By far the most valuable inheritances I've received from the friends I've lost are the other people they've left behind. In Amy's case, I inherited her membership in the Garden Gang, an e-mail group that was one of doubtless many begun through participating in an AOL forum. Since 1998 Amy and eight other women from around the country shared their joys and sorrows, both in and out of the garden. Several months after Amy died in 2008, the GG asked me to join them. They have been a blessing to me as they were to her and for all of us, it's helped to keep her memory and spirit alive amongst us.
Tricia was one of Amy's neighbors for many years and they had become good friends even before they joined AOL. When Tricia moved to New Braunfels and then to Waco, e-mail and phone calls kept them connected across the miles. Last year, Tricia drove over from Waco to take ownership of Amy's potting bench, which had been lovingly crafted by Amy's father-in-law and artfully painted by Amy. Before we picked that up, though, Tricia and I made a trip to Enchanted Forest to check on the tree planted in Amy's memory and, of course, to shop.
When I saw the Triumphator Lilies blooming, I pointed them out to Tricia and nothing would do but that she must send one home with me. Thank you so much, Tricia: I am SO glad you did ... the blooms are out of this world amazing. Most of the Oriental lilies don't do very well in our heat and humidity but these are a wonderful exception, due to their breeding. Triumphator is a cross between Lilium longiflorum (Easter Lily) and Oriental lilies: the shape is more like the Easter lily, but the flower texture and size are more like the Oriental lilies. The light fragrance is pleasant but don't lean in too close or you'll have smudges of pollen on your nose!