aromatic flowers are now well beyond her reach, and she has had to climb a ladder to get the sense of its perfume – something she would rather not do now (climb the ladder, that is).
This year’s spring season has been surprisingly lush in Wanaka and Mrs King, who keeps a huge vegetable garden, says the heat has been intense.
” . you do need the water. That’s the main thing,” she said.
The long-time campaigner to protect Pembroke Park, which is just over the road from her house, says she is lucky to live in such a beautiful spot.
She and her husband won the land in a county council ballot in the 1960s.
Their marble was pulled out of a box and they were granted a section, along with a 25-year state loan to pay it off.
Mr King’s brother, Bruce, built the house.
Mrs King said land ballots gave many young people a great start on housing, and while she could not recall the price, said it was nothing like the “scary” $1million price young families face today.